Saturday, June 12, 2010

5/28/2010 – Day Eleven of England Tour: Strawberry Fields Forever


A good night’s sleep seemed so far away,

But it looks as though it came to stay,

Oh, I believe in yesterday…

Sleep came at the expense of

Experiencing the night life of Liverpool,

Its club in the ally with John Lennon’s statue

Across from Vivienne Westwood

Under a web of ally lights

That make every night a celebration—

But all that stuff looks well enough in daylight

On this tour of the city

And its Beatles sites and stores.

Who knew John Lennon,

As hippie as they come,

Mr. “Give Peace a Chance,”

Had a traumatic life?

Put up for adoption

To a tyrannical aunt,

Losing his mother

Within months of meeting her—

It’s a wonder he didn’t write a tell-all.

It would be better reading

Than Confessions of an Heiress, certainly.

Who wants to read about someone born into money

Over the classic rags-to-riches story?

McCartney once drafted a song called

“Sally Hawkins,”

About a girl who works maintenance at weddings—

It’s just a summer job, right?

Then it’s back to being a teen, come fall,

Back to chop shops and learning to drive

Stick shifts in Britain’s narrow streets.

The girl grew up to be

“Eleanor Rigby”

(Named for an actress and a grocery store),

Now an older woman, who

“Picks up rice in a church where a wedding has been,

Lives in a dream;

Waits at the window, wearing the face that she keeps

In a jar by the door—

Who is it for?”

A sadder song, it grew to be,

For there was hope for Sally Hawkins,

Who was young, with the world before her.

“Eleanor Rigby died in the church

And was buried along with her name—

Nobody came.”

McCartney knew how to aim for the hearts

Of his audience, young and old—

“All the lonely people (ah, look at all the lonely people),

Where do they come from?

All the lonely people (ah, look at all the lonely people),

Where do they belong?”

While I don’t live by the hippie maxim of

“All you need is love,”

We could all lend an ear to the Beatles’ song

“She’s Leaving Home.”

Stop me if you’ve heard this one:

Teen girl runs flees privileged life,

Parents gave her everything money could buy—

But life’s essentials have no price tag,

And she’s finding

“Something inside that was always denied for

So many years (bye-bye);

She’s leaving home (bye-bye).”

What is the Liver Bird, really?

Part spoonbill, part cormorant? A wyvern?

It’s only so visible from the ground

On top of the Liver Building.

1207 was the year of Liverpool’s City Charter,

Bestowed by King John,

Who wielded a seal with an eagle—

A seal that was lost during the siege of 1644,

And an imitation was made—

A cheap imitation, by the looks of it.

It’s a pseudo-eagle, then—a rogue species

That yearns to join the ranks of the noble eagles.

But it’s noble in its own right,

For if its statue were to fly away,

Liverpool would cease to exist—

Or so I read.

At the end of the day, I realize

There is some truth to the lyrics

“Living is easy with your eyes closed”—

While the song may say

Living is easy in Strawberry Fields, where

“Nothing is real and nothing to get hung about,”

Like Neverland freezes moments in time,

“Strawberry Fields forever,”

Living can be easy with eyes closed

When you skip a night on the town

To grab forty winks.


A good night’s sleep seemed so far away,

But it looks as though it’s here to stay,

Oh, I believe in yesterday…

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