A Magical Mystery Tour to Childhood

magical childhood

Bedford VAL / Plaxton Panorama Elite II coach used on the “Magical Mystery Tour”, a tour of Beatles-related sights in south and central Liverpool. (This bus is the same model as the original.) Photo by David Root, via Wikimedia Commons


Most of us have seen and appreciated the recent film of James Corden and Paul McCartney in Liverpool. This very happy video is well worth seeing again… and again. Early on, Corden gets teary eyed when McCartney starts singing “Hey, Jude.” The Beatles were a huge part of his life.



About midway through, they visit Paul’s childhood home, which has been preserved just as it looked in the early 1960s, a trip back in time. The painted street signs for Penny Lane and Abbey Road still exist, albeit faded. Toward the end, Corden and McCartney play at one of the original Liverpool pubs, to the sheer delight of patrons of all ages.


What It All Means to Me

A history major in college, going back in time has always been very meaningful to me. The feelings such activity elicit are very complex; my tears are no doubt very similar to James Corden’s

I was a young boy living in Switzerland at the time. It is a surprise that the Beatles cassettes played over and over on my dad’s wood-grained player never wore out. Having gone to British schools since leaving the U.S. instilled a deep love of England and all things English. I would revisit that love a decade and a half later while spending summers on a Roman archaeological dig in Shropshire. The scenes in the video bring back happy memories of those times, though I was certainly no longer a child.

magical mystery tour to childhoodThis episode has very much been a magical mystery tour, back to a distant time and a distant place, though not a distant memory.

An aside: this month also marks the release of another childhood favorite, in the form of “Won’t You Be My Neighbor,” a documentary about Fred Rogers. (Watch this space for a review of the film.) Mister Rogers certainly knew a thing or two about connecting with children and childhood!

Sir Paul McCartney is still going strong, so much so that he will be releasing an album, Egypt Station, in September 2018, a half century after these memories. On impulse, I bought a copy of the CD. Perhaps this will be a short respite from the awful news lately. I do not know what the songs will be. Let’s say, it will be a Magical Mystery Tour!

Special Schools in England Not Only Respect the Child, They Practice It

A School Where Nobody's Judging YouThere are at least two takeaways from this excellent article:
* The importance of being nonjudgmental
* Adults must look at the big picture: there are often events in that child’s life that led to the current situation.

Children are not disposable. As Korczak said, one must never, ever abandon a child in need.

This fine article appeared in the October 17, 2017, edition of The Guardian.