display | more...

As if "Got To Get You Into My Life" didn't fully cover Paul's passion and respect of marijuana as a stress manager, "Fixing A Hole" (track 5 on the much-lauded Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band) once again restates his position that marijuana is the one thing keeping him together in times of trouble ("Mother Mary come to me", indeed.)

Melodically, the song shows why the collaboration between Lennon and McCartney was always tinged with dissonance and contrast. While the melody of the song itself pads along in F minor (with Paul's bass providing a lovely bouncy feel to the slow clunk of Ringo's percussion), with its definite musical trickery of turning i-IV into ii-V in the brain through the clever use of vocal improvisation away from the first tone, John's bridge is defiantly in the modal major of C. He abandons most of the chording and verse structure of Paul, and yet the song has its strongest flourishes in the bluesy riffs that categorize most of John's work, which make a pleasant but forgettable song into a memorable one. The song itself makes a strong musical reference to "Michelle", which, in addition to its Greek rhythms and chromatic progressions copied here, also was written in F minor.

Lyrically, the song is fairly straightforward, with a metaphor for fixing a hole in the roof with fixing a hole in your life. Many people thought incorrectly that the song was based on an actual thatching job by the venerable Sir Paul, but he just laughed at the idea when pressed about it. He points out the line "if I'm wrong, I'm right where I belong," as a major step forward, and admittedly, the laid-back soulful feel of the vocals give a very drugged-out cadence. As a follow up to "Getting Better", the song also serves as a direct link to the self-improvement mantra of the middle part of Sgt. Pepper's. The BBC suspected at the time that the song was about heroin (hence the "fix") and refused to play the song on the air.

For Paul is dead phenomenologists, the song title is the only relevant clue to the demise of McCartney, suggesting that Billy Shears was "fixing a hole" in the band on this album.

The song was recorded on February 9 and 21, 1967, at Regent Sound Studio, and produced by George Martin. John provided background vocals and shook the maracas, George did the guitar solo and sang a bit, Ringo played drums, and Paul did the rest, including the lovely out-of-place harpsichord solo that opens the tune.

It has been covered by, among others, The Bee Gees, Hue & Cry, and everlasting funny man George Burns. Portions of this song (a non-album take) were interspliced with the avant-garde recordings of February 5, 1967, to create the (in)famous "Carnival of Light" song that was kept underground until its widespread release in 2002. Replete with gargling water, screaming, and back masking, I can only hear the faintest bit of this song in the recording. But there it is, all the same.

Fixing A Hole
(Lennon/McCartney)

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
and stops my mind from wandering
where it will go
I'm filling the cracks that ran though the door
and kept my mind from wandering
where it will go

And it really doesn't matter if I'm wrong
I'm right where I belong
I'm right where I belong
See the people standing there
who disagree and never win
and wonder why they don't get in my door

I'm painting my room in a colorful way,
and when my mind is wandering
there I will go

And it really doesn't matter if I'm wrong
I'm right where I belong
I'm right where I belong
Silly people run around
they worry me and never ask me
why they don't get past my door

I'm taking my time for a number of things
that weren't important yesterday
and I still go

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
and stops my mind from wandering
where it will go
where it will go
I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
and stops my mind from wandering
where it will go

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Getting Better | She's Leaving Home

Log in or register to write something here or to contact authors.