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The poster from which the song was inspired.

Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite! is a song released on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band album, in 1967.


The song, which was written by John Lennon, was inspired by a 19th century poster (about 1843), which he had found in an antique store in Surrey. Many of the elements in the song are based off of the poster.

It is commonly believed that the line "And of course Henry the Horse dances the waltz" was a reference to the drug heroin (as both "henry" and "horse" are slang names for it); the original line on the poster referred to the horse as Zanthus.

The real Mr. Kite was an all-round performer who worked with Panquo Fanque and Mr J. Henderson, who was employed as a wire walker, trampolinist (somerset thrower, according to the poster) and clown.


[Verse 1]

For the benefit of Mr. Kite

There will be a show tonight on trampoline

The Hendersons will all be there

Late of Pablo Fanques Fair

What a scene

Over men and horses, hoops and garters

Lastly through a hogshead of real fire

In this way Mr. K. will challenge the world

[Verse 2]

The celebrated Mr. K.

Performs his feat on Saturday at Bishops Gate

The Hendersons will dance and sing

As Mr. Kite flies through the ring

Don't be late

Messrs. K and H. assure the public

Their production will be second to none

And of course Henry The Horse dances the waltz!

[Verse 3]

The band begins at ten to six

When Mr. K. performs his tricks without a sound

And Mr. H. will demonstrate

Ten summer sets he'll undertake

On solid ground

Having been some days in preparation

A splendid time is guaranteed for all

And tonight Mr. Kite is topping the bill


  • John Lennon - Lead And Backing Vocals, Organ (1963 Hammond L-100), Chord Harmonica (Hohner Chromatic Bass Harmonica), Tape Loops
  • Paul McCartney - Bass Guitar (Rickenbacker 4001S), Reverse Lead Guitar (1964 Fender Esquire), Backing Vocals
  • George Harrison - Maracas, Bass Harmonica (Hohner Chromatic Bass Harmonica)
  • Ringo Starr - Drums (1964 Ludwig Super Classic Black Oyster Pearl), Tambourine
  • George Martin - Piano (1964 Hamburg Steinway Baby Grand), Harmonium (Mannborg Harmonium), Hammond Organ (Hammond RT-3), Wurlitzer Organ, Glockenspiel, Tape Loops
  • Mal Evans - Harmonica (Hohner Cromatic)
  • Neil Aspinall - Harmonica (Hohner Cromatic)
  • Geoff Emerick - Tape Loops
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