Norton of Morton

Read a new instalment of Norton of Morton every Saturday at 4 o'clock

Saturday 8 December 2012

The day the music died

In which G.M. Norton reveals his admiration for John Lennon and gives a gentlemanly twist to his most iconic song.

On this day in 1980, John Lennon’s life tragically ended when a lunatic fired a gun into his back. A rotter, if ever there was one.

The 40-year-old musician left a considerable legacy; his life and influential style is continuing to make a lasting impression more than 30 years later. Considering I wasn’t even alive during the former Beatle's short life only reinforces the impact he has had on men and women across the globe.

I must confess to being quite The Beatles nut. Growing up in the Norton of Morton family home, it was filled with the sounds of John, Paul, George and Ringo. Fast forward to the present day and my own children’s eardrums are experiencing the same musical experience that I had.

Although I am a big fan of all four band members, John is undoubtedly my favourite. His raspy voice on the early covers like ‘Twist and Shout’ and ‘Dizzy Miss Lizzy’ still makes my spine tingle. Then there are the later masterpieces such as ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’ and ‘Tomorrow Never Knows’ that pushed the musical boundaries. 

In my eyes, John Lennon was a gentleman, albeit of a more rock ‘n’ roll nature. If you’re yet to be convinced of his gentlemanly credentials, this pictorial aid clearly demonstrates that he was very much the English gentleman, along with the rest of the Fab Four. Nice bowlers, chaps.

 The Beatles pictured en route to the recording studio
As well as being a splendid musician, John Lennon was also quite the wordsmith, using his acerbic wit to pen not one, but two books during the height of Beatlemania. As a nod to his genius for words, I have rather cunningly altered the lyrics to his most iconic song, Imagine. Originally an anthem appealing for a better world in which to live, I have given it a gentlemanly twist.


Imagine there’s chivalry and manners
It isn’t hard to do
Giving your seat up for a lady
It’s the least one can do
Imagine all the people following the chivalric code

Imagine there’s no scoundrels
It’s easy if you try
No more tracksuit bottoms
Available to buy
Imagine all the people suitably attired

One my say I’m a gentleman,
But I’m not the only one
I hope every man will join me
And live life with aplomb

Imagine lashings of libations
But don't drink from a can
No need to drop one’s standards
Use a tumbler, my good man
Imagine all the people, clinking glasses everywhere

One my say I’m a gentleman,
But I’m not the only one
I hope every man will join me
And live life with aplomb

Perhaps we could enlist the help of Mr. B, The Gentleman Rhymer to perform it?

G.M. Norton
Protagonist of ‘Norton of Morton’

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