I was still only three years old when I was allowed to stay up late, already in my pyjamas, of course, to watch The Beatles when they debuted on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964.
The Beatles have remained a part of my life ever since, coming in and out in greater measure when they went through various stages and events: in 1970, when they started to record solo works; in 1980, when John Lennon was the victim of a senseless gun homicide; when George Harrison died in 2001; and in September 2018, when I used a fairly hefty wad of my inheritance from my parents to score Sweety and me tickets to see Paul McCartney play live in Winnipeg, Canada. (I remember walking out of Bell MTS Place after the concert that night, looking up to the dark sky and calling out, “thanks, Mum and Dad.”)
And while I don’t often sit down and listen to the band, I have many of their records on vinyl, CD or digital. I do, however, savour hearing stories from my brothers, all older, who were more in tune with the music scene and the “British Invasion” which was touched off in 1963 with the first single of the “Fab Four,” “Please Please Me.”
In 1964, as “Beatlemania” took hold, Life magazine said, “In  England lost her American colonies. Last week the Beatles took them back.”
Today on Mothers’ Day in the United Kingdom, Guy Garvey played “Here Comes the Sun” on the “Guy Celebrates Mother’s Day with His Mother” episode of BBC 6 Music’s Guy Garvey’s Finest Hour. The song was a recommendation from his mum, Shirley Harrington, and was introduced with her reminiscence of the band’s rise when she was younger and her children were growing.
There is also a very lovely spoken piece by Mrs. Harrington at the end of the program, introducing Joni Mitchell singing, “A Case of You.” It’s truly worth your time if you only listen to even those last few minutes of the program, though I enjoyed the whole program… Guy Garvey is a weekly treat. The episode can be found here for the next 29 days or so.
And on the theme of parenthood, while speaking with my lads today, and perhaps nagging them a touch, I was mindful of the worries my parents faced in their lives, as I worry about the safety of our family, like we all do these days in the COVID-19 crisis.
Life sometimes seems a little bleak in this late stage of winter while the cold weather persists and dirty ice and snow remain, covering all that will be green in a few months. Add to that the current uncertainty, and it’s easy to become overwhelmed, fearful and hopeless. But the clear sky this afternoon and the promise of spring made me think again of the song played on Garvey’s program. Hearing “Here Comes the Sun” today, the memories flooded back. And hope, too.
Keep safe folks, keep healthy, wash your hands and all that important stuff; and, it doesn’t hurt to add in some hope and to dream about being out there, embracing all the close people in our lives, while the world keeps turning and life slowly returns to normal, or maybe a new and better normal.
(And on the topic of hope and dreaming, I’ll add my dream to soon be slicing through the outside air on my bike. It’s my goal to do a 100-kilometre ride this year after doing 60 kilometres on what would have been my dad’s 100th birthday last autumn. When I clip out from that ride, I’ll pull out my phone and play this song.)
Now you know a little about why this is my song of the day for today. Thanks for joining me here, and please enjoy.
Here’s the official video for the 2019 mix of “Here Comes the Sun,” from The Beatles’ YouTube channel: