Yesterday, The Delights of Suffolk and “She’s Leaving Home”

Yesterday, I went to see Yesterday, the new Danny Boyle/Richard Curtis film where the premise is that in the blink of an eye (well, during a 12 second global power cut actually), an alternate universe has come about whereby the Beatles never existed. This being the case, no-one has ever heard any of their songs. No-one that is except a certain Jack Malik (excellently played by Himesh Patel), who during the power cut was hit by a bus and rendered unconscious for the pivotal 12 second period.

Yesterday_(2019_poster)

I have probably given too much of the plot away already for those who have not yet seen it, but needless to say, there is much comedy to be had from an alternate universe where throwaway remarks such as will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64 are met with blank faces. The film was directed by Danny Boyle, whose films I always really enjoy, and the screenplay was by Richard Curtis whose films I also always really enjoy, so it was a no brainer I would go and see it twice, once yesterday (with Mr WIAA) and once last week (with a cinema buddy).

A strange coincidence has come about however in that I’ve spent the last week or so coming down from the high of travelling to London to meet up with my Suffolk-based blogging buddy C, and this film is set in Suffolk. I’ve spent much of the last fortnight hearing about Suffolk, eating produce from Suffolk and watching Jack and his manager Ellie travel the highways and byways of Suffolk in her little Mini Clubman. Apparently the film is already having an effect on the East Anglian tourism industry with visitors wanting to see more of this corner of the English countryside. Lowestoft here we come!

Of course with the film being set in Suffolk it made sense that local resident Ed Sheerin would put in an appearance. This was no cameo however (remember him in Game of Thrones?), he had a full blown part, and whatever you think of Ed it worked well for the whole premise of the film. With someone like Jack effortlessly coming up with songs such as Yesterday, The Long And Winding Road and In My Life, he had to admit that his songwriting crown should now transfer to this new kid on the block, or kid on the beach in this case, it being Lowestoft an’ all.

The great thing for me about this film is that it has made me fall in love with all those great Beatles songs again. I think they had almost become over-familiar to my ears so the appreciation I should have had for them left me for a while. I tried to find my copy of The Red Album last night and it’s not even downstairs amongst the vinyl, so it must be upstairs in the loft, mouldering away in some box of long-forgotten memorabilia I no longer visit. How can this have happened? It was the first album where I poured over the lyrics on the inner sleeves and could see the progression made from Love Me Do in 1963, to Eleanor Rigby in 1966. Only three years apart, yet even at age 12 I could tell the songwriting style had evolved so much.

Beatles 1

Eleanor Rigby by the Beatles:

Another Beatles song I’m going to have to include here is She’s Leaving Home, because as of this weekend, DD will be doing just that. I’ve written a post using this song before (link here) but the theme that time was of a very different nature. The years roll by however and here we are again. It’s been lovely having her back in the house for the last few weeks helping her prepare for the big move south. She hasn’t actually lived “at home” for quite a while now, but she has always been a mere ten minute drive away, so this is a very big change for both her and us. The time is right though, and we wish her all the best. The lyrics are not really relevant to our situation this time around (thankfully), but there is still a tear in my eye as I listen to them. As I said above, the film has really awakened that dormant part of my hippocampus where the Beatles songs hang out.

She’s Leaving Home by the Beatles:

For those of you who haven’t yet been to see the film, but want to, I hope I haven’t included too many spoilers. I thoroughly enjoyed it, but it seems both Richard Curtis and Ed Sheerin are marmite figures around here, so it might not be your bag. A wonderful thing however to imagine a world where we are just hearing all those great songs for the first time. As soon as I get the chance, I will fight my way through the contents of my loft (now added to somewhat in light of DD’s pared down move south) in order to seek out “The Red Album” and enjoy pouring over those lyric-strewn red inner sleeves, second time around.

Until next time….

She’s Leaving Home Lyrics
(Song by John Lennon/Paul McCartney)

Wednesday morning at five o’clock as the day begins
Silently closing her bedroom door
Leaving the note that she hope would say more
She goes downstairs to the kitchen clutching her handkerchief
Quietly turning the backdoor key
Stepping outside she is free

She (We gave her most of our lives)
Is leaving (Sacrificed most of our lives)
Home (We gave her everything money could buy)
She’s leaving home after living alone for so many years. Bye, bye

Father snores as his wife gets into the dressing gown
Picks up the letter that’s lying there
Standing alone at the top of the stairs
She breaks down and cries to her husband
Daddy, our baby’s gone
Why would she treat us so thoughtlessly
How could she do this to me

She (We never thought of ourselves)
Is leaving (Never a thought for ourselves)
Home (We gave her everything money could buy)
She’s leaving home after living alone for so many years. Bye, bye

Friday morning at nine o’clock she is far away
Waiting to keep the appointment she made
Meeting a man from a motor trade

She (What did we do that was wrong)
Is having (We didn’t know it was wrong)
Fun (Fun is the one thing that money can’t buy)

Something inside that was always denied for so many years
She’s leaving home, bye, bye

Postscript:

Anyone reading the comments boxes will spot that I wrongly labelled this place as Lowestoft (where the film is set) when I first pressed the publish button – It was quickly pointed out by TS that it’s actually Southwold. Duly corrected.

lowestoft
Southwold beach

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was written by my favourite songwriting team Bacharach and David - The opening line to that song was "What's it all about?" and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might find the answer to that question.

23 thoughts on “Yesterday, The Delights of Suffolk and “She’s Leaving Home””

  1. I’m about to hit the hay after a long day at work, so i’ll be back to read the post properly tomorrow, but just had to drop in to point out that the photo is not of Lowestoft, but is a view I know very well indeed, from the pier at Southwold – a glorious town and home of my favourite beer, Adnams.

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  2. Similarly to TS, off to bed in a mo but will be back to comment more next visit but lovely to see Suffolk on these pages – the top right of the set of three pics is a very familiar view to me too, and in a lovely instance of serendipity it is also where – not Suffolk, but Highland! – cattle can often be found grazing.

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    1. Gosh these random pictures found through googling (fair use an’ all that) are hitting the spot with you natives and Highland cattle too!

      Watching the film made me think of you as most of it set in Suffolk and they all went to Latitude Festival, apparently pronounced La’itude?

      I’m off to bed too so goodnight to Suffolk from the Highlands!

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      1. I feel I should see the film for the Suffolk views even if nothing else and yes, nearly this time last year, I was enjoying Latitude. Blimey, can’t believe a year’s gone by already. A hot dust-bowl of a festival. I like the thought of it being pronounced in the original dialect/accent (which can sound almost Australian at times with its long-drawn out vowels, also I think ‘La’itoood’ would be more accurate – just as Tuesday is pronounced Tooozday) but it is fast disappearing and becoming more replaced with Estuary English from Essex. Nowhere near as appealing!

        I’ve heard a lot about the film, seen the clips and liked Himesh Patel in ‘Damned’ but I’m not sure what I’d make of the film somehow…. maybe I’ll wait ’til it’s on telly!

        All the very best for DD’s move… just think how special and lovely it will be when you make the journey to visit each other in future.

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        1. Welcome back! Yes the film’s premise is this whole alternate reality where the Beatles just didn’t happen but for me, another star of the film was the county of Suffolk. You would no doubt recognise so many places if you went to see it. Shame about accents disappearing – My native Doric from Aberdeenshire is fast disappearing too I fear and the words will be lost forever.

          This is our last evening together (and I’m blogging!) so very special. We will no doubt keep in touch via all the devices at our disposal nowadays but won’t be the same. First step for her is finding a job however so it will be a bit weird until that happens as she’s always had a job of some sort since she was 15. Two interviews next week though so hopefully it won’t take too long and her other half is now installed in his new job so they shall eat!

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    1. Hi Neil – I can see how you felt that but as a family of three with only one daughter this song gets to me every time. Luckily on this occasion it’s not a departure like in the song, it’s all very planned and organised but still gets to me every time. We’ll miss her massively.

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  3. On the main German news-in-depth television programme last night there was a review of the film. Summary: interesting premise, but the director should have done more with it.

    By coincidence, just yesterday (one of the few of my puns not intended) some highbrow analysis of Beatles songs. People in the know appreciate them, of course, and no sensible drummer will deny that Ringo is really, really, good (Ringo manages to be the most famous and the most underrated drummer), but some young people just don’t get them. Yes, they were hugely original, hugely influential, hugely innovative, hugely popular, and so on, but even apart from all that, their stuff is just really, really good.

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    1. Perhaps he could have done more with it but there was also a love story in there, a bit of fantasy, a love letter to Suffolk so not just about the Beatles songs. Part of me did wonder however if people in their 20s would get all the references to the songs, even the really famous ones. The joke about being still needed at 64 would have been lost on my daughter I’m afraid as would some of the others. Yes, a screenplay written by Richard Curtis is probably going to appeal most to older people nowadays and I for one was wholly entertained, twice!

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      1. There is a prominent German television personality and author, in her mid-50s, who, after separation from her long-time boyfriend (also a television personality and author), wrote a book about trying to find a new boyfriend via the internet. She said that she was surprised that she got many offers from men 30 years younger than she, but passed them by because she didn’t want to have to explain to them who the Beatles were.

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    1. Ha ha – It’s a great word isn’t it. It’s that seahorse shaped bit in the centre of our brains that keeps hold of all this music trivia that we really don’t need, but is nice to have access to. Shame it doesn’t keep hold of all the important stuff we need for our jobs!

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  4. I suppose was only a matter of time until Ed Sheeran got parts in films! As a fan of The Beatles I’m sure I will watch Yesterday sooner or later. Shame you daughter will be further away though of course these things are a natural progression. Hope you enjoy re-discovering The Red Album. I’ve been listening to a few Queen LPs since I watched Bohemian Rhapsody, seemed like a good time to do it

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    1. I think you should watch it if only to hear all the great Beatles songs. Yes, it is time for DD to move to pastures new but we will miss her. I can console myself with listening to The Red Album again (once I find it in the loft – sacrilege).

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  5. Wonderful post, Alyson. I’ve been out of the loop regarding new films for the last year or two, so I was only vaguely aware of Yesterday. Didn’t realize Mr. Boyle & Mr. Curtis were involved. Will consider checking it out while it’s in theaters if time permits, but will certainly watch it once it’s available on cable or one of the streaming services I use.

    I love that Red 2-LP set, which was the first Beatles album I purchased when I was a teen (or per-teen?). I grew up with Meet The Beatles (their U.S. debut) but (like you) I marveled at how their songwriting developed over a short period of time.

    Best of luck to DD.

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    1. Thanks for dropping by – I have been so busy this last week I’m afraid I’ve missed many of my fellow blogger’s posts but it was a thumbs up from me for your choice last Saturday. If I could remember what I said about them on your FYF series I would have repeated it.

      I was about 12 when the Red Album came out so you were probably a fair bit younger when you acquired it. Now that I’ve decided to revisit these older Beatles songs I’m looking forward to seeking out that album. It was my first gatefold album I think and has a great picture on the inside.

      DD’s ears will be burning as everyone is wishing her well – Will pass on your best wishes too.

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  6. I’ll hopefully get to see ‘Yesterday’ at some point and try to spot some of the familiar locations. Ironically, the nearest cinema to me is in Lowestoft, so I guess that would be as good a place as any to catch up with it – although now I come to think of it, I haven’t actually been to see a film in an actual cinema for over 9 years! The premise of Yesterday sounds fun, though wasn’t a similar idea of introducing Beatles songs as self-written previously explored in the TV series Goodnight Sweetheart?
    I work in a supermarket that is the last port of call before the Latitude site. Yesterday we had a lot of the support staff and security for the festival in, stocking up with food and drink for the days ahead. Today and tomorrow we’ll be inundated with camping festival goers who’ll strip us bare of beer, eggs, bacon, sausages, but particularly bread, baguettes and rolls! It’s chaos – and I work in the bread department!
    All the best to DD.

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    1. Hope so but you are not alone in not going to the cinema – Our big multiplex is now selling tickets at £4.99 a pop and 2 for 1 on a Tuesday as most people are watching Netflix etc nowadays. We prefer the little cinema attached to our local theatre but even it is finding that ticket sales are down. We are living in an increasingly digitalised world where we all sit at home at get all our entertainment/food/purchases delivered to us. I’d forgotten about Goodnight Sweetheart – Of course, old Rodney Trotter (Dave) became the new Noel Coward/George Formby! Didn’t remember him trying out Beatles songs however and although some might have worked for that era others might not (Lucy in the Sky….?).
      I didn’t realise La’itude was just about to happen – Good luck with the last minute rush for baked goods. Our local festival is in August and when it finishes on the Sunday, we can never get into town, as there is a steady stream of traffic heading back past the bottom on our road all day.
      DD will hopefully do fine although her dad had to go down yesterday to build their flatpack – He has now given her lessons as “if you teach a (wo)man how to build flatpack, she will build flatpack for a lifetime. If you build the flatpack for her, she will only have one set”, or something like that!

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  7. Yesterday got to me (despite Curtis); it was a much better film than I thought it was going to be, but not as good as it could’ve been. Yes, I think that sums up how I feel about it. Maybe in 50 years they’ll be imagining a world without Ed Sheeran.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it – despite Curtis indeed. I actually liked the Curtis-ness of it and Jack was definitely one of his kind of characters. I don’t even want to think about life in 50 years time at the moment: a) I most probably won’t be around, and b) I think a world without Ed Sheerin will be the least of our problems.

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