Beatles – Good Morning Good Morning

Somebody needs to know the time, glad that I’m here
Watching the skirts you start to flirt now you’re in gear

I was 10 when I bought Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band…10 years after it was released. It came with the same cutouts as it did in 1967. I remember taking hours and looking over the album cover. You would find faces you didn’t see before and I remember spotting Stuart Sutcliffe, the former Beatles bassist and the man who was most responsible for coming up with the band’s name.

Here is Stuart (left) on the cover and the picture they took it from. 

Stuart Sutcliffe on Sgt Pepper

The Cutout page that came with Sgt Pepper. 

Sgt Pepper Cutouts

The song started out with a rooster crowing and ends with a chicken clucking. Good Morning Good Morning was inspired by a Corn Flake commercial. Lennon would always leave the TV on and sometimes with the volume turned down. He saw an ad for Corn Flakes and the song came to him. “Good Morning Good Morning…the best to you each morning.” I’ll have the video at the bottom of the post.

As a youngster, I enjoyed this song and Lovely Rita. The only song that was hard for me to grasp on the album was Within You Without You…because it was so different. In time, it became one of my favorites on the album.

I love the horns in this song and McCartneys stinging guitar solo in this one. Ringo’s drumming also stands out on this track…the sound and the playing are outstanding. His cymbols sound like a steam engine with the compression they ran on them.

This song is one of the most technically challenging songs they wrote. It was highly aggressive and complex, with a loud french horn, animal noises, pounding drums, strong vocals, and a large amount of intricate strumming guitars. The time signature to this song is all over the place…3/4, 5/4, 4/4, 12/8… but the song doesn’t sound forced or disjointed. This track is an example of how great Ringo is as a drummer. This and his work on A Day In The Life. He had to play in many different styles because John, Paul, and George wrote so many different styles of songs.

One of the most interesting things about the song is the end of it. Various animal sounds are put together but they had a purpose. The animal sounds were dubbed in from a sound effects disc. They were arranged in order of creatures capable of eating or chasing the one before, at Lennon’s request. And at the very end…was a very cool effect. A clucking chicken suddenly turns into a guitar lick when it melts into Sgt Pepper’s Reprise.

Six brass players were involved in this session, three saxophonists, two trombonists, and one French horn player. George Martin was excellent at mixing horns with Beatle songs. Got To Get You Into My Life is another example of that. They are not regulated to the background like other songs. They are upfront and have a fat sound to them.

This song was also the first song The Beatles ever licensed, while they were together, to be used in a show. It was in the last Monkees episode (“The Frodis Caper”) which was totally surreal…not like the formula driven episodes of the first season. It was kinda like The Simpsons meet Green Acres.

John Lennon: “I often sit at the piano, working at songs, with the telly on low in the background, if I’m a bit low and not getting much done, then the words on the telly come through. That’s when I heard ‘Good morning, good morning.’ It was a corn flakes advertisement. I was never proud of it. I just knocked it off to do a song.”

Paul McCartney: “John was feeling trapped in suburbia and was going through some problems with Cynthia, it was about his boring life at the time. There’s a reference in the lyrics to ‘nothing to do’ and ‘meet the wife’; there was an afternoon TV soap called ‘Meet The Wife’ that John watched, he was that bored, but I think he was also starting to get alarm bells and so ‘Good morning, good morning.’”

Micky Dolenz (drummer for the Monkees): “And I’ll never forget it.  John Lennon looks up at me and says, ‘Hey Monkee Man!…You want to hear what we’re working on?’…And he points up to George Martin and I remember this so clearly…He’s wearing a three-piece suit…and he pushes a button on a four-track tape recorder and I hear the tracks to ‘Good Morning Good Morning.’…And then we sit around and then I remember some guy with a white coat and tie came in with tea…’Tea time, eh!’ And we sat around a little table and had really God-awful tea. And then everybody sat around and then we were chatting – ‘What’s it like, The Monkees?,’ me again trying to be so cool. And then I think it was John that went, ‘Right lads, down in the mines.’ And they went back to work.” .

Sgt Pepper

Just in case you wanted to know who was who on the cover. 

Sgt Pepper Cover who is who

This is the commercial that inspired John Lennon

I couldn’t find a version of Good Morning Good Morning going into the Sgt Pepper Reprise. You have to listen to the end of Good Morning and the beginning of the Reprise to hear it. The album of course plays them together…there is no space between the songs. 

Good Morning Good Morning

Nothing to do to save his life call his wife in
Nothing to say but what a day how’s your boy been
Nothing to do it’s up to you
I’ve got nothing to say but it’s okay
Good morning, good morning

Going to work don’t want to go feeling low down
Heading for home you start to roam then you’re in town
Everybody knows there’s nothing doing
Everything is closed it’s like a ruin
Everyone you see is half asleep
And you’re on your own you’re in the street
Good morning, good morning

After a while you start to smile now you feel cool
Then you decide to take a walk by the old school
Nothing has changed it’s still the same
I’ve got nothing to say but it’s okay
Good morning, good morning

People running round it’s five o’clock
Everywhere in town is getting dark
Everyone you see is full of life
It’s time for tea and meet the wife
Somebody needs to know the time, glad that I’m here
Watching the skirts you start to flirt now you’re in gear
Go to a show you hope she goes
I’ve got nothing to say but it’s okay
Good morning, good morning

cat, dogs barking, horses, sheep, lions, elephants, a fox being chased by dogs with hunters’ horns being blown, then a cow and finally a hen.


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

34 thoughts on “Beatles – Good Morning Good Morning”

  1. Some great insight into Good Morning, my bowl of Corn Flakes will never be the same. I enjoyed the breakdown of the parts of the song, I never really thought about the importance of the animal sounds. Thanks for the Album cover legend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. No problem…I always liked this song and it’s strange timing.
      When the chicken turned into a guitar…I thought how cool.


  2. Great work, Max! I gave that album to my sister for Christmas in 1967. Now you have me remembering that Christmas morning, listening to this alternating with The Velvet Underground and Nico. I’m not sure how my parents handled it. I’d never thought about the order of the animals or the rhythmic complexity – you had me counting beats when I listened just now. I remember a version of that Corn Flakes song but (luckily) not the actual commercial. Thanks for kicking off my day! Now for a bike ride out in the country.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post! Lots of interesting trivia in there about the animal sounds and the Monkees – had no idea they’d ever used a Beatles tune in there! Also very cool to see the LP insert , I remember there being a copy of it around when I was a child but never saw that in it. My brother probably took that and had fun with it when he was about 8 or 9. Also good you pointed out the job Ringo did on it – he really had his hands full (literally) with some of their ever-changing time signatures.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Dave! This was a fun post and I never tried to play this song but I watched that guy count out the time signature…wow…I always read where John had a weird sense of rhythm…you can hear it on Give Peace A Chance…not out of time exactly but comes close.


    1. George always came up with something that fit perfectly so I know it would have been good.
      I could see the others being frustrated by Paul…in a good way. The man can play bass, guitar, piano, and drums way above average on each. I want to admire that…and I want to hate him lol. It comes easier to some than others.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. A thought has stuck in my mind about how John learned to play lead guitar only after George tried to get some of the songs he wrote on albums as if to say stay in your own lane or this is what happens. What are your thoughts on that? Be honest!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh it very well could have been. I’m sure they had petty jealousies like everyone else. George and John…had an odd relationship…in some ways he treated him worse than Paul did sometimes…but they ended up much closer except at the end of John’s life.

        This was really the only album I’ve heard George speak bad about…George didn’t show up to many sessions (that is why Paul played)…and Ringo and John didn’t rate the experience highly at all except Paul. The reason is…they didn’t play together…they had to make it in sections because of the complexity of it. It was boring for the others…Ringo learned chess during the sessions lol. They liked the music but didn’t like the sessions…6 months in a studio.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Another song where they were light years away from standard fare like, f’rinstance, the Buckinghams, ‘Kind Of A Drag.’ Not a bad song but so lightweight compared to anything on Sgt Pepper,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I was amazed on how fresh it still sounded. I haven’t listened to this album in a few years but the horns are so fresh. Yea I can see what you are saying.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I remember when the Monkees appeared on the scene and my sister called them “the new Beatles” (which probably came from “Teen Beat” or some such teenybopper magazine). Then I found out they answered a casting call for a TV show to make a fake band to capitalize on the “madcap” Beatles from their movies. I looked down my nose at them and knew that they weren’t a real band. Mike Nesmith even said, “They know when they look at the television series that we’re not a rock ‘n’ roll band; … nobody for a minute believes that we are somehow this accomplished rock ‘n’ roll band that got their own television show.” It seems fitting that they would honor the Beatles by using the song. I only came to appreciate any of their music years later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The one thing I can say about them…I’m not famous of course but they got me into rock music by watching their show a generation later. I thought they were still a band when I was 7 in the seventies. I found The Beatles a year later and that was that.
      But…other musicians of two or three generations were influenced by them. They made it look fun…but once I was in a band…it wasn’t all fun and living on a beach….it was the real world…politics and egos.
      Micheal Stipe of REM said they influenced him greatly.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. We were both technically late lol…we were not even one when it was released…but in 1977 it was a new album to me.


  6. I never knew that Stockhausen was in the picture. He’s dead now – went a bit nuts. Thought his son was from Sirius and the reincarnation of John the Baptist. But I did go through a Stockhausen phase of liking his music!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lots of great background on a tune that honestly I wouldn’t have minded if it had been removed from “Sgt. Pepper” and been replaced with “Strawberry Fields Forever”. That said, your post gave me new appreciation of the song’s impressive complexities.

    I also think another great substitution would have been “She’s Leaving Home” for “Penny Lane.”

    While “Sgt. Pepper” is my favorite Beatles album, others like “Abbey Road”, “Let It Be”, “The Beatles” and “Revolver” come pretty close. Had “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane” been included on “Sgt. Pepper”, it would be my clear no. 1.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh I like this one….I was 10 when I got it and the two that I really went for are probably two of the weakest…this one and Lovely Rita.

      Oh Penny Lane and SFF would have made it so much better I admit. It would rise up for me if they would have been on it.

      I love the horns on this and Paul’s guitar solo

      Liked by 1 person

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