The Beatles, album "Love Songs"
Lyrics of the album
Listen the album
LP - collections - Studio EMI Studios - 1977
02:03 Yesterday (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 14.06.1965
'A nice one.'JOHN 1980:
'That's Paul again.
Can't you tell? I mean – 'Tomorrow may rain so/ I'll follow the sun.' That's another early McCartney, you know… written almost before the Beatles, I think.
He had alot of stuff.'PAUL 1988:
'I wrote that in my front parlour in Forthlin Road.
I was about 16.
There was a few from then – 'Thinking Of Linking,' ever heard of that one? So 'I'll Follow The Sun' was one of those very early ones.
I seem to remember writing it just after I'd had the flu… I remember standing in the parlour looking out through lace curtains of the window and writing that one.
We had this hard R&B; image in Liverpool, so I think songs like 'I'll Follow The Sun,' ballads like that, got pushed back to later.'
'That's me, writing about this dream girl – the one that hadn't come yet.
It was Yoko.'PAUL circa-1994:
'It was John's original idea, but it was very much co-written.
I remember writing 'the pain and pleasure,' and 'a man must break his back.' …It was amusing to see if we could get a naughty word on the record.
The Beach Boys had a song out where they'd done 'la la la la' and we loved the innocence of that and wanted to copy it but not use the same phrase.
So we were looking around for another phrase – 'dit dit dit dit,' which we decided to change it in our waggishness to 'tit tit tit tit.' And it gave us a laugh.
It was good to get some light relief in the middle of this real big career that we were forging.
If we could put in something that was a little bit subversive then we would.
George Martin would say, 'Was that dit-dit or tit-tit you were singing?' 'Oh! dit-dit George, but it does sound a bit like that, doesn't it?' Then we'd get in the car and break down laughing.'
02:24 In My Life (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 22.10.1965
'It was the first song I wrote that was consciously about my life.
(Sings) 'There are places I'll remember/ All my life though some have changed…' Before, we were just writing songs a la Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly – pop songs with no more thought to them than that.
The words were almost irrelevant.
'In My Life' started out as a bus journey from my house at 250 Menlove Avenue to town, mentioning every place I could remember.
I wrote it all down and it was ridiculous… it was the most boring sort of 'What I Did On My Holiday's Bus Trip' song and it wasn't working at all.
But then I laid back and these lyrics started coming to me about the places I remember.
Paul helped with the middle-eight.
It was, I think, my first real major piece of work.
Up till then it had all been sort of glib and throw-away.
And that was the first time I consciously put my literary part of myself into the lyric.'PAUL 1984:
'I think I wrote the tune to that; that's the one we slightly dispute.
John either forgot or didn't think I wrote the tune.
I remember he had the words, like a poem… sort of about faces he remembered.
I recall going off for half an hour and sitting with a Mellotron he had, writing the tune… which was Miracles inspired, as I remember.
In fact, a lot of stuff was then.'
'This was a great one of his.'JOHN 1980:
'That's Paul's song completely, I believe.
And one of my favorite songs of the Beatles.'PAUL 1984:
'I wrote that by John's pool one day.
When we were working together, sometimes he came in to see me.
But mainly, I went out to see him.'PAUL circa-1994:
''Here, There and Everywhere' has a couple of interesting structural points about it… each verse takes a word.
'Here' discusses here, Next verse, 'there' discusses there, then it pulls it all together in the last verse with 'everywhere.' …John might have helped with a few last words.'
'I like George's song 'Something.' For me I think it's the best he's written.'GEORGE 1969:
'I wrote the song 'Something' for the album before this one, but I never finished it off until just recently.
I usually get the first few lines of words and music together, both at once… and then finish the rest of the melody.
Then I have to write the words.
It's like another song I wrote when we were in India.
I wrote the whole first verse and just said everything I wanted to say, and so now I need to write a couple more verses.
I find that much more difficult.
But John gave me a handy tip.
He said, 'Once you start to write a song, try to finish it straight away while you're still in the same mood.' Sometimes you go back to it and you're in a whole different state of mind.
So now, I do try to finish them straight away.'GEORGE 1980:
''Something' was written on the paino while we were making the White Album.
I had a break while Paul was doing some overdubbing so I went into an empty studio and began to write.
That's really all there is to it, except the middle took some time to sort out.
It didn't go on the White Album because we'd already finished all the tracks.'
'Both of us wrote it.
The first half was Paul's and the middle-eight is mine.'JOHN 1980:
''And I Love Her' is Paul again.
I consider it his first 'Yesterday.' You know, the big ballad in 'A Hard Day's Night.'PAUL 1984:
'It's just a love song.
It wasn't for anyone.
Having the title start in midsentence, I thought that was clever.
Well, Perry Como did 'And I Love You So' many years later.
Tried to nick the idea.
I like that… it was a nice tune, that one.
I still like it.'
02:18 If I Fell (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 27.02.1964
'That was my first attempt at a ballad proper.
That was the precursor to 'In My Life.' It has the same chord sequences as 'In My Life' – D and B minor and E minor, those kinds of things.
And it's semi-autobiographical, but not consciously.
It shows that I wrote sentimental love ballads – silly love songs – way back when.'PAUL 1984:
'This was our close-harmony period.
We did a few songs… 'This Boy,' 'If I Fell,' 'Yes It Is' …in the same vein, which were kind of like the Fourmost – an English vocal group, only not really.'
02:21 I'll Be Back (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 01.06.1964
'A nice tune, though the middle is a bit tatty.'JOHN 1980:
''I'll Be Back' is me completely.
My variation of the chords in a Del Shannon song.'PAUL circa-1994:
''I'll Be Back' was co-written, but it was largely John's idea.'
PAUL circa-1994: ''I seem to remember it as mine… Not awfully memorable.'
02:38 Yes It Is (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 16.02.1965
'That's me trying a rewrite of 'This Boy,' but it didn't quite work.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I was there writing it with John, but it was his inspiration that I helped him finish off.
'Yes It Is' is a very fine song of John's.'
'Both of us.
I wrote the middle with him.'PAUL 1977:
''Michelle' was like a joke French tune for when you go to a party or something.
That's all it was.
And then after a while you say, 'Well, that's quite a good tune.
Let's put some real words to it.''JOHN 1980:
'He and I were staying somewhere and he walked in and hummed the first few bars, with the words, and he says, 'Where do I go from here?' I had been listening to (blues singer) Nina Simone.
I think it was 'I Put A Spell On You.' There was a line in it that went, 'I love you, I love you.' That's what made me think of the middle-eight for 'Michelle.' So, my contributions to Paul's songs was always to add a little bluesy edge to them.
Otherwise, 'Michelle' is a straight ballad, right? He provided a lightness, an optimism, while I would always go for the sadness, the discords, the bluesy notes.'PAUL 1988:
'I'll never forget putting the bass line in 'Michelle' because it was a kind of Bizet thing.
It really turned the song around.
You could do that with bass.
It was very exciting.'
01:55 It's Only Love (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 15.06.1965
'That's the one song I really hate of mine.
Terrible lyric.'JOHN 1980:
''It's Only Love' is mine.
I always thought it was a lousy song.
The lyrics are abysmal.
I always hated that song.'PAUL circa-1994:
'Sometimes we didn't fight it if the lyric came out rather bland on some of those filler songs like 'It's Only Love.' If a lyric was really bad we'd edit it.
But we weren't that fussy about it, because it's only a rock 'n roll song.
I mean, this is not literature.'
JOHN 1980: 'That's me.'
''Every Little Thing' is his song.
Maybe I threw in something.'PAUL circa-1994:
''Every Little Thing,' like most of the stuff I did, was my attempt at the next single… but it became an album filler rather than the great almighty single.
It didn't have quite what was required.'
01:59 For No One (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 19.05.1966
'Another of his I really liked.'JOHN 1980:
One of my favorites of his.
A nice piece of work.'PAUL 1984:
'I wrote that on a skiing holiday in Switzerland.
In a hired chalet amongst the snow.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I suspect it was about another argument.
I don't have easy relationships with women, I never have.
I talk too much truth.'
PAUL 1984: 'I wrote that.
My kind of ballad from that period.
One of my daughters likes that.
The other thing I remember is that George Martin was offended that I used another arranger.
He was busy and I was itching to get on with it; I was inspired.
I think George had a lot of difficulty forgiving me for that.
It hurt him; I didn't mean to.'
'The album was finished a year ago, but a few months ago American record producer Phil Spector was called in by John Lennon to tidy up some of the tracks.
But a few weeks ago, I was sent a re-mixed version of my song 'The Long And Winding Road' with harps, horns, an orchestra, and a women's choir added.
No one had asked me what I thought.
I couldn't believe it.
The record came with a note from Allen Klein saying he thought the changes were necessary.
I don't blame Phil Spector for doing it, but it just goes to show that it's no good me sitting here thinking I'm in control because obviously I'm not.
Anyway, I've sent Klein a letter asking for some things to be altered, but I haven't received an answer yet.'JOHN 1980:
He had a little spurt just before we split.'PAUL circa-1994:
'It's rather a sad song.
I like writing sad songs, it's a good bag to get into because you can actually acknowledge some deeper feelings of your own and put them in it.
It's a good vehicle, it saves having to go to a psychiatrist.
Songwriting often performs that feat – you say it, but you don't embarrass yourself because it's only a song, or is it? You are putting the things that are bothering you on the table and you are reviewing them, but because it's a song, you don't have to argue with anyone… It's a sad song because it's all about the unattainable; the door you never quite reach.
This is the road that you never get to the end of.'
02:12 This Boy (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 02.12.1963
'Just my attempt at writing one of those three-part harmony Smokey Robinson songs.
Nothing in the lyrics… just a sound and a harmony.
There was a period when I thought I didn't write melodies… that Paul wrote those and I just wrote straight, shouting rock 'n roll.
But of course, when I think of some of my own songs – 'In My Life,' or some of the early stuff – 'This Boy,' I was writing melody with the best of them.'PAUL 1988:
'Fabulous. And we just loved singing that three-part too.
We'd learned that from: (sings) 'To know know know her is to love love love her…' We learned that in my dad's house in Liverpool.'
But Paul helped me on the lyric.'GEORGE 1980:
'I had bought, earlier, a crummy sitar in London… and played the 'Norwegian Wood' bit.'JOHN 1980:
''Norwegian Wood' is my song completely.
It was about an affair I was having.
I was very careful and paranoid because I didn't want my wife, Cyn, to know that there really was something going on outside of the household.
I'd always had some kind of affairs going on, so I was trying to be sophisticated in writing about an affair… but in such a smoke-screen way that you couldn't tell.
But I can't remember any specific woman it had to do with.'PAUL 1985:
'It was me who decided in 'Norwegian Wood' that the house should burn down… not that it's any big deal.'
'One I do which I like is, 'You've Got To Hide Your Love Away.' But it's not commercial.'JOHN 1971:
'It's one of those that you sort of sing a bit sadly to yourself, 'Here I stand/Head in hand.' I started thinking about my own emotions.
I don't know when exactly it started, like 'I'm A Loser' or 'Hide Your Love Away,' or those kind of things.
Instead of projecting myself into a situation I would just try to express what I felt about myself which I had done in me books.
I think it was Dylan helped me realize that – I had a sort of professional songwriter's attitude to writing Pop songs, but to express myself I would write 'Spaniard In The Works' or 'In His Own Write' – the personal stories which were expressive of my personal emotions.
I'd have a separate 'songwriting' John Lennon who wrote songs for the sort of meat market, and I didn't consider them, the lyrics or anything, to have any depth at all.
Then I started being me about the songs… not writing them objectively, but subjectively.'JOHN 1980:
'That's me in my Dylan period again.
I am like a chameleon… influenced by whatever is going on.
If Elvis can do it, I can do it.
If the Everly Brothers can do it, me and Paul can.
Same with Dylan.'PAUL 1984:
'That was John doing a Dylan… heavily influenced by Bob.
If you listen, he's singing it like Bob.'
01:46 I Will (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 09.10.1968
'We're not just completely rock & roll.
We're not just completely one kind of group.
'Cuz like, when we played in Hamburg, we didn't just do rock all evening 'cuz we had to have these sort of fat old businessmen coming in and saying… (jokingly) or THIN old businessmen, as well, were coming in and saying 'Play a mambo.
Can you do a rhumba?' And we couldn't just keep saying no, you know, so we had to get into mambos and rhumbas a bit.
So this kind of thing is like a pretty sort of smootchy ballad – 'I Will.' I don't know if it's getting off the subject, but that's why there's great variety in this LP – 'cuz in everything we do, you know, we just haven't got one bag, you know.
And 'cuz on one hand you'll get something like 'I Will' and then you'll get 'Why Don't We Do It In The Road,' you know.
Just completely different things – completely different feelings… But it's me singing both of them.
It's the same fella.
Uhh, and I've wrote both of them, you know.
So you can't explain it.
I don't know why I do 'Why Don't We Do It In The Road' shouting it like that… and then do this sort of smootchy laughing American 'Girl From Ipenema.''PAUL circa-1994:
'I was doing a song, 'I Will,' that I had as a melody for quite a long time but I didn't have lyrics to it.
I remember sitting around (in India) with Donovan, and maybe a couple of other people.
We were just sitting around one evening after our day of meditation and I played him this one and he liked it, and we were trying to write some words.
We kicked around a few lyrics, something about the moon, but they weren't very satisfactory and I thought the melody was better than the words… it's still one of my favorite melodies that I've written.
You just occasionally get lucky with a melody and it becomes rather complete and I think this is one of them – quite a complete tune.'
'That's Paul's song.
He was trying to write a 'Soldier Boy' like the Shirelles.
He wrote that in Germany, or when we were going to and from Hamburg.
I might have contributed something.
I can't remember anything in particular.
It was mainly his song.'PAUL circa-1994:
'A theme song based on a letter… It was pretty much mine.
I don't think John had much of a hand in it.
There are certain themes that are easier than others to hang a song on, and a letter is one of them… It's not based in reality, nor did I write it to my girlfriend from Hamburg, which some people think.'
Songs of Beatles