Penny Lane

"Penny Lane" was Paul McCartney's ode to the Liverpool he knew as a child, but the song also had a hidden inspiration: His white-hot competitive streak.

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Penny Lane (WORD)
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Released: February 13, 1967 - 10 weeks; no. 1

"Penny Lane" was generated by a kind of 'I can do just as well as you can, John,' because we'd just recorded 'Strawberry Fields,'" said George Martin. "It was such a knockout, I think Paul went back to perfect his idea. And they were both significant. They were both about their childhood." The songs would be released together — opposite sides of the first single from the Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band sessions.

Many of the lyrics come straight from McCartney's adolescence. Penny Lane is a Liverpool neighborhood where Lennon lived as a child and also the name of a bus depot McCartney would pass through on the way to Lennon's house. A barbershop in the area, Bioletti's, displayed pictures of different haircuts it offered — hence the lines "There is a barber showing photographs/Of every head he's had the pleasure to know." As McCartney put it, "The song is part fact, part nostalgia for a place which is a great place — blue suburban skies as we remember it." Rolling Stone Magazine

****REVISED April 27, 2019 - SR****

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