A Bit Like You And Me Radio

March 11, 2014

The Magic Lanterns - No Milk Today (1968)

This group didn’t get a Top 30 hit until 1968 when they had already been together for six years. In total, the band was able to scrape together three charting songs in the US as well as three in their native UK. But prior to their charting days (which at one point featured Godley & Creme), the band was still hard at work, hoping to make a name for themselves in their home of Warrington, Lancashire. Although the band never really hit the big time, they put together a handful of songs that are definitely worth listening to.

The song heard below was written by Graham Gouldman in 1966 for the band The Hollies, still featuring Graham Nash. Its lyrics, although seemingly strange, had very little to do with milk. Gouldman has been quoted as stating that his father was largely responsible for the message of the song. He said that he and his father had seen a sign on a neighbor’s home, “no milk today,” indicating to the neighborhood milkman that the home wouldn’t need their daily milk delivered for whatever reason. It was expressed to Gouldman by his father that there could be various reasons why the house didn’t require milk on that day. One such reason he hypothesized was that the man who lived in the house had recently been left by his significant other, resulting in less need for milk and adding much depth to the simple sign.

When the song had been passed up by The Hollies, it was given to Herman’s Hermits. It was the second hit song Gouldman had written for Herman’s Hermits (the first being “Listen People,” reaching number three), reaching number seven on the charts. The version of the song heard below was covered by The Magic Lanterns in 1968 for their debut album, Lit Up – with The Magic Lanterns, recorded on CBS Records for distribution in the UK. The most obvious difference made by The Magic Lanterns in their cover is the increase and decrease of tempo.

album art

The Magic Lanterns - No Milk Today (1968)

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Lyrics:

No milk today
My love has gone away
The bottles stand forlorn
Greeting the summer dawn

“No milk today”
It seems a common sight
The people passing by
Don't know the reason why

How could they know
Just what this message means?
The end of my hopes
The end of all my dreams

How could they know
The palace there had been?
Behind the door
Where my love has been

No milk today
It wasn't always so
The company was gay
We'd turn night into day

As music played
The faster did we dance
We felt it both at once
The start of our romance

How could they know
Just what this message means?
The end of my hope
The end of all my dreams
(Hey!)

How could they know
A palace there had been?
Behind the door
Where my love has been

No milk today
It wasn't always so
The company was gay
We'd turn night into day

As music played
The faster did we dance
We felt it both at once
The start of our romance

How could they know
Just what this message means?
The end of my hope
The end of all my dreams
(Hey!)

How could they know
A palace there had been?
Behind the door
Where my love has been

No milk today
My love has gone away
The bottles stand forlorn
Greeting the summer dawn

“No milk today”
It seems a common sight
The people passing by
Don't know the reason why

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