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Stories behind legendary Beatles Songs (12 Photos)
The Beatles are one of, if not the most iconic band of all time. They were true pioneers, releasing music in a way that it was never heard before, with a following like no other, making chart topping sales in a day where there was no iTunes. From ‘Please Please Me’ through ‘Let It Be’, the world was captivated by the four lads from Liverpool. Here are the stories behind some of The Beatles’ greatest hits.
The first track on the legendary “Abbey Road” record. This song came to be when John Lennon was asked by Timothy Leary, who was to use the song as for his campaign against future president Ronald Reagan. His campaign slogan was “Come together, join the party” meaning both the political party and the party of life. John started writing immediately, coming up with lines such as “Come together right now, don’t come tomorrow, don’t come alone, come together right now over me, all that I can tell you, is you gotta be free.” After John had given it a few revisions, he handed over the demo tape to Tim, who used it for his campaign before he landed himself in jail for pot possession, ultimately ending his run for governor of California. John Lennon took the song and made it into the masterpiece that it is now, telling Timothy Leary that “He was the tailor and Tim was the customer who had ordered a suit and never returned. So he sold it to someone else.”
Things we said today
Written and sung in a very typical Paul fashion, this love song was written on a yacht in the Caribbean. Paul had written this song as a reflection of his relationship with then girlfriend Jane. He knew that due to the nature of their careers that their time together would be so few. He said that when they were separated, he would take comfort from the memory of the things they’d said that day.
From the album “Rubber Soul”, this song touched heavily on John’s unfaithfulness. John had written it while on a ski trip to Switzerland in 1965. He had asked Paul to help him write the ending, to which Paul suggested that he ends the song with the apartment burning down.
Perhaps Paul’s most iconic song, Yesterday had come to him in a dream. After waking up one morning with the tune stuck in his head, he immediately went to his piano and started playing it. Without lyrics, he promptly came up with the words “Scrambled eggs, oh my baby how I love your legs” to help him remember the tune. Once he was sure that the melody had not previously existed, he wrote the real lyrics to one of the greatest songs of all time.
Being the first Beatles song to not be about love, Nowhere Man was already distinctly different than the rest. This song was written by John one morning while laying on his couch. Having spent most of the day constantly writing, he felt that he couldn’t complete another song for the album. It was at that point that he decided to just stop thinking. This is when he started to think of himself as a “Nowhere Man, sitting in his nowhere land.” He was writing the song about himself, and how hopeless he felt in writing a great song- trippy.
She said She said
The story of this song from the Revolver Album comes from actor Peter Fonda. Peter was at a party thrown by The Beatles in LA in the summer of 1965. He recalled that everyone but him and Paul was on LSD at the time. He was apparently sitting on the porch with George, who had told him that he thought he was dying. In an attempt to settle the nerves of the tripped out Beatle, he told him about how he shot himself in the stomach as a kid, and that his heart beat stopped three times. He said to George “I know what it’s like to be dead.” John had overheard that line and said to Peter “You’re making me feel I’ve never been born. Who put all that shit in your head?” It wasn’t all that long until John had used that experience to write the song. Apparently, John never acknowledged it to Peter, but he knew that it was that instance that sparked the idea for John.
Let it Be
One of the more powerful songs in their later years, Let it Be is a beautiful song written by Paul. He had written it during a time of anger and sadness in the group. John had more interest in being with Yoko than working, George was discouraged because his songs kept getting rejected, Ringo was over the drama, and Paul was trying to fight to keep the group alive. Business complications brought Paul over the edge, causing him to write the song as a way to “exercise the demons” that he was dealing with. It is a common misconception that “Mother Mary” is a direct reference to the Virgin Mary, however it is a reference to Paul’s mother, Mary, who died when he was 14. He stated that he had a dream about her for the first time in a long time, during his darkest hour.
With a little help from my friends.
From Sgt.Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band, this song was written by Lennon-McCartney for Ringo to sing. Journalist Hunter Davies was lucky enough to be given permission to watch John and Paul write the song. They knew that they wanted it to be something Ringo could sing, and it had to be a sing-a-long kind of song. They had felt that that’s what was missing from the album. John had eventually suggested that each verse begun with a question, such as “Do you believe in a love at first sight?” After a few hours of back and forth, they had decided that the song was good enough to go, although not fully completed. The rest of the song was written in the studio, where 10 takes of the song were recorded that night.
She’s leaving home.
Paul wrote this song in February of 1967. He had come across a newspaper article about a 17-year-old girl who had run away from home. He got further inspiration from what her distressed father had been quoted as saying: “I can’t imagine why she would run away. She has everything here.”
Across the universe.
John had written this song while laying in bed at Kenwood. Inspired by an argument he had just had with Cynthia, the words “pools of sorrow, waves of joy” popped into his head. He couldn’t fall back asleep until he wrote the song. John had said “I didn’t want to write it. I was just slightly irritable and I couldn’t go to sleep.”
Paul had written this song during a time that was very rough for Africans in both the States and England. Knowing they were dealing with lots of racial issues, Paul felt that if he could write a song that could help make their day a little better, it was worth writing.
The Beatles took over the world, and left us with some pretty memorable tunes. Ever album is a journey, and a damn good time. Take a bow, lads.