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Do You Want To Know A Secret by The Beatles

Album: Please Please MeReleased: 1963Charted:
2
  • John Lennon claimed this song came to him based on the tune "I'm Wishing" that his mother used to sing him from the Disney movie Snow White. In the beginning of the Disney song, Snow White is singing to the doves, "Wanna know a secret? Promise not to tell? We are standing by a wishing well."
  • George Harrison sang lead. It's one of the few Beatles songs not sung by the person who wrote it.
  • This was the first Lennon/McCartney song to be a hit for another artist - it was recorded by Billy J. Kramer with the Dakotas. Their version was #1 in England for 2 weeks.
  • The Beatles were very close to a record deal, and John wanted to marry. Their manager Brian Epstein was very upset as he had been pitching the boys as 4 good-looking single chaps from England. John could not be talked out of the wedding so Brian made him a deal. As the 2 could not afford a honeymoon, and did not have a place of their own, he would let them use his flat for 2 weeks, with the promise that they not tell anyone they were married. In the flat on their honeymoon, for obvious reasons, John wrote "Listen, do you want to know a secret?" John has said that the secret in question wasn't necessarily that he was married, but that he finally realized he was actually in love. (thanks, Ken - Hartland, MI)
  • Lennon said in interviews 1971 and 1980 that he wrote this song in time for his wedding in August 1962. Most Beatles tracks were credited to Lennon/McCartney, and while the band was together, they rarely discussed who actually wrote what songs, so it wasn't until after their break-up that Lennon revealed he was the composer of this song. (thanks to Johan Cavalli, who is a music historian in Stockholm)
  • George Harrison said in Musician magazine that the musical inspiration for the song came from "I Really Love You" by the group The Stereos.
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Comments: 29

Lennon's Do You Want to Know a Secret was a number one hit in US 1981. Billy J Kramer made it a number one hit in UK 1963.
Lennon's I Should Have Known Better was number one in Norway 1964,
Lennon's This Boy was number one in Canada,
Lennon's If I Fell was number one in Norway 1964,
Lennon's Nowhere Man was number one in Australia and Canada 1966.
These songs are n e v e r mentioned when listing the Beatles number one hits, but always all McCartney's. George Martin and McCartney never did PR for these songs.
Johan - Stockholm, Sweden
Very romantic song.Martin - Fresno, Ca
During the bridge George sings "I've known a secret for the week or two." instead of "I've known the secret for a week or two." There's also a bad edit after the last "Do you promise not to tell?" where George begins to sing "a-do . . ." which is abruptly cut off by "Whoa-woe-oh." Cute song.Ralph - Lyndhurst, Nj
Craig Brooklyn New York, You are exact correct about "Do you want to know a secret?" behind "Yesterday" !!Johan - Stockholm, Sweden
Play the main part of the song, starting with "Listen," very, very slowly in your mind, and it sounds like "Yesterday." McCartney said he didn't know where the melody to "Yesterday" came from--he dreamt it--but I think it came from this.Craig - Brooklyn, Ny
Great song! Love that George sang it<3Megan - Stevenson, Al
Music lives forever, and is a very important part of international affairs in the world.Stephanie - Honolulu, Hi
im 25 and i have been listening to the beatles since i was 12 years olds when my stepdad introduced me to the beatles this was my very favorite song

amanda evansville indiana
Amanda - Evansville, In
I remember seeing a clip on Youtube of them being interviewed, 1964 or so, and the guy asked John "What does your wife think of your career?" To which he answered in fake surprise "My WHAT?", and the other three jokingly chimed in, as a discreet sort of nudge to the interviewer to change the subject.Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
I'm 14 and i'm in love with The Beatles:)Go Beatles!!!!!Claire - Miller's, Md
I wouldn't trust Wiki for anything too credible; although, Lennon was never comfortable with his voice in a high register. But Harrison sang this because Lennon's marriage was supposed to be a secret and since Epstein had been billing them as 4 single boys from Liverpool, he was worried people would get suspicious if John sang it.Linc - Beaumont, Tx
Supposedly the lyrics were partially based off the wishing well song from Snow White.Peter Griffin - Quahog, Ri
Wikipedia has the reason George sings this song:In 1980, Lennon said that he gave "Do You Want to Know a Secret" to Harrison to sing because "it only had three notes and he wasn't the best singer in the world," but added "he has improved a lot since then." So, there you have it.Peter Griffin - Quahog, Ri
cool song. the sleeve of the single kinda creeps me out though. i guess (hope) its their wax figurine faces. go check it out on wiki.Robert - Al
Nappa it was the early sixties!! It was all about the doo wapsLateeka - Kelowna, Canada
luv johnxx looks like George has a secretHannah - Newcastle, England
I don't think it should have been on the least favorite Beatles songs list either Silvia. I think it's a good song. I think it would have been more significant if John had sung it, now that I know the circumstances under which it was written.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Aw, #5 on the least favorite Beatles song list? I like the song...just cuz' George sings it, and I love the guitar...Sylvia - London, England
Ya just know what album this belongs on. It was a great album. All the songs were so clean.Lee - Clearwater, Fl
I'm surprised that george sang lead on this if it was written by John. Given the circumstances of the story, it would have been more significant for John to sing the song.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
I'm wurprised that geotge sand lead on this if it was written by John. Given the circumstances of he story, it would have been more signiicant for John to sing the song.Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
McCartney said this was 50/50 Lennon/McCartney...just a work song.Mike - Emmaus, Pa
Back in the Seventies, the NYC newspaper Village Voice held a poll of the fans' five least favorite Beatles songs. Believe it or not
DO YOU WANT TO KNOW A SECRET came in at #5!!!!
Barry - New York, Nc
Great, except for the "oooh wa oooh" backing vocals. What were they thinking?Nessie - Sapporo, Japan
I love this song. I never knew that story and I think it gives another depth to the song. It surprises me though, that a song more personal to John was sang by George, but I like it alot.Kristen - Aurora, Il
Steve-here is more useless trivia: Billy J. was wondering aloud what the J should stand for. John suggested Julian after his son. Billy J said,"Thats a right poof's name".Matt - Cleveland, Oh
I love the chord changes in this song, it never gets old.Jon - Encinitas, Ca
useless trivia-The J in Billy J Kramer stood for John.He actually never had a middle nameSteve - Willmar, Mn
Lennon did not want to get narried at all. Cynthia (his wife) was pregnant with Julian, and Epstein felt that they should marry, rather than let the word get out that a Beatle fathered a child out of wedlock. However, he also did not want Lennon to announce to the world he was married. While John did not hide his nuptuals, he was very discreit and avoided the topic as much as possible.Matthew - New York, Ny