Beatles: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Meaning
Song Released: 1967
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band Lyrics
Sergeant Pepper taught the band to play,
They've been going in and out of style,
But they're guaranteed to raise the smile,
So may I introduce to you,
The act you've known for all these years,
anonymous Feb 14th, 2:03pm report
I've heard from several sources that the beginning line "20 years ago today sgt pepper taught the band to play" is about Alister Crowley, a leading occult figure who claimed he was the beast from the bible, who died 20 years earlier than the album release. A picture of "sgt pepper" or crowley, is on the cover at the very top left hand side corner, he's the bald guy. The beatles essentially introduced America to the occult through their songs and well known interest in middle east mysticism. Phrases like do your own thing came from Crowley's writings, but his original was "do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law". The sgt jacket has been worn by numerous artists including the Rolling Stones where Mick also has on a wizards hat, and Michael Jackson. Its no coincidence that so many high profile bands and artists follow the occult, and even made alternate identities like the Beatles did, you can see them on the cover in their usual suits and then right next that, they are in the sgt colored jackets. One of the best examples is Led Zepplin, J. Page actually bought a house that belonged to Crowley. This may be uncomfortable for many but its well documented. George Harrison's song my sweet lord begins with the word hallelujah in the chorus, then it becomes Hare Krishna, then just Krishna. He is on record explaining he used a pop melody and hallalujah to lure people in, who would then also start singing Hare Krishna without thinking about it. Krishna is the lord of destruction. Not nearly as innocent and charming as we want to think they were.
anonymous Jul 22nd, 2013 7:11am report
Yea.. the Beatles always were cryptic with songs and always inserted hidden meanings and rumors. Billy Shears is indeed William Shakespeare.
But mainly two things were happening at the time. One thing was that they had stopped touring and needed a concept that re-created the image of a live music experience and Sgt Pepper's band tried to do this at the level of an album.
But the name of the concept band was taken from Paul's nickname for Jimmy Hendrix (Sgt Pepper). Hendrix had recently arrived on the London scene and was attracting a lot of attention, even from the Beatles.
Sgt pepper was a nickname that combined an English slang term for an African American (pepper) as in salt and pepper... Sgt was given because of Hendrik's Hussars Sgt military jacket which he bought at the second hand cloths store called "I Was Lord Kitchener’s Valet". Paul also shopped there and had taken notice of the jacket in the window before Hendrix bought it.
Paul was introduced to Hendrix by Chas Chandler and was taken by his style and ability. Three days after the album Sgt Peppers came out Hendrix was seen by Paul and John playing the song at the Saville Theatre as an acknowledgement.
The lonely hearts idea came after Hendrix had mentioned to several musicians in London that in the first months of his arrival in London he was a bit lonely and missing the US.
As the idea progressed, Paul bought similar Hussars military jackets in bright colors for all four Beatles which they used for the photo cover shot of the album. Hendrix was twenty years old when the lyrics were written.
anonymous Jan 18th, 2011 1:11am report
the song is actually part of the meaning to the whole ablum.. the whole album is about sgt. pepper who has to go to war and about his life.. lucy in the sky with diamonds is about his girl at home and how he has to get high to be with her.. and she's leaving home is about her being tired of waiting and leaving him.. and then he comes home in the second sgt peppers song and a day in the life is about him dreaming and waking up and having to get high to get back to that dream state
anonymous Oct 12th, 2010 10:16pm report
It was written by them for John's father wasn't it?
anonymous Dec 7th, 2009 12:48am report
It is a opening speech band's say a lot.(It's wonderful to be here
It's certainly a thrill
You're such a lovely audience
We'd like to take you home with us)they took bits and peaces of these thing band say(We're Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
We hope you will enjoy the show
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Sit back and let the evening go)
anonymous Jun 7th, 2006 6:03pm report
This is pretty much the opening of the album, letting us all know that each Beatle has taken on a different persona to become, not The Beatles, but Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. It here to give the listener the feeling of a live show (hence the crowd applause and laughter). I don't think it's anything more than a proper introduction to the album and the "new band."
anonymous Jan 28th, 2006 1:14pm report
Didn't they all have gimmiks? Paul was the walrus, Ringo was Billy Shears. I think it was supposed to be if Ringo ruled the Beatles, they'd come out with that kind of stuff.
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