The Beatles, album "Reel Music"
Lyrics of the album
Listen the album
LP - collections - Studio Parlophone - 1982
'We went to do a job, and we'd worked all day and we happened to work all night.
I came up still thinking it was day I suppose, and I said, 'It's been a hard day…' and I looked around and saw it was dark so I said, '…night!' So we came to 'A Hard Day's Night.''JOHN 1980:
'I was going home in the car and Dick Lester suggested the title, 'Hard Day's Night' from something Ringo had said.
I had used it in 'In His Own Write,' but it was an off-the-cuff remark by Ringo.
You know, one of those malapropisms.
A Ringo-ism, where he said it not to be funny… just said it.
So Dick Lester said, 'We are going to use that title.' And the next morning I brought in the song… 'cuz there was a little competition between Paul and I as to who got the A-side – who got the hits.
If you notice, in the early days the majority of singles, in the movies and everything, were mine… in the early period I'm dominating the group.
The only reason he sang on 'A Hard Day's Night' was because I couldn't reach the notes.
(sings) 'When I'm home/ everything seems to be right/ when I'm home…' – which is what we'd do sometimes.
One of us couldn't reach a note but he wanted a different sound, so he'd get the other to do the harmony.'PAUL circa-1994:
'The title was Ringo's.
We'd almost finished making the film, and this fun bit arrived that we'd not known about before, which was naming the film.
So we were sitting around at Twickenham studios having a little brain-storming session… and we said, 'Well, there was something Ringo said the other day.' Ringo would do these little malapropisms, he would say things slightly wrong, like people do, but his were always wonderful, very lyrical… they were sort of magic even though he was just getting it wrong.
And he said after a concert, 'Phew, it's been a hard day's night.''
JOHN 1980: 'That's me.
Just a song – It doesn't mean a damn thing.'
'John and Paul, but mainly Paul.'JOHN 1980:
'That's Paul completely.
Maybe I had something to do with the chorus, but I don't know.
I always considered it his song.'PAUL 1984:
'We recorded it in France, as I recall.
Went over to the Odeon in Paris.
Recorded it over there.
Felt proud because Ella Fitzgerald recorded it, too, though we didn't realize what it meant that she was doing it.'PAUL circa-1994:
''Can't Buy Me Love' is my attempt to write a bluesy mode.
The idea behind it was that all these material possessions are all very well but they won't buy me what I really want.'
'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.'
'We think it's one of the best we've written.'JOHN 1980:
'The whole Beatle thing was just beyond comprehension.
When 'Help' came out, I was actually crying out for help.
Most people think it's just a fast rock 'n roll song.
I didn't realize it at the time; I just wrote the song because I was commissioned to write it for the movie.
But later, I knew I really was crying out for help.
So it was my fat Elvis period.
You see the movie: He – I – is very fat, very insecure, and he's completely lost himself.
And I am singing about when I was so much younger and all the rest, looking back at how easy it was.
Now I may be very positive… yes, yes… but I also go through deep depressions where I would like to jump out the window, you know.
It becomes easier to deal with as I get older; I don't know whether you learn control or, when you grow up, you calm down a little.
Anyway, I was fat and depressed and I was crying out for help.'PAUL 1984:
'John wrote that… well, John and I wrote it at his house in Weybridge for the film.
I think the title was out of desperation.'
JOHN 1980: 'That's me.'
'We are always worried with each record.
With 'Ticket To Ride' we were even more worried.
There's bound to be a time when we come in at 19 (on the charts).
But this 'number one' business doesn't seem to stop – great while it lasts – but now we'll have to start all over again and people will start predicting funny things for the next one.'JOHN 1970:
'It's a heavy record, and the drums are heavy too.
That's why I like it.'JOHN 1980:
'That was one of the earliest heavy-metal records made.
Paul's contribution was the way Ringo played the drums.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I think the interesting thing is the crazy ending – instead of ending like the previous verse, we changed the tempo.
We picked up one of the lines, 'My baby don't care,' but completely altered the melody.
We almost invented the idea of a new bit of a song on the fade-out with this song… It was quite radical at the time.'
04:35 I Am the Walrus (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 29.09.1967
'Everyone keeps preaching that the best way is to be 'open' when writing for teenagers.
Then when we do we get criticized.
Surely the word 'knickers' can't offend anyone.
Shakespeare wrote words alot more naughtier than knickers!'JOHN 1967:
'We chose the word (knickers) because it is a lovely expressive word.
It rolls off the tongue.
It could 'mean' anything.'GEORGE 1967:
'People don't understand.
In John's song, 'I Am The Walrus' he says: 'I am he as you are he as you are me.' People look for all sorts of hidden meanings.
It's serious, but it's also not serious.
It's true, but it's also a joke.'JOHN 1968:
'We write lyrics, and I write lyrics that you don't realize what they mean till after.
Especially some of the better songs or some of the more flowing ones, like 'Walrus.' The whole first verse was written without any knowledge.
With 'I Am the Walrus,' I had 'I am he as you are he as we are all together.' I had just these two lines on the typewriter, and then about two weeks later I ran through and wrote another two lines and then, when I saw something, after about four lines, I just knocked the rest of it off.
Then I had the whole verse or verse and a half and then sang it.
I had this idea of doing a song that was a police siren, but it didn't work in the end (sings like a siren) 'I-am-he-as-you-are-he-as…' You couldn't really sing the police siren.'JOHN 1980:
'The first line was written on one acid trip one weekend.
The second line was written on the next acid trip the next weekend, and it was filled in after I met Yoko.
Part of it was putting down Hare Krishna.
All these people were going on about Hare Krishna, Allen Ginsberg in particular.
The reference to 'Element'ry penguin' is the elementary, naive attitude of going around chanting, 'Hare Krishna,' or putting all your faith in any one idol.
I was writing obscurely, a la Dylan, in those days.
It's from 'The Walrus and the Carpenter.' 'Alice in Wonderland.' To me, it was a beautiful poem.
It never dawned on me that Lewis Carroll was commenting on the capitalist and social system.
I never went into that bit about what he really meant, like people are doing with the Beatles' work.
Later, I went back and looked at it and realized that the walrus was the bad guy in the story and the carpenter was the good guy.
I thought, Oh, shit, I picked the wrong guy.
I should have said, 'I am the carpenter.' But that wouldn't have been the same, would it? (singing) 'I am the carpenter…''
'It's a happy place, that's all.
You know, it was just… We were trying to write a children's song.
That was the basic idea.
And there's nothing more to be read into it than there is in the lyrics of any children's song.'JOHN 1972:
'Paul wrote the catchy chorus.
I helped with the blunderbuss bit.'JOHN 1980:
''Yellow Submarine' is Paul's baby.
Donovan helped with the lyrics.
I helped with the lyrics too.
We virtually made the track come alive in the studio, but based on Paul's inspiration.
Paul's title… written for Ringo.'PAUL 1984:
'I wrote that in bed one night.
As a kid's story.
And then we thought it would be good for Ringo to do.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I was laying in bed in the Asher's garret, and there's a nice twilight zone just as you're drifting into sleep and as you wake from it – I always find it quite a comfortable zone.
I remember thinking that a children's song would be quite a good idea… I was thinking of it as a song for Ringo, which it eventually turned out to be, so I wrote it as not too rangey in the vocal.
I just made up a little tune in my head, then started making a story – sort of an ancient mariner, telling the young kids where he'd lived.
It was pretty much my song as I recall… I think John helped out.
The lyrics got more and more obscure as it goes on, but the chorus, melody and verses are mine.'GEORGE 1999:
'Paul came up with the concept of 'Yellow Submarine.' All I know is just that every time we'd all get around the piano with guitars and start listening to it and arranging it into a record, we'd all fool about.
As I said, John's doing the voice that sounds like someone talking down a tube or ship's funnel as they do in the merchant marine.
(laughs) And on the final track there's actually that very small party happening! As I seem to remember, there's a few screams and what sounds like small crowd noises in the background.'
'We had been told we'd be seen recording it by the whole world at the same time.
So we had one message for the world – Love.
We need more love in the world.'PAUL circa-1994:
''All You Need Is Love' was John's song.
I threw in a few ideas, as did other members of the group, but it was largely ad libs like singing 'She Loves You' or 'Greensleeves' or silly little things like that at the end, and we made those up on the spot.'
04:01 Let It Be (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 04.01.1970
'That's Paul… I think it was inspired by 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.' That's my feeling, although I have nothing to go on.
I know he wanted to write a 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.''PAUL 1986:
'I had alot of bad times in the '60s.
We used to lie in bed and wonder what was going on and feel quite paranoid.
Probably all the drugs.
I had a dream one night about my mother.
She died when I was fourteen so I hadn't really heard from her in quite a while, and it was very good.
It gave me some strength.'PAUL circa-1994:
'One night during this tense time I had a dream I saw my mum, who'd been dead ten years or so.
And it was great to see her because that's a wonderful thing about dreams, you actually are reunited with that person for a second… In the dream she said, 'It'll be alright.' I'm not sure if she used the words 'Let it be' but that was the gist of her advice, it was 'Don't worry too much, it will turn out okay.' It was such a sweet dream I woke up thinking, 'Oh, it was really great to visit with her again.' I felt very blessed to have that dream.'
03:09 Get Back (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 27.01.1969
'We were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air.
We started to write words there and then… When we finished it, we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to rollercoast by.'JOHN 1980:
''Get Back' is Paul.
That's a better version of 'Lady Madonna.' You know, a potboiler rewrite.'
'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.'
Songs of Beatles