The Real Story Behind “Strawberry Fields Forever” By The Beatles
via Rock Music Revival / Youtube
One of the Beatles’ finest works, Strawberry Fields Forever” was written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon-McCartney. It was released by the group as a single, along with “Penny Lane” as a double A-side, around the year 1967.
While playing the character of Private Gripweed in the Richard Lester film How I Won the War in the fall of 1966, Lennon penned the song during his time in Almeria, Spain for six weeks. Lennon explained the details of his songwriting in the 1980 interview for All We Are Saying.
“Dick Lester offered me the part in this movie, which gave me time to think without going home. We were in Almería, and it took me six weeks to write the song. I was writing it all the time I was making the film. And as anybody knows about film work, there’s a lot of hanging around.”
Paul McCartney, Lennon’s songwriting partner, knew about Strawberry Field, a Salvation Army children’s home near John Lennon’s childhood home in Woolton.
“I’ve seen Strawberry Field described as a dull, grimy place next door to him that John imagined to be a beautiful place, but in the summer it wasn’t dull and grimy at all: it was a secret garden,” McCartney said. “John’s memory of it wasn’t to do with the fact that it was a Salvation Army home; that was up at the house. There was a wall you could bunk over and it was a rather wild garden, it wasn’t manicured at all, so it was easy to hide in.”
A trip on LSD shifted the song’s focus from sentimental reminiscence to introspection. At times obscured by inarticulacy and psychedelic feelings, Lennon’s self-doubt came to the fore. He also considers the song to be one of the best he made, and “the ones I really wrote from experience.”
“The second line goes, ‘No one I think is in my tree.’ Well, what I was trying to say in that line is ‘Nobody seems to be as hip as me, therefore I must be crazy or a genius,’” Lennon added.
You can check out the video below for further details.