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Britain / Music / Beatles / Songs
The music and words of the Beatles
  Song lyrics
  Films and documentaries
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The music, words and films of the Beatles: John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

John Lennon
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Paul McCartney
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The Beatles
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Original albums

Please Please Me
Original UK release date: March 1963
Label: Parlophone
Date: October 1993

With the Beatles
Original UK release date: November 1963
Label: Parlophone
Date: October 1993
A Hard Day's Night
Original UK release date: July 1964
Label: Parlophone
Date: November 1998
Beatles for Sale
Original UK release date: December 1964
Label: Parlophone
Date: November 1988

Original UK release date: August 1965
Label: Parlophone
Date: November 1988

Rubber Soul
Original UK release date: December 1965
Label: Parlophone
Date: November 1998
Original UK release date: August 1966
Label: Apple
Date: November 1998

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Original UK release date: June 1967
Label: Parlophone
Date: June 1992

Magical Mystery Tour
Original UK release date: November 1967
Label: Parlophone
Date: September 1987

White Album
Original UK release date: December 1968
Label: Parlophone
Date: August 1987

Yellow Submarine (soundtrack)
Original UK release date: January 1969
Label: Parlophone
Date: August 1987

Yellow Submarine (remastered)
Label: Parlophone
Date: September 1999

Abbey Road
Original UK release date: September 1969
Label: Apple
Date: November 1988

Let It Be
Original UK release date: May 1970
Label: Parlophone
Date: November 1988

Let It Be...Naked
Original UK release date: November 2003
Label: Apple
Date: November 2003


1962-1966 : The Red Album
Label: Apple
Date: October 1993

1967-1970 : The Blue Album
Label: Apple
Date: October 1993

The Beatles Anthology Volume 1
Label: Parlophone
Date: November 1995

The Beatles Anthology Volume 2
Label: Parlophone
Date: March 1996
The Beatles Anthology Volume 3
Label: Parlophone
Date: October 1996
Label: Parlophone
Date: November 2000

Past Masters Volume 1
Label: Parlophone
Date: March 1988

Past Masters Volume 2
Label: Parlophone
Date: March 1988

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Notes about the words or tunes of some of the most famous Beatles songs. Whereas the early songs were mainly simple love songs, the later ones became more personal, reflecting the lives of Paul and John. The date shown is the year in which the song was written.

For the lyrics to all of the Beatles songs, see:

Ticket to Ride (1965)
The title is a play on words. As well as the verb "to ride", Ryde is a town on the Isle of Wight (off the south coast of England, near Southampton). John and Paul visited Ryde together in 1960.

Yesterday (1965)
This song is believed to be about the death of Paul's mother from cancer. After she died, he said "What are we going to do without her money?" - later he regretted his words ("I said something wrong"). He wants his mother to be alive again ("I long for yesterday"). You can also interpret the song as being about the end of a love affair, but in fact Paul was in a happy relationship at the time he wrote this.

Eleanor Rigby (1965)
This song was inspired by a newspaper story about a lonely person. It is likely that the names came from the graveyard at St Peter's Church, Woolton, Liverpool, which is in the area where John and Paul met. There is a grave there named Eleanor Rigby, and another one of Mr McKenzie, his wife and daughter (the song refers to a priest called Father McKenzie).

Yellow Submarine (1966)
"Yellow submarine" was a nickname for a drug in the 1960s. The song is probably a reference to a hallucination when high on drugs, although you can also take it as a simple children's song. John's father was a sailor, and was usually away at sea.

Strawberry Fields Forever (1966)
In this song, John remembers Strawberry Field, in Woolton, Liverpool (he changed the name to Strawberry Fields to make it sound better). This is a home for children who have been taken away from their parents, run by the Salvation Army, and is close to where John's childhood home. John used to play music when he was a child. In this song Strawberry Field is seen as an ideal, safe and free place. This was in contrast to the unhappiness, danger and lack of freedom John was experiencing. He was feeling a lot of pressure after fierce reaction to a comment he made that the Beatles were more popular than Jesus, and was thinking about leaving the Beatles at this time.

Penny Lane (1966)
In this song Paul recalls the area where he grew up. Like Strawberry Field, Penny Lane is in Woolton, Liverpool. The song creates a picture of ordinary life in a busy part of town, and introduces some of the local characters who lived and worked there. Perhaps Paul was missing the ordinary life he used to enjoy here, just as John was missing the happiness of his days at Strawberry Field.

Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds (1967)
Many people believe that the initials of the words in the song title are a reference to the drug LSD (Lucy - Sky - Diamonds). John says however the words were inspired by his 3-year old son Julian, who came back from school with a painting he had drawn of a girl in his class called Lucy.

Hey Jude (1968)
Paul has said that he was inspired to write this song by John's 4-year old son, Julian Lennon. John and Julian's mother had split up, and Julian was left alone with his mother. The title was originally "Hey Jules". Perhaps to protect the child's privacy, the title was later changed to "Hey Jude" (Jude is an abbreviation of the woman's name Judith), and the words altered to refer to a woman starting a relationship.

Let It Be (1968)
At a time when the Beatles were arguing and there was a lot of tension between them, Paul had a dream in which his dead mother (called Mary) appeared and told him that eveything would be alright. Paul turned this experience into a song. The choice of the words "let it be" gives the song a religious theme - this is the common translation for the word "amen" which is said at the end of a Christian prayer. "Mother Mary" clearly refers to Paul's mother, but also suggests the mother of Jesus Christ. Mary is an important symbol in the Catholic religion, and is associated with many miracles.

Hard Day's Write
Author: Steve Turner
Publisher: Carlton Books
Date: June 2000

Beatles for Sale
Author: David Rowley
Publisher: Mainstream Publishing
Date: May 2002

The Beatles Complete Chord Songbook
Author: Rikky Rooksby
Publisher: Omnibus Press
Date: January 2000
Here, There, and Everywhere: The 100 Best Beatles Songs
Authors: Stephen Spignesi, Michael Lewis
Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal Publishers
Date: May 2004

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A Hard Day's Night (1964)

Help! (1965)

Magical Mystery Tour (1967)

Yellow Submarine (1968)

Let It Be (1970)

A Hard Day's Night (1964) (DVD); Video
Starring: The Beatles
Studio: Buena Vista Home Entertainment
Date: September 2002

Yellow Submarine (1968) (DVD); Video
Starring: The Beatles
Studio: Mgm Home Ent. (Europe) Ltd
Date: February 2000

The Beatles Anthology

The Beatles Anthology was a television series about the life of the Beatles, created with the cooperation of Paul, George and Ringo, and also with the help of Yoko Ono. This is available as a series of DVDs or videos. A large book has also been produced based on the interviews in the television series. This contains extensive quotes from all of the members of the band, together with hundreds of photographs.

The Beatles Anthology (5 DVDs)
Starring: The Beatles
Studio: EMI
Date: March 2003; Videos

The Beatles Anthology (book)
Author: The Beatles
Publisher: Weidenfeld Nicolson Illustrated
Date: October 2000

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