Alan Aldrigde, The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr en George Harrison Alan Aldrigde, The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics (c) Alan Aldrigde, The Beatles Illustrated Lyrics

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Tomorrow Never Knows

Composer(s) : Lennon and McCartney
Year : 1966

Chords/Tabs: Tomorrow Never Knows

Notes on "Tomorrow Never Knows" (TNK)

KEY C Mixolydian/Dorian/Major


FORM Intro -> Verse -> Verse -> Verse -> Instrumental -> Verse -> Verse -> Verse -> Verse -> Outro (fadeout)


Style and Form

- TNK is a veritable kitchen-sink mix of just about every trick in the Beatles book to-date, including: an Indian drone, modal tune, bluesy instrumental, tape loops, ADT, vocals played through revolving speakers, distortedly close-up miking of instruments, and a psychadelically mystical "outlook." One of the amazing aspects of this song is the extent to which this collage not merely hangs together, but pulls into such a powerfully focused, unified effect.

- There are some uncanny parallels to be drawn between aspects of this track and gestures or techniques used elsewhere in the avant garde world of so-called "Modern" 20th century music. I bring this up *NOT* to suggest the Beatles were consciously borrowing from, or being influenced by the specific works or composers in question (Heck, I'd be very surprised if they were even *aware* of them, even if Paul did know how to drop the name of Stockhausen in an interview :-)) Rather, any such parallels for me are all the more uncanny and ironic in the *absence* of direct knowledge.

- The Intro here is not so much a fade-in as it is a small variation of the typical staggered/layered intro. Similarly, the ending is not so much fadeout as it is a musical disintegration. You might find it interesting to compare the ending of TNK with almost anything written during the 60's by one contemporary American composer, Elliott Carter, who explicitly cultivated an aesthetic in his endings of a unverse winding down and flying apart; complete with excerpts from classical poetry in his liner notes to support his point of view.

Arrangement, Melody and Harmony





The Second Half



[** the quote is on page 55, but I recommend to anyone interested in the intersection between literature and music criticism read from the beginning of Chapter 8, on page 49.]

Alan (

"I've only one thing to say to you, John Lennon." 052195#103 ---

                Copyright (c) 1995 by Alan W. Pollack
                          All Rights Reserved
This article may be reproduced, retransmitted, redistributed and otherwise propagated at will, provided that this notice remains intact and in place.

Ook op Revolver:

ChordsNotes On
Taxman Taxman
Eleanor Rigby Eleanor Rigby
I'm Only Sleeping I'm Only Sleeping
Love You Too Love You Too
Here, There and Everywhere Here, There and Everywhere
Yellow Submarine Yellow Submarine
She Said She Said She Said She Said
Good Day Sunshine Good Day Sunshine
And Your Bird Can Sing And Your Bird Can Sing
For No One For No One
Doctor Robert Doctor Robert
I Want to Tell You I Want to Tell You
Got to Get You into My Life Got to Get You into My Life
Tomorrow Never Knows Tomorrow Never Knows

(c) 2022 Serge Girard