Peter stretches the diphthong of day to cover the musical notes. True. But does the music force him to stretch it quite as far as he does? No. He chooses to do extend it further. For good reason.
Peter stretches the second half of today surprisingly far. He knows the alteration will attract his audience’s attention. He’s turned an everyday word into an exotic plaything. For the sake of the song.
By stretching today he stretches the time that the word encompasses. He turns the today of his song into more than a single day. It becomes an Eternal Present. By stretching time he intensifies the song’s atmosphere of nostalgia for a paradise lost. Peter knows that it won’t just be No Milk Today – it will be No Milk Forever.
The rhyme of today and away is pivotal. The two words tell you all you need to know. Peter shortens the word away slightly to make it rhyme more closely with today.
Peter Noone studied voice and drama at the Manchester School of Music. He’s an actor and he tells the sad story of No Milk Today like an actor. Even if you’ve never lived in a terraced house in a mean street back of town where milk was delivered every day by a milkman, you can follow the story of the song thanks to Peter’s clear enunciation of the lyrics.
We’ve said it before, we’ll say it again. One word, used well, carries a universe of meaning when you sing.
© Sing Better English, 2014