Now They Know How Many Holes it Takes to Fill the Albert Hall

There may be a lot of potholes in your town/county/state, but it's unlikely that they inspired a line in one of the most famous songs in rock history. Far from Abbey Road, but just up the road from Penny Lane, the terrible road conditions of Blackburn, Lancashire in the UK were newsworthy in the mid-1960's. 


A short article in the Daily Mail, "The holes in our roads" noted the prevalence of potholes in Blackburn. That prompted the line "Four-thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire" from the Beatles song "A Day in the Life".

"I read the news today, oh boy

Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire

And though the holes were rather small

They had to count them all

Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall

I'd love to turn you on..."

At that, I kind of understand wanting to transport yourself in newspaper taxis. Although by now I'm sure some have gone, and some remain.

One of, if not the greatest, songs by one of, if not the greatest, bands of all time had lyrical influences from a newspaper John Lennon was reading and included another lyrical set straight from the papers about an accident involving Tara Browne that had recently occurred:

"He blew his mind out in a car

He didn't notice that the lights had changed

A crowd of people stood and stared

They'd seen his face before

Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords"

The genius at hand was being able to turn a relatively benign set of objects into an incredible bit of music. So next time you complain about the potholes in your area, just remember they could eventually be fodder for some amazing music, assuming psychedelic rock turns you on like a dead man.

The Walrus was Paul. Thanks as always for reading!


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