Three out of four of John's contributions to Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band are, at best, nonsensical melodic experiments; "Good Morning, Good Morning," with its now-famous rooster crow, animal sounds, and parodying of the "other band" concept that Paul had wrung out to make the album, smoothly fits in with its two misfit brothers nicely.

Musically, the song has a lot of sharp ideas, and is perhaps the most revolutionary track on the album, because it combines the old with the new, and offers a chance to be expanded upon in the future (unlike most of the other one trick ponies found on the album.) The beat during the verse is overwhelmingly complex, changing meter on a whim no less than four times while offering a rather direct melodic line. With the addition of the horns (providing a cheeky jab at Paul's "big band" concept), the song only conspires to become more metrically complex and offer plenty of interesting melodic phrasing, all within a simple I-V-bVII blues chord set. Later, as the song moves into its double-speed drums and John's calculated vocal delivery, you can virtually see the telling hand of George Martin, sprucing up John's no doubt sparse musical offering with the bassline and horns moving out of sync with the rest of the song. The blistering solo (played by Paul, no less!) at 1:20 shows some of the new heavier guitar technique the band had started to focus on, later displayed in songs like "The End" and "Happiness is a Warm Gun." As the song comes to a close, it becomes a seeming cacophony of animal noises, but if you listen closely, you can hear (and see) that the animal sounds are played in an order representing the power chain of life: from rooster to cat to dog to sheep to horse to lion to elephant, before finally finishing with several sounds from a fox hunt, and a final caw of the rooster. Good Morning, indeed!

Lyrically, John sums up his feelings on the Sgt. Pepper's concept: "I've got nothing to say, but it's OK" speaks strongly about his lack of inspiration at this time - also note that here was a time when he was recording serious work such as "Strawberry Fields Forever", "All You Need Is Love", and shortly thereafter, "Across the Universe." Thus, the concept of gaming the audience with this over-the-top pop spectacle probably seemed a bit foreign and distasteful to him, but he played along, using the album's "anything goes" aesthetic to experiment with tape loops and song structure. The title itself comes from a Corn Flakes commercial (replete with crowing rooster), and the song has several contemporary references, including an allusion to the sitcom Meet The Wife, popular in Britain in 1967. This song sees him as a prowler, a man past his prime trying to recapture the vibrancy of the city and his youth. The urbanity of such lines as "you're in the street" and "everywhere in town is getting dark" hearken to John's own dilemma about his new lot in life versus his shady beginnings. At the end, of course, there must be a "skirt", but the song instead offers a final thought on Sgt. Pepper's suburban inanity before that album comes to a reprising end, and then he can really let lose with the next wave of Beatlemania with "A Day in the Life."

For Paul is dead mythologists, the lines "you're in the street" and "nothing to do to save his life" have obvious connotations; is the song itself talking about a ghost visiting the places he once knew?

The song's intricate production makes it nigh impossible to recreate live, and thus most cover versions of it are extremely studio-oriented; the drug-addled spazz rock band The Triffids perhaps have the definitive version, though the unusually manic Bee Gees do it justice on the Sgt. Pepper's soundtrack, and the ska quintet Critical Mass gives it a lively go on their album Give It Up Let It Go.

The song, given its heavy production techniques and avant-garde nature, was recorded in multiple parts. The main parts were recorded on February 8, 1967, with John on lead vocals, Ringo on drums, George on lead guitar, and Paul on bass. A week later, Paul went into the studio and added the ripping solo towards the 1:20 mark, and John and Paul added the echo-y vocals. A month later, on March 13, the brass section was added in, and almost on a whim two weeks later, the animal sounds were tacked on to the end.

Good Morning, Good Morning

Good morning, good morning!
Nothing to do to save his life call his wife in
Nothing to say but what a day how's your boy been
Nothing to do it's up to you
I've got nothing to say but it's O.K.
Good morning, good morning!

Going to work don't want to go feeling low down
Heading for home you start to roam then you're in town
Everybody knows there's nothing doing
Everything is closed it's like a ruin
Everyone you see is half asleep
And you're on your own you're in the street

After a while you start to smile now you feel cool
Then you decide to take a walk by the old school
Nothing had changed it's still the same
I've got nothing to say but it's O.K.
Good morning, good morning!

People running round it's five o'clock
Everywhere in town is getting dark
Everyone you see is full of life
It's time for tea and meet the wife
Somebody needs to know the time, glad that I'm here

Watching the skirts you start to flirt now you're in gear
Go to show you hope she goes
I've got nothing to say but it's O.K.
Good morning, good morning!

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Lovely Rita | Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)

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