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There's a song by the Beatles A Day in the Life. I can't figure out why that the is there. Would it have been different if it had been written as A Day in Life?

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    Again, lyricists are not grammarians! They are too flexible!
    – Maulik V
    May 31, 2014 at 7:56

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"A Day in the life of (X)" is a very common phrase (it doesn't even need to be a person):

  • ATL24 - A day in the life of the world's busiest airport
  • A Day in the Life of a Primary Care Doctor
  • A Day in the Life of Nike CEO Mark Parker

It could have been A Day in Life, but it adhered to this more ambiguous form here; from whose life was it a day? The man who "made the grade"? It doesn't really matter.

A Day in the Life (of X) is a common enough phrase, it could be anybody.

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  • So it might have been a day in the life of John Lennon himself.
    – M.N
    May 31, 2014 at 10:19
  • I would say, it starts us thinking first about the man's last day then to John's, and finally to anyone's. May 31, 2014 at 15:51

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