Paul McCartney on the Beatles’ Dog Whistle on ‘A Day in the Life’: “Watch Your Dog”

Matt Dolloff | 100.7 WZLX

Paul McCartney has always been a dog-lover and animal activist. But he also likes to have some mischievous fun with them from time to time.

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band closer “A Day in the Life” includes a 15-kilocycle whistling noise, the same sound as a police dog whistle. Humans cannot hear it as it really sounds, but it can make your canine perk up. Paul discussed the little-known detail publicly for the first time in a recent interview with BBC’s Zane Rowe.

Sgt. Pepper’s itself was something of a response to the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. This little wrinkle is about as subtle a nod as it gets.

“We’d talk for hours about these frequencies below the sub that you couldn’t really hear and the high frequencies that only dogs could hear. We put a sound on Sgt. Pepper that only dogs could hear,” he said.

This wasn’t exactly a big revelation: the 1987 book The Beatles Recording Sessions notes that John Lennon came up with the idea to add the sound at the end of the song on the “run-out groove” of the vinyl record, just after the final piano chord but before the incomprehensible chatter that closes the song. Re-pressings of the vinyl did not include this final part, but remastered CD editions of Sgt. Pepper’s did.

“If you ever play Sgt. Pepper watch your dog,” he added.

Alright dog owners, you know what to do now: press play on “A Day in the Life” below (starting at about the 5:05 mark) and see how your furry friend reacts.



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