Inspiration for the song came to Lennon from a television commercial for Kellogg's Corn Flakes. The jingle went: "Good morning, good morning, The best to you each morning, Sunshine Breakfast, Kellogg's Corn Flakes, Crisp and full of fun".
The line "It's time for tea and Meet the Wife" refers to a BBC sitcom Meet the Wife.
The track was recorded on February 8, 1967, with overdubs on February 16 (bass and vocals), March 13 (brass section), March 28 (backing vocals and guitar solo), and March 29 (animal noises). The guitar solo was played by Paul McCartney on a Fender Esquire.
At Lennon's request, George Martin brought in Sounds Incorporated to play the brass section with their signature saxophone sound.
Lennon asked engineer Geoff Emerick to arrange the animal noises heard at the end of the song so that the animal was capable of devouring or frightening the animal that came before it.
Despite the peaceful title, the song is highly aggressive. With loud french horns, animal noises, pounding drums, strong vocals and large amounts of complex strumming guitar, it is quite a powerful wake-up call.
This song features double-bass drum playing by Ringo Starr.
The final sound effect of a chicken clucking was so placed that it transforms into the guitar on the following track "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)". It is one of the reasons that people have argued that the album is the first concept album.
- John Lennon – Lead and Backing Vocals, Rhythm Guitar (Epiphone 230TD Casino)
- Paul McCartney – Bass Guitar (Rickenbacker 4001S), Lead Guitar (Fender Esquire), Backing Vocals
- George Harrison – Rhythm Guitar (Gretsch Country Gentleman 12), Tambourine?, Backing Vocals
- Ringo Starr – Drums, Tambourine?
- Barrie Cameron – Saxophone
- David Glyde – Saxophone
- Alan Holmes – Saxophone
- John Lee – Trombone
- Griff West – Trombone
- Tom – French Horn