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An Irish Heir and A Beatles Song

I often wonder what inspired the lyrics of some of my favorite songs. Most times I'm sure my interpretation is so far the other side of truth that if I were to share my reasoning I'd be looked at as, well, kinda crazy. Since I enjoy the music so much, I tend to keep those interpretations to myself so as not to ruin my idea of what a song means to me (and to avoid what I'm sure would only be described as hilarious ridicule).

So, here's the actual facts that inspired A Day In The Life, that famous track on The Beatles Sgt. Pepper's album.

Tara Browne was living life to the fullest in Swinging 60s London. The Irish socialite was the son of Dominick Browne, a Baron and member of The House of Lords (from 1927 to 1999 - serving longer than anyone up to that point) and Oonagh Guinness, the youngest of the three daughters born to the famous brewing family.

While Tara had married early, at the age of 18, to Noreen (Nicky) MacSherry and had two sons with her, they were estranged in 1966 when, in March of that year, he threw himself a 21st birthday party at the family estate, Luggala, in Ireland. The party was so lavish that it included two private jets to fly his 200 guests (a guest list that included Mick Jagger, Brian Jones, Anita Pallenberg and Paul McCartney) up to Ireland for the festivities.

On 17 December of that same year, Tara was driving his Lotus Elan accompanied by his girlfriend, model Suki Portier, in the Chelsea neighborhood of South Kensington, London. He ran a red light at the intersection of Redcliffe Square and Redcliffe Gardens at a high rate of speed that resulted in his crashing into a parked van. Suki Portier claimed that he knew the collision was imminent and swerved to take the brunt of the impact to save her life. Tara died of his injuries a few hours later. He was 21 years old.

While accounts vary between what John Lennon reportedly told Playboy Magazine in a 1980 interview and how Paul McCartney remembers the collaboration of how the song came together, the lyrics seem to tell the story:

He blew his mind out in a car

He didn't notice that the lights had changed

A crowd of people stood and stared

They'd seen his face before

Nobody was really sure

If he was from the House of Lords

Tara's widow, Nicky, launched a public legal battle after Tara's death in an attempt to keep custody of their two young boys but a judge concluded the boys would be best suited to live with their grandmother who was also seeking custody.

I guess inspiration comes in many forms. Perhaps my take on some songs really isn't that left of center. Either way, I think I'll still keep them to myself. 😂

The Chelsea neighborhood has incredible rock and roll history. Check out our video tour of Some Chelsea Places to visit what was the epicenter of Swinging 60s London.

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photo credit of crash picture: digital

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