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Musical mystery solved on tour

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Condoleezza Rice
Jack Straw
Great Britain

"A DAY IN A LIFE"

I read the news today, oh, boy
About a lucky man who's made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well, I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph
He blew his mind out in a car
He didn't notice that the lights have changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They'd seen his face before
Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords
I saw a film today, oh, boy
The English army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
But I just had to look
Having read the book
I'd love to turn you on
Woke up, fell out of bad
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up, I noticed I was late
Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke
And somebody spoke and I went into a dream
I saw the news today, oh, boy
Four-thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall
I'd love to turn you on

(CNN) -- Condoleezza Rice was fixing a few holes in her knowledge of England during a brief visit to the country.

The U.S. secretary of state's tour of the industrial northwest, accompanied by her UK counterpart Jack Straw, saw her visit historic sites, meet with dignitaries and attend gala events.

Her visit to Liverpool and Blackburn was billed as an opportunity for Rice and Straw to demonstrate how U.S. foreign policy directly affects British citizens. (Full story)

It followed a visit by Straw to Rice's home state of Alabama in October, where she gave him a high-profile taste of life in the Deep South.

Rice, who arrived at Liverpool's John Lennon Airport late Thursday, also listed some personal items on her two-day itinerary.

A Beatles fan, Rice had an opportunity to indulge in her passion for the group in its home town of Liverpool.

Rice also sought to put to rest a conundrum from her youth: What exactly did the Beatles mean when they sang about there being "4,000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire"?

She admitted the song "A Day in a Life" had puzzled her ever since it was released in 1967, and asked for a little help from her friend Straw in shedding light on the lyrics.

During a stop in Blackburn, Straw summoned up his Beatles trivia to tell Rice that Lennon -- who was murdered in New York by a deranged fan in 1980 -- penned those words after reading a story in the Daily Mail newspaper.

As Lennon himself explained in a Playboy interview, "I was reading the paper one day and noticed two stories. One was about the Guinness heir who killed himself in a car. That was the main headline story. He died in London in a car crash.

"On the next page was a story about four thousand potholes in the streets of Blackburn, Lancashire, that needed to be filled."

Simple as that. Except there is still no explanation for the next line of the song, "Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall."

For another trip by Rice, perhaps.

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