Beatles Songs About Liverpool
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Beatles Songs About Liverpool

A look at the Beatles song that make reference to their hometown of Liverpool.

When it comes to songwriting, the Beatles are right up there at the top. In their time, they composed well over 200 songs - many have been covered many times by many different bands or artists. The Beatles, and especially John Lennon and Paul McCartney, drew influence for their songwriting from their personal experiences.

Considering that they all came from Liverpool, one would think that their hometown would feature quite heavily in their songwriting. The truth is though, there are not many Beatles songs about their hometown of Liverpool. 

Here we will take a look at the Beatles songs that do have some kind of reference to Liverpool in the lyrics.

Penny Lane

The lyrics to this Beatles song were nothing more than Paul McCartney taking a look at a suburban shopping street in Liverpool; albeit with a pair of psychedelic glasses firmly on. Originally meant for the Sgt Peppers album, instead it was released as a double A-side with Strawberry Fields Forever - kept off the number one spot by Please Release Me by Engelbert Humperdink. The pretty nurse selling poppies on a tray in the song lyrics was a real person; it was Beth Davidson, who had been a childhood friend of John Lennon.

 Strawberry Fields Forever

There is a Strawberry Field in Liverpool, it is a Salvation Army house located near to Menlove Avenue (where Lennon used to live). This Beatles song was written by John Lennon while he was busy 'acting' in the film How I Won The War - perhaps it was a pining for home that made him write about his hometown of Liverpool.

In My Life

The original lyrics to this song, written by John Lennon, described the bus ride he would take in his youth from Menlove Avenue into Liverpool centre. John Lennon decided to change the lyrics into something a bit less specific, turning it into less of a personal story and more of a song about general nostalgia. Interestingly, the original lyrics made reference to Penny Lane - an idea that was to be later used by Paul McCartney as the title for a song.

Eleanor Rigby

In St. Peter's churchyard in Woolton lies the grave of Eleanor Rigby (1895-1939). Paul McCartney, responsible for the song Eleanor Rigby, had visited St. Peter's church at a memorable garden fete in 1957 - perhaps he inadvertantly remembered the name he saw on the gravestone and when the time came he had a ready made song title.

Yellow Submarine

"In the town where I was born." - that's pretty much it in this Beatles song as far as a link to Liverpool.goes.

So there you have it. Eleanor Rigby could be put down as nothing more than coincidence, Yellow Submarine doesn't really count and In My Life only counts based on original lyrics - that leaves only two Beatles songs that make any sort of reference to their hometown of Liverpool in any way shape or form. Considering the Beatles often wrote about their own life and experiences, two songs about Liverpool from over 200 songs written seems very low indeed. It could be worse though, the Beatles never wrote any songs about their time in Hamburg.

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Comments (3)

Let it Be, I am a fan of John, Paul, George and Ringo.

Ranked #4 in Music & Musicians

Brilliant discussion, Alastair. It's fascinating to hear the inspiration behind these great songs.

Ranked #4 in Music & Musicians

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