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YOU CAN PLAY ALONG WITH THE RECORDINGS IN THE SAME KEY! Chris Hill has also suggested that, if it's easier for you, you can alternatively play the Dm rundown in the 3/4 section as: 7555, 6555, 5555, 4555. Always good to have choices!
The inspiration to write the song was a 19th-century circus poster for Pablo Fanque's Circus Royal appearance at Rochdale in 1843 (see above). Lennon purchased the poster in an antique shop on 31 January 1967, while the Beatles were filming the promotional videos for "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "Penny Lane" in Sevenoaks, Kent. "Everything from the song is from that poster," he explained, "except the horse wasn't called Henry." (The poster identifies the horse as "Zanthus".) Pablo Fanque (born William Darby 30 March 1810 in Norwich, England; died 4 May 1871 in Stockport, England) was an English equestrian performer and circus proprietor, the first non-white British circus owner in Britain. His circus was the most popular in Victorian Britain for 30 years, a period that is regarded as the golden age of the circus. Mr. Kite is believed to be William Kite, who worked for Pablo Fanque from 1843 to 1845. "Mr. J. Henderson" was John Henderson, a wire-walker, equestrian, trampoline artist, and clown. While the poster made no mention of "Hendersons" plural, as Lennon sings, John Henderson did perform with his wife Agnes, the daughter of circus owner Henry Hengler. The Hendersons performed throughout Europe and Russia during the 1840s and 1850s.A hogshead is a large wooden cask.
One of the most musically complex songs on Sgt. Pepper, it was recorded by the Beatles on 17 February 1967 with overdubs on 20 February (organ sound effects), 28 March (harmonica, organ, guitar), 29 March (more organ effects) and 31 March. Lennon wanted the track to have a "carnival atmosphere", and told producer George Martin that he wanted "to smell the sawdust on the floor". In the middle instrumental, multiple recordings of fairground organs and calliope music were spliced together to attempt to produce this request.
"Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!" was one of three songs from the Sgt. Pepper album that was banned from playing on the BBC, supposedly because the phrase "Henry the Horse" combined two words that were individually known as slang for heroin. Lennon denied that the song had anything to do with heroin.
****REVISED July 26, 2019 - SR****