Born of John Lennon’s post-touring retreat into suburban daydreaming, ‘Good Morning Good Morning’ was inspired by a Kellogg’s commercial he heard while working with the television playing in the background.

‘Good Morning’ is mine. It’s a throwaway, a piece of garbage, I always thought. The ‘Good morning, good morning’ was from a Kellogg’s cereal commercial. I always had the TV on very low in the background when I Was writing and it came over and then I wrote the song.
John Lennon
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

The Kellogg’s jingle went:

Good morning, good morning
The best to you each morning
Sunshine breakfast, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
Crisp and full of sun…
Sunshine breakfast, Kellogg’s Corn Flakes
Best for everyone

With time signatures varying almost from bar-to-bar, the unruly meter in ‘Good Morning Good Morning’ was a result of Lennon’s tendency to write words first before fitting the music around them.

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.

The sound effects at the end of the song were taken from EMI’s sound effects tapes: Volume 35: Animals and Bees and Volume 57: Fox-hunt, and were used in a particular order at Lennon’s insistence.

John said to me during one of the breaks that he wanted to have the sound of animals escaping and that each successive animal should be capable of frightening or devouring its predecessor! So those are not just random effects, there was actually a lot of thought put into all that.

Starting with a cock crowing, ‘Good Morning Good Morning’ later features a 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.

‘Good Morning Good Morning’ was also adorned with brass, courtesy of session musicians from Sounds Inc, an instrumental group who had first met The Beatles at the Star-Club in Hamburg in April 1962.

John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for Good Morning Good Morning

In the studio

The Beatles began work on ‘Good Morning Good Morning’ on 8 February 1967. They recorded eight takes, the final of which was considered best.

On 16 February vocals and bass guitar were added. The somewhat chaotic recording as it stood at this stage can be heard on the Anthology 2 collection, with a different vocal but minus the various overdubs that were later added.

The song was then left until 13 March, when the brass overdubs were recorded.

They spent a long time doing the overdub, about three hours or maybe longer, but John Lennon thought it sounded too straight. So we ended up flanging, limiting and compressing it, anything to make it sound unlike brass playing. It was typical John Lennon – he just wanted it to sound weird.
Richard Lush, tape operator
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

On 28 March Lennon recorded new lead vocals, and Paul McCartney performed the song’s guitar solo. Lennon and McCartney then taped backing vocals. The animal sound effects were also assembled, although they weren’t added until the next day.

Previous song: ‘Lovely Rita’
Next song: ‘Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)’
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