Beatles: Penny Lane Meaning
Song Released: 1967
Penny Lane Lyrics
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...
anonymous Aug 26th, 8:11am report
Another brilliant song with many interpretations, Paul always said the music came before the lyrics and John and him would add or subtract words, so this song is about a neighborhood,but remember the time the song was written they were young men and had many ideas, so basically interpret what you will ut enjoy the song!
charioteer Jun 12th, 2012 6:10pm report
The whole thing may be about sex, drugs and rock and roll.
The barber sells condoms, drugs or allows his barber salon to be used as the venue for gay sex.Therefore having photos of all the heads he's ever known (head being a reference to oralsex, giving head)
The reference to the banker is the fact that he is quite wealthy and represents middleclass closeted homosexuality.
I also like the reference that he may be a flasher who does not wear a mac (Macintosh raincoat) in the rain, but wears one when he is flashing in good weather.
Never wears a mack in the pouring rain can also mean never wearing a condom.
The references to rain and good weather at the same time, ie blue suburban skies, and Penny Lane being in his ears and his eyes is the references to the effects of LSD taking over his brain.
Penny Lane being in the writer'sears and in his eyes may also be the writer now as a grown adult analysing the images and experiences of his childhood and now putting these things into context, not knowing what they meant as a child but now understanding the behaviour he witnessed of people in his neighbourhood when he was a kid.
The fireman, banker and barber are all symbols of ordinary English middle and working class respectability, but these quite ordinary folk whilst respectable on the surface are either drug addicts, perverts, or closeted gays.
The poppies being sold by the girl are not the red type of Rememberence Day ,she is selling cakes laced with hashish (opium poppies)or sex.
These all seemingless innocent people all meet at the barber shop for one thing or another, abit like the characters in an Agatha Cristie 'play'.
I may be way off mark but i have always wondered about that song and maybe i may have hit something but no one can say for sure except the writers.
anonymous May 30th, 2012 5:01pm report
When they were waiting for the bus as children there was a barber shop across from the bus stop and about people entering and exiting it
anonymous Jan 25th, 2012 1:33am report
penny lane is not about the literal street or place. penny lane is about the money or wealth that circulate our lives,"Penny Lane is in my ears and in my eyes". The "hourglass" it represents that all people's time will running out and all back to dust. And in some part it mentions the relationship of every people to each other.
anonymous Oct 18th, 2011 10:48pm report
I have heard that the Beatles intentionally stuffed this song full of inuendo in reaction to people claiming all of their songs were about something else.
"every head he's had the pleasure to know"
"come and go"
"wear a mack" = wear a condom
"keeps his fire engine clean" = has sex frequently
"fish and finger pie"
"shaves another customer"
Glenn E. Boley Oct 18th, 2011 10:38am report
While still in High School, in 1972, my father's business associate, a Liverpudlian, explained this song to me line by line. I can't remember the significance of a few of the innuendos, e.g., the barber "showing photographs of every head he's had the pleasure to know," but most of it is pretty clear in my mind.
The banker was a flasher - he never wore a mac (raincoat) in the pouring rain, because he wore it when it wasn't raining. The little children laughed at him behind his back because they knew.
I can't remember the significance of fireman's hourglass - maybe a pocket watch, but there is a portrait of the Queen in every Brit's pocket (coins & bills). He plays "pocket pool" - fondling himself and keeping his fire engine clean. He uses the digging for coins excuse to cover for his proclivities.
A four of fish and finger pies - in summer - refers to "fingering" the girls when they wore short skirts (who, obviously, are somewhat fishy spelling). Blame Sir Paul, not me, for the innuendo.
The pretty nurse selling poppies from a tray was selling heroin. Plus, it referred to a local holiday, and brings in a little LSD insight (feels as if she's in a play).
All and all, a great bit of R & R trivia!
anonymous Sep 12th, 2011 9:05am report
Penny Lane is about things in Paul's childhood. They are all places near his home on or near the street called Penny Lane. The barber shop is next to the round-a-bout where the nurse was selling poppies. The round-a-bout is also near the church where Paul and George sang in the choir. It is just about memories of Paul's childhood.
anonymous May 10th, 2011 5:59pm report
Well, yes, we all know what the song is about--a suburban neighborhood. That's hardly revealing. But what makes it such a great song? For me, it's the notion of the smallness and simplicity of these people. A fireman keeps a portrait of the queen in his pocket. A barber shaves another customer. Their lives are small, and yet, there's some mystery in them--maybe in the very smallness of their actions. The banker doesn't wear a coat in the rain. The pretty nurse feels like she's in a play. The fireman rushes in (without explanation). It's this pretty, nostalgic picture, yet the song seems to suggest that there's something underneath it that defies such a pat categorization.
love4twilight May 15th, 2009 5:45pm report
well, penny lane is an interpretation of what the Beatles saw in their street,or a district.i dont care!!!But it is a bigger version of the amazing things we see in our home towns,big or small,famous or not. we all love our home towns and this is a song about the loving people and amazing things that can happen where no one expects them.
I KNOW, I AM NEW SO IM SAYING HELLO TO EVERYONE OUT THERE.CHECK OUT MY PROFILE, ITIS AWESOME JUST TO SAY THE LEAST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
anonymous Apr 1st, 2009 4:38pm report
Penny lane is about a street In England that Paul used to drove a city bus for, this song is his recollection of that same bus route day after day
Anoniminion Sep 1st, 2008 9:02pm report
Man I hope the acid trip suggestion was a joke. For some reason everyone thinks EVERY song by the Beatles is about things such as drugs. They weren't high during every album they ever made. In fact, they were high on MAYBE one or two of the albums, and personally, I think the only one is Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band.
This interpretation has been marked as poor. view anyway
anonymous Feb 11th, 2007 2:38pm report
That tradition isn't actually Italian. It's Greek. The greeks placed coins on the eyes of the dead so that when they were on their way to Hades they would have money to pay the boatman, Phlegyas (or Charon), to cross the River Styx. The tradition just was adopted by other cultures over time, especially the Latins (Italian, Spanish, etc.)
That being said, I doubt it was about heaven and placing coins on the dead because their is an actual Penny Lane and all those places in the song are real. I think maybe it's just about a happy place that brings back good memories.
anonymous Nov 16th, 2006 11:00pm report
it's about a girl named penny lane not stfu'ing
anonymous Jul 13th, 2006 7:08pm report
There is an old Italian tradition of putting pennies in the ears and eyes of dead people. "Penny Lane" could be a metaphor, and this suburban neighborhood could be the Beatles' vision of heaven.
anonymous Apr 8th, 2006 4:06pm report
You're kind of right. It's not referring to Penny Lane the road as most people think but Penny Lane the district. The district contains all the things mentioned in the song.
anonymous Feb 16th, 2006 2:28pm report
Actually it's about the area close to Penny Lane. Smithdown Place mostly and Smithdown road goping onto Allerton Road and less about Penny Lane - this purely sounded better lyrically...
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