The Beatles

Good Morning Good Morning

Composed by John Lennon / Paul McCartney

Song Review by

Although 1967 was by far the Beatles' most psychedelic year, a number of their recordings that year had lyrics very much grounded in observation of ordinary everyday English life, albeit viewed in a most unconventional manner. "Penny Lane," "Strawberry Fields Forever," "A Day in the Life," and "Lovely Rita" are examples, as is "Good Morning Good Morning." From start to finish, it's almost a Joycean document of a sunup-to-sundown day in the not particularly interesting life of an English gent. Musically, it might be the most ordinary of the tracks on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, with its brightly sung repeated harmonized chorus and an almost deadpan John Lennon lead vocal that has a slight singalong quality, though not with one of the Beatles' greatest melodies. It was able to fit into Sgt. Pepper's without a hitch, though, because production-wise it piled on all manner of oddball effects and touches to lift it out of the wholly ordinary. There's the crowing rooster introducing the track, and then particularly squashed-sounding martial horns (played by the British group Sounds Incorporated, a Brian Epstein-managed act that had toured with the Beatles) underscoring the chorus, as though this particular "good morning" is about as welcome as a reveille call interrupting a sound sleep. There are almost circus-like punctuations/interruptions of the rhythm by a drum thud at the end of lines of the verses, as if the protagonist is desperately trying to invest his mundane existence with at least a little drama. There weren't many standard rock guitar solos on Sgt. Pepper's, but Paul McCartney took a pretty busy, ferocious one on the short instrumental break that gave the song some much-needed pure rock impetus. Like some other Lennon-dominated songs of the period, it's a reflection of withdrawal from and boredom with the straight world, as he repeatedly states "I've got nothing to say but it's OK," though the rhythm does accelerate in a whirlwind-like way at the end of some verses to mirror the busy pace of modern life. "Good Morning Good Morning"'s most inventive section is the fadeout, where a zoo-like arsenal of animal sound effects are heard -- cats, dogs, horses, sheep, lions, elephants, and finally a clucking hen that turns into a guitar note as the track segues into "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)." John Lennon later disclosed that the musical inspiration for "Good Morning Good Morning" indeed came from everyday drab British life, in the form of a jingle used in a television commercial for Kellogg's Corn Flakes.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967 Apple Records / Capitol 2:41
Sessions 1990 Capitol 2:47
No Image 1993 Big Music 1:03
No Image 1994 VigoTone
The Ultimate Box Set 1995 Capitol 2:41
The Beatles: Stereo Box Set 2009 Capitol 2:41
The Beatles USB 2009 Capitol / EMI 2:41