Hello Little Girl


“That was me. That was actually my first song. [Singing – Ed] ‘When I see you every day I say mmm hmm, hello little girl.’ I remember some Thirties or Forties song which was [singing – Ed] ‘You’re delightful, you’re delicious and da da da. Isn’t it a pity that you are such a scatterbrain.’ That always fascinated me for some reason or another. It’s also connected to my mother. It’s all very Freudian. She used to sing that one. So I made ‘Hello Little Girl’ out of it.”John Lennon (1077)

Hello, Goodbye


“‘Hello, Goodbye’ was one of my songs. There are Geminian influences here I think: the twins. It’s such a deep theme in the universe, duality – man woman, black white, ebony ivory, high low, right wrong, up down, hello goodbye – that it was a very easy song to write. It’s just a song of duality, with me advocating the more positive. You say goodbye, I say hello. You say stop, I say go. I was advocating the more positive side of the duality, and I still do to this day.”Paul McCartney (1140)

Helter Skelter


“I was using the symbol of a helter skelter as a ride from the top to the bottom – the rise and fall of the Roman Empire – and this was the fall, the demise, the going down. You could have thought of it as a rather cute title but it’s since taken on all sorts of ominous overtones because Manson picked it up as an anthem, and since then quite a few punk bands have done it because it is a raunchy rocker.”Paul McCartney (1140)
“Charles Manson interpreted that Helter Skelter was something to to with the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. I still don’t know what all that stuff is; it’s from the Bible, Revelation – I haven’t read it so I wouldn’t know. But he interpreted the whole thing – that we were the four horsemen, Helter Skelter was the song – and arrived at having to go out and kill everyone.”Paul McCartney (1143)

Her Majesty


“It was quite funny because it’s basically monarchist, with a mildly disrespectful tone, but it’s very tongue in cheek. It’s almost like a love song to the Queen.”Paul McCartney (1140)

Here Comes The Sun


“‘Here Comes The Sun’ was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: ‘Sign this’ and ‘Sign that’. Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever; by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So one day I decided I was going to slag off Apple and I went over to Eric Clapton’s house. The relief of not having to go and see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric’s acoustic guitars and wrote ‘Here Comes The Sun’.”George Harrison (1143)

Honey Pie


“Both John and I had a great love for music hall, what the Americans call vaudeville… I very much liked that old crooner style, the strange fruity voice that they used, so ‘Honey Pie’ was me writing one of them to an imaginary woman, across the ocean, on the silver screen, who was called ‘Honey Pie’. It’s another of my fantasy songs.”Paul McCartney (1143)

I, Me, Mine


“Having LSD was like someone catapulting me out into space. The LSD experience was the biggest experience that I’d had up until that time. Suddenly I looked around and everything I could see was relative to my ego, like ‘that’s my piece of paper’ and ‘that’s my flannel’ or ‘give it to me’ or ‘I am’. It drove me crackers, I hated everything about my ego, it was a flash of everything false and impermanent, which I disliked. But later, I learned from it, to realise that there is somebody else in here apart from old blabbermouth. Who am ‘I’ became the order of the day. Anyway, that’s what came out of it, ‘I Me Mine’. The truth within us has to be realised. When you realise that, everything else that you see and do and touch and smell isn’t real, then you may know what reality is, and can answer the question ‘Who am I?'”George Harrison (1145)

I’m A Loser


“That’s me in my Dylan period. Part of me suspects I’m a loser and part of me thinks I’m God Almighty.”John Lennon (1077)

I’m So Tired


“‘I’m So Tired’ was me, in India again. I couldn’t sleep, I’m meditating all day and couldn’t sleep at night. The story is that. One of my favorite tracks. I just like the sound of it, and I sing it well.”John Lennon (1077)

Lovely Rita


“There was a story in the paper about ‘Lovely Rita’, the meter maid. She’s just retired as a traffic warden. The phrase ‘meter maid’ was so American that it appealed, and to me a ‘maid’ was always a little sexy thing: ‘Meter maid. Hey, come and check my meter, baby.’ I saw a bit of that, and then I saw that she looked like a ‘military man’.”Paul McCartney (1143)
“I remember one night just going for a walk and working on the words as I walked… It wasn’t based on a real person but, as often happened, it was claimed by a girl called Rita who was a traffic warden who apparently did give me a ticket, so that made the newspapers. I think it was more a question of coincidence: anyone called Rita who gave me a ticket would naturally think, ‘It’s me!’ I didn’t think, Wow, that woman gave me a ticket, I’ll write a song about her – never happened like that.”Paul McCartney (1140)

Magical Mystery Tour


“John and I remembered mystery tours, and we always thought this was a fascinating idea: getting on a bus and not knowing where you were going. Rather romantic and slightly surreal! All these old dears with the blue rinses going off to mysterious places. Generally there’s a crate of ale in the boot of the coach and you sing lots of songs. It’s a charabanc trip. So we took that idea and used it as a basis for a song and the film.”Paul McCartney (1140)
“I used to go to the fairgrounds as a kid, the waltzers and the dodgems, but what interested me was the freak shows: the boxing booths, the bearded lady and the sheep with five legs, which actually was a four-legged sheep with one leg sewn on its side. When I touched it, the fellow said, ‘Hey, leave that alone!’ these were the great things of your youth. So much of your writing comes from this period; your golden memories. If I’m stuck for an idea, I can always think of a great summer, think of a time when I went to the seaside. Okay, sand sun waves donkeys laughter. That’s a pretty good scenario for a song. ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ was co-written by John and I, very much in our fairground period. One of our great inspirations was always the barker. ‘Roll up! Roll up!’ The promise of something: the newspaper ad that says ‘guaranteed not to crack’, the ‘high class’ butcher, ‘satisfaction guaranteed’ from Sgt Pepper. ‘Come inside,’ ‘Step inside, Love’; you’ll find that pervades a lot of my songs.”Paul McCartney (1140)
“Because those were psychedelic times it had to become a magical mystery tour, a little bit more surreal than the real ones to give us a licence to do it. But it employs all the circus and fairground barkers, ‘Roll up! Roll up!’, which was also a reference to rolling up a joint. We were always sticking those little things in that we knew our friends would get; veiled references to drugs and to trips. ‘Magical Mystery Tour is waiting to take you away,’ so that’s a kind of drug, ‘it’s dying to take you away’ so that’s a Tibetan Book of the Dead reference. We put all these words in and if you were just an ordinary person, it’s a nice bus that’s waiting to take you away, but if you’re tripping, it’s dying, it’s the real tour, the real magical mystery tour. We stuck all that stuff in for our ‘in group’ of friends really. ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ was the equivalent of a drug trip and we made the film based on that. ‘That’ll be good, a far-out mystery tour. Nobody quite knows where they’re going. We can take ’em anywhere we want, man!’ Which was the feeling of the period. ‘They can go in the sky. It can take off!’ In fact, in the early script, which was just a few fireside chats more than a script, the bus was going to actually take off and fly up the the magicians in the clouds, which was us all dressed in red magicians’ costumes, and we’d mess around in a little laboratory being silly for a while.”Paul McCartney (1140)

Long, Long, Long


“The ‘you’ in ‘Long, Long, Long’ is God. I can’t recall much about it except the chords, which I think were coming from Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands – D to E minor, A, and D – those three chords and the way they moved.”George Harrison (1145)
The Beatles Long Long Long