The Christmas #1 December 1965.
A double A side (kids, ask your parents) with “Day Tripper” and a collaboration between Lennon, McCartney and Harrison and featuring a foot-pumped “Salvation Army” harmonium, it just wouldn’t sound the same without the harmonium would it ?
I love this song, its so evocative to me, I hear it and I’m in the living room of our bungalow in Wrenbury Avenue for our second Christmas trying to pretend that we are posh now living in a new build suburb with wide concrete streets and the countryside just two minutes from our door, we have trees, something that we never had in Burley, we had an oak tree in our actual garden, an oak tree and some silver birch trees, remnants of the old Moseley Wood which in days of yore was permitted to be uprooted in order to build our posh new suburb.
There are Action Men and probably Lego for Christmas that year, me and Ned always got Action Man and Lego, we share a bedroom and on Boxing Day our Great Aunt Beattie and our Grandmother comes to stay and they share our bedroom too, our dad goes off to the rugby, comes home drunk at some random time in the afternoon and we all eat cold leftovers from Christmas Day while we watch a delayed transmission of the rugby match on telly and our dad drunkenly tells us when all the scores are going to happen, just before they happen, and in this way the result is already known long before its over, “Thats the last try” he’ll say ten minutes from time before turning the channel to the other side (yes kids, two channels, count them).
Last night I treated myself to a Christmas gift of The Beatles “1” album, an album of all their number 1 hits plus a book and a video and all the sleeve notes (isn’t iTunes good), and also the best Beatles album ever recorded, “Abbey Road” and in doing so I used technology that is commonplace in almost every home across the world (ok, apart from bits of Africa and maybe in Bradford), using terminology that would have been simple gobble-de-gook to me at Christmas 1965, and a format for both the recordings and the reading of the books and sleeve notes that would have been unusable to the ten year old me – when I was ten I thought we’d be living on the moon by now, we might not be there yet but we are living in a completely different world now.