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Penny Lane (The Beatles)
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"Penny Lane" is a song by the Beatles, written primarily by Paul McCartney. It was credited to Lennon–McCartney. Recorded during the Sgt. Pepper sessions, "Penny Lane" was released in February 1967 as one side of a double A-sided single, along with "Strawberry Fields Forever".

In Penny Lane there is a barber showing photographs
Of every head he's had the pleasure to know
And all the people that come and go
Stop and say hello

On the corner is a banker with a motorcar
The little children laugh at him behind his back
And the banker never wears a mack in the pouring rain
Very strange

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit and meanwhile back

In Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hourglass
And in his pocket is a portrait of the Queen
He likes to keep his fire engine clean
It's a clean machine

 

 

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
A four of fish and finger pies
In summer meanwhile back

Behind the shelter in the middle of a roundabout
A pretty nurse is selling poppies from a tray
And though she feels as if she's in a play
She is anyway

In Penny Lane, the barber shaves another customer
We see the banker sitting waiting for a trim
And the fireman rushes in from the pouring rain
Very strange

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies
I sit and meanwhile back

Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes
There beneath the blue suburban skies

Penny Lane

BARBER= A barber's shop, which is a traditional hairdresser's just for men. (the barber is not showing photographs, it means that the barber's shop is displaying photographs on its shop window)

MOTORCAR= (formal) Car.

MACK= (BrE) Mackintosh, raincoat.

THE POURING RAIN= When the rain is pouring, it is raining a lot, very heavily.

BENEATH= (formal or poetical) Under.

SUBURBAN= Related to the suburbs. The suburbs is the residential area around a city, with little houses with gardens in a quiet neighbourhood.

BACK= I suppose this BACK belongs to this sentence and the next, so it would be "I sit and meanwhile back in Penny Lane there is a fireman...". The phrase BACK IN means IN, but referring to a place or time in the past, or if you are talking of something else, it means that you are coming back to the topic you were discussing earlier:
- When I was a child, back in Oxford, I had many friends (now I don't live in Oxford)

HOURGLASS= An old type of glass working with sand (see picture)

KEEP IS FIRE ENGINE CLEAN= (sexual slang)

A FOUR OF FISH= A fourpennyworth of fish and chips (= all the fish and chips you can buy with 4 pence) (see picture of fish and chips)

FINGER PIES= (old sexual slang)

ROUNDABOUT= A usually circular space in the middle of a crossroads (see picture)

POPPIES= Red flowers that often grown among the wheat (see picture). Poppies are too delicate to sell, he is talking about plastic or cloth poppies made for The Poppy Day, also called Remembrance Day (see videos), the day we remember all the people who died in both World Wars.

TRAY= See picture.

A PLAY= A work of theatre, a drama.

SHAVES= To shave is to cut facial hair.

A TRIM= When you cut hair but just a little bit, only the ends.

RUSHES IN= To rush in is to come in very quickly.

 

 

 

 

Paul McCartney was sitting at a bus shelter waiting for John Lennon to meet him on Penny Lane, a street near their houses. While sitting there Paul jotted down the things he saw, including a barber's shop with pictures of its clients and a nurse selling poppies for Remembrance Day (November 11th or the day World War 1 officially ended). He later turned these into the song we now know. Penny Lane still contains the bank and barber's shop mentioned in the song, however the shelter in the middle of the roundabout where the nurse sells the poppies has now become a restaurant named Sgt. Pepper's Bistro.

While the song is called "Penny Lane" and is a road in Liverpool, the song is really a reference to the Penny Lane Bus Station (now gone) next to "The shelter in the middle of the roundabout" (now the Sgt. Peppers bistro). When the boys were young they used to meet at this bus station as it was a hub to get them anywhere else they wanted to go and was centrally located to all of them.

 
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