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"No Milk Today" is a song that was written by Graham Gouldman and originally recorded by British pop band Herman's Hermits. It was first released as a single by the Mancunian group in the UK in October 1966 and, with the B-side "My Reservation's Been Confirmed", enjoyed chart success, peaking at No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart.[1] Although not released as a single in the US ("Dandy" was released in its place with the same B-side), it was popular enough to become a moderate hit when it was released there as the B-side to "There's a Kind of Hush", reaching No. 35 in 1967 (the A-side reaching No. 4). It was also a major hit in many European countries.

"No Milk Today"
No Milk Today.jpg
Single by Herman's Hermits
from the album There's a Kind of Hush All Over the World
B-side"My Reservation's Been Confirmed"
Released30 September 1966 (UK)
January 1967 (US)
RecordedDe Lane Lea Studios, London, 13 August 1966
GenreBaroque pop, pop
Songwriter(s)Graham Gouldman
Producer(s)Mickie Most
Herman's Hermits singles chronology
"This Door Swings Both Ways"
"No Milk Today"
"East West"
Herman (Peter Noone) in a Dutch dairy factory, after the handing over of a gold record for "No Milk Today" in the Netherlands (1966)


Music and lyricsEdit

The song, which is dominated by its downcast reflective verses in A-minor and neatly complemented by its interjecting upbeat chorus in A-major, was the second major song Gouldman wrote for Herman's Hermits (the previous being "Listen People", a US #3).[2]

The lyrics refer to the practice, common at the time, of milkmen delivering fresh milk in bottles to residential houses each morning. The love interest of the song's protagonist has just moved out, so the household needs less milk. The notice in front of the house, asking milkman not to leave the usual bottle, while seeming mundane to passers-by ("how could they know just what this message means?"), symbolises to the singer himself the break-up of his relationship ("the end of all my dreams").[3] Gouldman wrote the song for The Hollies after he saw a "no milk today" notice outside a friend's house one day, and his father observed that could be for various reasons.[4]

The single was the first track for which the band employed a string section.[3]

John Paul Jones of Led Zeppelin fame was credited for introducing the chimes during the song, publicly praised by Peter Noone.


Later the song was recorded by Gouldman himself as the sole single (released with "The Impossible Years") from his 1968 debut album The Graham Gouldman Thing and, in 2006, it was included on the compilation album Greatest Hits ... And More, released by Gouldman's own band 10cc.

The song was extensively used in a 2009 commercial campaign for the Norwegian milk company Tine. It was also used for a commercial of the Dutch milk company Coberco in the 1990s.

The Spanish rendering "Todo Cambió" was recorded in 1967 by Lita Torelló (es).

"No Milk Today" has also been included in the official Sons of Anarchy soundtrack, covered by frequent soundtrack contributor The Forest Rangers, featuring folk singer Joshua James. The cover appeared in the first episode of season 3.

The Serbian band Riblja Čorba produced a heavy metal cover in Serbian, "Danas nema mleka", a protest song criticizing the Slobodan Milošević regime, for their 1993 album Zbogom, Srbijo. Inspired by the title of the original, the Serbian cover turns the meaning around and opens up with the lyrics "Danas nema mleka, danas nema hleba" ("today there is no milk, today there is no bread"), criticizing the heavily declined standard of living in Serbia at the time.[5]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 251. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  2. ^ "Listen People (song by Herman's Hermits) • Music VF, US & UK hits charts". 19 February 1966. Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  3. ^ a b Ricci, Charlie. "Almost Hits: Herman's Hermits, "No Milk Today" (1967) | Something Else!". Retrieved 29 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 20 January 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "The Worst Episode of Hyperinflation in History: Yugoslavia 1993-94". Retrieved 11 January 2019.