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Song Of The Week - Lovely Rita

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Kangaroo Kev:
LYRICS

Lovely Rita meter maid
Lovely Rita meter maid

Lovely Rita meter maid,
Nothing can come between us.
When it gets dark I tow your heart away.

Standing by a parking meter,
When I caught a glimpse of Rita,
Filling in a ticket in her little white book.
In a cap she looked much older,
And the bag across her shoulder
Made her look a little like a military man.

Lovely Rita meter maid,
May I inquire discreetly,
When are you free to take some tea with me?
(Rita!)

Took her out and tried to win her.
Had a laugh and over dinner,
Told her I would really like to see her again.
Got the bill and Rita paid it.
Took her home I nearly made it,
Sitting on the sofa with a sister or two.

Oh, lovely Rita meter maid,
Where would I be without you?
Give us a wink and make me think of you.



Paul McCartney wrote this as if he fell for a meter maid while she was taking his plate number. Said Paul: "I was bopping about on the piano in Liverpool when someone told me that in America, they call parking-meter women meter maids. I thought that was great, and it got to 'Rita Meter Maid' and then "Lovely Rita Meter Maid' and I was thinking vaguely that it should be a hate song: 'You took my car away and I'm so blue today' and you wouldn't be liking her; but then I thought it would be better to love her and if she was very freaky too, like a military man, with a bag on her shoulder. A foot stomper, but nice. The song was imagining if somebody was there taking down my number and I suddenly fell for her, and the kind of person I'd be, to fall for a meter maid, would be a shy office clerk and I'd say, 'May I inquire discreetly when you are free to take some tea with me.' Tea, not pot. It's like saying 'Come and cut the grass' and then realizing that could be pot, or the old teapot could be something about pot. But I don't mind pot and I leave the words in. They're not consciously introduced just to say pot and be clever." (from Beatles In Their Own Words)

IN THE STUDIO

Recording began on 23 February 1967 in Abbey Road's studio two. Eight takes of the rhythm track were recorded, with George Harrison and John Lennon on acoustic guitars, Ringo playing the drums and Paul on piano. Take eight was the best, and onto this McCartney added his bass part.

The next day his lead vocals were taped, following which Lovely Rita was left until 7 March. On that day the song's distinctive backing vocals and sound effects were recorded. Led by John Lennon, The Beatles made various groaning, sighing and screaming noises, played paper and combs, and added some cha-cha-chas for good measure.

The paper and combs can best be heard immediately before the line "When it gets dark I tow your heart away". The Beatles' assistant Mal Evans was sent to collect paper from Abbey Road's lavatory. Stamped with the words, "Property of EMI", the paper was threaded into hair combs and blown, giving a kazoo-like effect.

On 21 March George Martin recorded the song's piano solo. It was recorded with the tape machine running at 41¼ cycles per second, and was mixed at 48¾ cycles. This made the solo much faster and higher pitched than it had been during the recording.

As with the backing vocals, the piano was plastered in tape echo, and also varispeeded to give a honky-tonk effect.

Geoff Emerick;

I used to try out funny things in odd moments and I discovered that by putting sticky tape over the capstan of a tape machine you could wobble the tape on the echo machine, because we used to delay the feed into the echo chamber by tape. So I suggested we did this using a piano sound. The Beatles themselves couldn't think what should go into the song's middle eight and they didn't really like my idea at first, but it turned out fine in the end because of the effect. It gave the piano a sort of honky-tonk feel. In fact, Paul asked me to play the solo when I made the suggestion but I was too embarrassed.


PERSONNEL

Recorded: 23, 24 February; 7, 21 March 1967
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

Released: 1 June 1967 (UK), 2 June 1967 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals, piano, bass, comb and paper
John Lennon: backing vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, comb and paper
George Harrison: backing vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, comb and paper
Ringo Starr: drums, comb and paper
George Martin: piano

Hello Goodbye:
Paul sings the "aaaaaahhs" at the beginning of this song the same way he does them in A Day In The Life.

Hello Goodbye:
 ;D

Klang:

Never liked it much at first. Now it's one of my faves from the album. Funny how that changes.

 :)

blmeanie:

--- Quote from: Hello Goodbye on May 18, 2013, 02:05:01 AM ---Paul sings the "aaaaaahhs" at the beginning of this song the same way he does them in A Day In The Life.

--- End quote ---

Funny, I thought the opening ahhhhhs were John on Rita? ;D

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