Registration with

register

lost password recovery

recover my password

sign in

  • If you registered before August, 2014, you will need to register again. Sorry for the inconvenience.
  • remember me
sign in

Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact

Sign up for our newsletter

Get the Newsletter

Why Don't We Do It In The Road? by The Beatles

Album: The White AlbumReleased: 1968
  • Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr recorded this without the other Beatles. It was one of the first Beatles songs recorded without the whole group present, something they would do more often as their relationships deteriorated.
  • John Lennon said this was one of Paul's best songs. He may have been joking.
  • This contains only 2 lines of lyrics, and they are probably about sexual tension. (thanks, Dominic - Pittsburgh, PA)
  • Apparently, McCartney got the idea for this while he was watching a pair of monkeys conducting business: "I was up on a flat roof meditating and I'd see a troupe of monkeys walking along and the male just hopped onto her back and gave her one, as they say in the vernacular. Within two or three seconds he hopped off again, and looked around as if to say, 'it wasn't me,' and she looked around as if there had been some kind of mild disturbance but thought, huh, I must have imagined it. And I thought, bloody hell, that puts it all into a cocked hat, that's how simple the act of procreation is, this bloody monkey just hopping on and off. There is an urge, they do it, and it's done with. It's that simple." McCartney was in India at the time.
  • This was a very John Lennon kind of song, John was very upset Paul did not include him in the recording of this. (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA. U.S.A, for above 2)
or Register to post comments

Comments: 63

I love this song. Absolutely hilarious. I thought that it was John's song for the longest time.Carter - Lake Forest, Il
After hearing this song quite some time ago, I was puzzled about each of the lyric lines. Firstly why ' in the road' rather than ' on the road' , and secondly doing 'it' in the road would hardly be private, so the line ' no one will be watching us ' would hardly seem true. After much deliberation I believe the road refers to Abbey Roads studios, where maybe there was a room whee Paul and partner could do 'it' privately, which would result in both the lyric lines sitting better with me.Eric - Watanobbi, Australia
is it just me or does his voice (Paul) sound REALLY weird?Mary - Grand Rapids, Mi
I LOVE The Beatles! They're geniuses and my favorite band ever. And it pains me to admit this, but I HATE this song! It's soo....dumb and repetitive. ='( Sorry Paul, definitely not your best.Allyson - Waverly, Ny
I can't recall ever being so disappointed. I thought the song was about the protests against the Viet Nam war. US was protesting in the streets, England in the parks. When the song was written the protests went tot the streets and the English was position chaged. Just goes to show you, music is what you make it in your mind. Metalica songs are mostly about drugs but in my mind songs like Bleeding Me and Until it Sleeps are not about drugs but the anger within. I love rock & roll!John - Honolulu, Hi
It´s me ....again.
Someone said that this song took Paul 5 minutes to make and 3 minutes to record.
That is the reason it is not that brilliant.
Why is it so difficult to realize that the oposite is true?
Who can make a song in 5 minutes and record in 3 , why can´t I do that??? I can´t even make a song like that in the rest of my life no matter how hard I try!!!
John - Sao Paulo, Brazil
To say that this is the best Paul vocal performance is too much although it is a brilliant performance indeed.
But what about Hey Jude, Golden Slumbers, Maybe I´m amazed, She´s so heavy [ whose performance is that???] , Sgt. Pepper´s ......you name them!!!
John - Sao Paulo, Brazil
Awesome song. Why do some people take it so seriously though lol? You can tell hes having fun.Freddy - Miami, Fl
Bloodaxe------were you born in London?Reed - New Ulm, Mn
Goldman's Lennon biography confirms the Beatle Orgies. Hunt around the internet and you can find nude photos of Paul and John (from around this same time). In a fairly recent made for TV movie of Lennon's early life and beginnings of the Beatles (sorry wish I could remember the title, something like Johnny and the Moondogs)John runs late to a gig because he was too busy with the ladies and was drug up on stage still facining his pants...Linc - Beaumont, Tx
It must of taken weeks to write the lyrics of this song.Matthew - Melbourne, Australia
This song might be McCartney's sarcastic take on some of Lennon's songwriting. Think of the repetition of "I want you (she's so heavy)". (I've also read that McCartney played the drums). I know that McCartney later claimed he got the idea of the song from watching monkeys copulate. But he sounds distinctly angry. Lennon & McCartney weren't getting along then, and McCartney had gotten furious with Lennon for damaging his (McCartney's) image by association. .Bruce - Los Angeles, Ca
Do it in the road, people. Whatever "it" is for you, just do it.

Can we ever move beyond our concrete, fake religion parameter set limitations and just enjoy our lives? Be good to each other?

That's what Paul was saying. My dad was the engineer on this song and he told me that Paul and Ringo laughed at all the interpretations that would occur from the song, when all Paul wanted people to do was to just "get together" and remember that we're all ONE. And Paul's idea came from watching monkeys do their procreation thing. It was so casual and easy, so --
Question: What's the problem with humans?
Answer: Hypocritical Republicans.
Bloodaxe - Lincoln, Ne
this song is odd, but i like it.Jude - Toronto, Qc
Wow, why do I find this one great? It's odd that I find this one of The White Album's better songs.Peter Griffin - Quahog, Ri
Still Nothing wrong about Kissin' in the street. and mabey a little more than just kissin'Bianca Sanchez - Alburquerque, Nm
Ya know, though the lyrical content of this song is not extraordinary, this could be the absolute BEST vocal performance EVER. Correct me if I'm wrong...Sheeberson - Wrightsville Beach, Nc
I meant that Paul and Jane were lovers from the time she was 17,and he was 21,until she was 22 and he was 26,it was the Spring of 1968 that Jane found him with another woman.Lucyinthesky - Philadelphia, Pa
Yo, that was a really sick cruel thing to say! I and most of the world love Paul McCartney,he's an extremely talented singer,song composer and known to be one of the best bass players ever and a multi talented diverse musician who can play just about anything instrument great! He played every instrument himself on his first very good solo album,McCartney at age 27,and he played *so* many different instruments so well! On his great critically acclaimed popular 1973 Band On The Run Album only he and Denny Laine play all of the instruments,and in 1979 he played every instrument himself on McCartney 2 and then on his 1997 Flaming Pie album,he plays most of the instruments,and on his two most recent ones Chas and Creation In The Backyard and Memory Almost Full he plays most of the instruments! He is also in The Guiness World Book Of Records as the most successful and covered song composer of all time! And Bob Dylan said in a Rolling Stone interview in the Spring that he's in awe of Paul McCartney,and he said he's the only one he's in awe of. He said that Paul can sing the ballad very good,he's got the melody and rhythm and he can play any instrument,and he said there were no better singers than John Lennon and Paul McCartney! If you don't like Paul for some irrational reason,then please don't post on here!Lucyinthesky - Philadelphia, Pa
Craig you have a real problem! You said a similar comment about She Came In Through The Bathroom Window! There is nothing pathetic about this song and it is genuinely pretty naughy especially for 1968,nobody was writing a song this blatantly perverted about having public sex in a road and as if's no big deal! The Beatles *were* pretty naughy in their personal lives, Paul McCartney had sex at age 15 with an older woman and most 15 year olds were not having sex in 1957! Paul also would sneak into strip clubs when he was like 13,and drew nude women in class and stole cigarettes.He was also the first rock star to openly talk to reporters about him taking LSD and in June 1967 he was interviewed outside his house by a TV news reporter who asked him how often he took LSD and he said about 4 times. He also was interviewed in Life Magazine that same month and year,and said crazy things like the world would be a much better place if our world leaders took LSD! The Revernd Billy Graham prayed for him and said he should see a psychiatrist. John Lennon was also sexually involved with women at a young age and he used to get into a lot of fist fights,hit women,stole cigareetes,got drunk a lot,and shoplifted. The Beatles played in sleazy strip clubs of Hamburg Germany 8 hours a night for 2 years in a row wearing tight black leather pants and jackets,smoking,cursing,on stage,taking speed pills to stay awake and going to bed with many young women groupies. When they made it big and were touring in 1963,1964,1965 and 1966,they had sex with *tons* of young women groupies! John Lennon said there were orgies after concerts that he was involved in.John also confessed out of guilt to his first wife Cynthia that he had been with 100's of other women. Paul McCartney was romantically involved with the beautiful red haired British actress Jane Asher from the time she was 17 and he was 21,and they lived together for several years in a house they bought. The became engagged to be married on Christmas day 1967,but Jane came home early to surprise Paul and found him in bed with another woman,and Jane left Paul for good! He had written a lot of great songs about Jane including constant arguments they had because he was always trying to get her to give up her acting career and devote herself to him and she refused. She had been in movies from the age of 5 and loved her acting career but it often took her away from Paul often.The Beatles cleaned up image was created by their manager Brian Epsein and John hated and resented it the most!If you believe these myths about The Beatles and don't like them then don't post on here!Lucyinthesky - Philadelphia, Pa
I wanna see if this comes out in spanish, Esta cancion sta bien padre! Me encanta la vos de Paul en esta cancion!Bianca Sanchez - Alburquerque, Nm
Why don't we do it in th-*splat*Peter Griffin - Quahog, Ri
But not all cars can get out of the way. You won't get past a bus or a truck...Peter Griffin - Quahog, Ri
Seirously though why DON'T we do it in the road?
Come on people Making out i the street never hurt nobody.
Bianca Sanchez - Alburquerque, Nm
Oh, and I love the reference to 1984. That's quite clever. Never thought of that before.Lance - Nashville, Tn
P.S. John definitely liked this song. It DOES have meaning and it's not like Ob-La-Di and Maxwell's Silver Hammer and that kind of stuff that John didn't care for. P.P.S. It probably has some to do with sex too.... more of their songs had to do with sex than drugs...Lance - Nashville, Tn
When you consider the time period and the things that were going on with the Beatles (from Paul's perspective) with growing apart and Epstein passing and not performing live, it seems Paul was making a comment about let's "get back" together and "do it in the Road" -- Abbey Road, where they recorded most of their work and where in spite of everything going on they could always "come together" and work magic. Doesn't ANYONE else out there think that maybe the "Road" refers to Abbey Road Recording Studios? Perhaps a plea by Paul to get together and work the aforementioned magic?Lance - Nashville, Tn
Could this song, along with I Will and Julia be references to the book 1984 by George Orwell. In the book the main character Winston, a man from London, has sex with a woman named Julia in a road near some woods where there are no cameras watching them (they are called telescreens in the book) . This is after Julia had passed him a note saying I Love You. He had not even 'caught her name' at that time. Immediately they fall in love. In the song Julia, Lennon references how half of what he says is meaningless, just to reach her. In the book he has to continually do this to set up meetings in secret, because everything they say and do is monitored. Now that I think of it,Yer Blues could also be about it. In 1984 Winston constantly talks about how they are already dead since they will be caught eventually. "wanna die. If I ain't dead already" This coincedences are only added to because they are chronological (except of course Yer Blues) Please anyone who has read this book, what do you think?A.j. - Short Hills, Nj
Ok first of all this song is obviously about sex, not about smoking joints.. people do that in the road all the time. Second of all, I find it pretty funny that you guys can hate a song so much when it's so damn good. I mean come on... WHY DONT WE DO IT IN THE ROOOOAAAADDDD??? Oh yea and sorry but paul doesn't miss the high note, he's paul. Go buy some ears.Buzz - Towntown, Mi
I'm not one of those people who think every Beatles song is about drugs. But I definitely heard on some Beatles special that Paul stated that this song is about smoking a joint. That's all. It's pretty easy to answer why this song isn't about having sex - you'd get run over if you did that in the road!

And Paul doesn't really 'miss' the high note in this song - it sounds like a deliberate mistake.
Liquid Len - Ottawa, Canada
Mentioned disparagingly by Dudley Moore's muzak-composer character in the movie '10' (with Bo Derek!). He complains that someday some couple will look into each others eyes and say, "honey, they're playing our song", and this is the song they'll be playing.Joe - Lethbridge, Canada
i heard this song is about Mick Jagger, is this true at all?Ryan - Suffolk, Ny
If not for Revolution 9, this would have been the worst song on the White album. This must have set some sort of record. Couldn't have taken McCartney more than 5 minutes to write and 3 minutes to record.Steve - Fenton, Mo
Nice that this is an anonymous venue. I surely would not make this post otherwise. In 1970, when I was 17, I had "a thing" with a 37-year-old woman. We both felt challenged by this song, so we gave it a try. I regret to report that a paved road, no matter isolated and late at night, is not a good place to "do it." Sorry, Paul. Cute song in a puerile sort of way, but pragmatically speaking, bad idea. :(Jim - Arcata, Ca
hey kelly, i think thats just the way its supposed to be because if he missed it they probably would of re-recorded it dont you think, but it does sound rather horrible but i hate this song so i could carelessZach - Philly, Ks
This is a good song, I'll admit, but not one of my favorites off The White Album, or even of Paul's, for that matter. I had always thought John sang this because it has his sound. Apparently I was wrong. Why though, I wonder, did Paul want to sound like John? But no matter, there is one part of this I'd like to bring up. I may be wrong...I mean I'm no musical genius, but it sounds to me that at one point Paul completely misses a note. COMPLETELY. It's right near the beginning I think, he goes in for a gritty vocal "Why don't we do it on the roo--oad" and it didn't work. Does he miss it, or is that just a part of the way the vocal is supposed to sound? It just..."irks" to me. No one has mentioned it thus far, so maybe it's just me. Back to what I was saying, because I haven't found another song where Paul misses a note, but more in John's, I just figured John sang it. Plus, I have heard that this was a reference to Yoko?? But that must be completely wrong...just like that note. Oh, and sorry for sounding so nit-picky here about that. I really do like this song. Really. It has a gritty, bluesy edge. However, I think Paul did have that quality edge much better later on "Oh! Darling".Kelly - Burbank, Ca
I think it is funny how this song is followed by the sweet melodic song "I Will."Guitar - Nashville, Tn
I'd perfer not to think of this song as sex (as with "Happiness is a Warm Gun"), but I can't shut that out of my mind for some reason. I give this song a 6/10, only because it has a GREAT beat.Ian - Lethbridge, Canada
I would love to have heard John sing this instead of Paul. Paul comes off as trying to hard to me sometimes.Robb - Hamburg, Ny
You guys are right. I thought John was joking as well. But the singing style is more John's. Btw, the song is definitely about sex!!!Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
I LOVE this song!
I only wish it was longer!
Kalissa - New York City, Ny
I really like Paul's vocals on this song. Lol ;) Ringos drumming is good tooMaureen - London, England
John was jealous of Paul because he was known as the "dirty Beatle" (john) and knew that he (again John) could have written such a song easily.Auðurv. - Reykjavik, Iceland
Yes John though this was one of Paul's best songs, ironically Paul was trying to make his voice sound as much like John as he could in this song.Jake - Bellevue, Wa
The Grateful Dead actually performed this one, circ. 1984 with Brent taking care of the vocals. It was more of a joke and they really didn't jam to this one.Barry - New York, Nc
'There's only one incident I can think of which John has publicly mentioned that hurt him. And that was when I went off with Ringo and did 'Why Don't We Do It In The Road?' It wasn't a deliberate thing. John and George were tied up finishing something, and me and Ringo were free, just hanging around, so I said to Ringo, 'Let's go and do this.' I did hear John some time later singing it. He liked the song, and I suppose he'd wanted to do it with me. It was a very John sort of song anyway. That's why he liked it, I suppose. Anyway, he did the same with 'Revolution 9'. He went off and made that without me. No one ever says all that. John is now the nice guy, and I'm the bastard.' - Paul

And by the way, I like this song, and I think it's one of their better ones on the White Album.
David - Ann Arbor,, Mi
It is true that John Lennon was actually peeved that he didn't partake in this recording, but it is reputed that Paul was only doing that vis-a-vis in being unable to participate in this sound collage, of which he was into (the likes of Cage or Stockhausen) since 1966...also remember that it was Paul who was commissioned by his London underground acquaintances in January 1967 to provide a sound collage-cum-freakout for the Carnival Of Light Rave, of which all four Fabs made contributions to, consisting of tape-loops, shouts and distortion. Lennon got more into that genre nearly two years later, by the time he began his sexual relationship with Yoko Ono (5/68).John - Fremantle, Australia
i think this is hilarious. and doing it in the road, is having sex in the road. its hilariousSarah - Quito, South America
Oh by the way, John isn't joking. He did actually think it was one of Paul's best songs.Ryan - Los Angeles, Ca
The song is about...when Paul was India on the Beatles meditation visit he saw 2 monkeys in the middle of the road mating in front of crowds of people and thought it was funny. So he wrote a song about it. That's the absolute truth. Check it.Ryan - Los Angeles, Ca
I always read in to it like this: doing "it" meant lines of coke...get it, lines in the road, lines of coke....just kidding. thought I'd throw a little something to the people that think ALL Beatle songs are about drugs...I guess Twist and Shout (I know the Beatles didn't write it) was about twisting a fatty and then shouting incoherently while you were high.Christopher - Greenfield Center, Ny
"Do it" was slang for having sex. And I think John was joking.Mike - New Point, Va
Well, I really like this song with lots of good beat in it. But my main question is do what in the road?Cameron - Southington, Ct
The phrase comes from a comment by Queen Victoria, who tried to bring a new level of morality to her country. Asked about a particular "romantic" practice, she misunderstood the veiled references to sex, and her response was something like "it's acceptable, so long as they don't do it in the road and scare the horses."Keith - Slc, Ut
Saying this is Paul's best song is like saying Revolution 9 is John's best.Don - Philadelphia, Pa
I always thought it was partly about a desire to somehow get the Beatles to play live. I think dragging a flatbed truck around London was discussed at one point (hence, doing it in the road). That idea eventually developed into the rooftop concert.Matt - Durham, Nh
This is definitely John's style, but Paul pulls it off very well. Of COURSE this song is sexual. "why dont we do it in the road" What do you think DOING IT is?? I mean, come on you guys it's clear, it doesn't need to be explained. Kudos to Paul, excellent screaming!Mia - Elk River, Mn
John definitely liked this song and was hurt that Paul did it without him. Though Ringo was present for this session, Paul played all of the intruments on it including drums. It's a great pure blues song and the screaming on it is perfect. I'm not sure, but I remember reading that Paul was going for the sexual meaning when he wrote the lyrics.Adrian - Wilmington, De
because we're all perverted, it's likely that people will think of this song as something sexual.. OR whatever the hell "it" is, this song could represent the burning desire to do something we're not allowed to (note the tension built up by the repeating verse lyrics) and giving ourselves an excuse for a relief ("no one will be watching us")Yu - Demarest, Pa
Well, I'm disapointed. I thought this site would be loaded w tons of Meaning and/or comments about this song. You know: lets kill Paul in the road, etc. lol ;)Yo - Honolulu, Hi
Of course John Lennon was joking. There are two reasons I believe this: John preferred songs that meant something (with the exception of "I am the Walrus), and he thought Paul's songs didn't compare to his.Liza - The Dalles, Or
I believe John said in his famous Playboy interview that this was Paul's best vocal performance which is a legitamate observation. It might have been a different interview but I think it was that one.Marvin - East Brady, Pa
In an interview, John was especially angry that Paul went off and did this song w/o him. More his style than Pauls.Michael - Minneapolis, Mn