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Anna (Go to Him) by The Beatles

Album: Please Please MeReleased: 1963
  • Arthur Alexander wrote this song, making it one of the world's great trivia questions: Alexander is the only person to write songs that were recorded by Bob Dylan ("Sally Sue Brown"), The Rolling Stones ("You Better Move On") and The Beatles.
  • Alexander's version was released as a single by Dot Records in 1962, peaking at #68. It is probably his second-most-popular hit, the top one being "You Better Move On" (Billboard #24), also released in '62. Not many remember the Dot Records label, which was rebranded in the late '60s and folded by 1977. But some of Arthur Alexander's fellow Dot Records colleagues include Pat Boone, Lawrence Welk, Liberace, and... Leonard Nimoy, whose singing career included the album Mr. Spock's Music from Outer Space and the unforgettable "The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins."
  • John Lennon loved this song, which is why The Beatles recorded it and added the song to their early stage catalog. According to Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, John Lennon had a terrible cold during the recordings, thus leading to his strange vocals in the song. (thanks, Airk - Skagway, AK)
  • The subtitle (Go to Him) is a little confusing, as in both Alexander and The Beatles versions of the song, they sing "Go with him."
  • The Beatles' recording was distributed to US disc jockeys in 1963 on a single with "Ask Me Why." The promotional disc is a rare collectors item.
  • The Beatles performed this on their 1963 BBC TV appearance on Pop Go The Beatles.
  • This song featured as a minor plot point in a 1991 episode of the TV sitcom Married With Children, in which Ed O'Neill has "Anna (Go To Him)" stuck in his head for half the episode while being unable to remember the title or words. The song comes on a jukebox in one scene and then he yells it out.
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Comments: 42

I love The Beatles version of this song, in fact I love the entire Please Please me album, one of the reasons being that it was recorded in one long session, it was practically a live album recorded in the studio. People have mentioned about Lennon having a cold, this is true, this is also the reason why Twist and Shout (also an amazing version) was left to the very end because it would have ripped his throat to shreds.Kelly - Jozi, South Africa
I'm pretty sure the person that said it was about Anna Nicole was joking. And Barry from New York that's interesting I love AIC and I hate to be nitpicky but it technically was the early 90's (mid to late 1990) when they came out with "Man In The Box" and paved the way for Nirvana to bring grunge to the mainstream.Zero - Nowhere, Nj
I can't remember if this song is part of the Beatles song list here on songfacts, and I'm too lazy/tired to look it up, but theBeatles also recorded an Arthur Alexander song called "Soldier of Love." How many of you have heard it either version?Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Tell me why I was driving down the road listening to this and singing it to the top of mu lungs! lol Dang!!! Love The Beatles! Couldn't live without them! <3Megan - Stevenson, Al
I wondered if that was even John singing the song - it sounded different...now I know - he had a cold!D. R. - Okc, Ok
I can remember this song being popular in my high schools days and I graduated in 1963 ! The first version of the song was written and recorded by Arthur Alexander. The Beatles covered it a little later.. So how in the heck could it be about Anna Nicole Smith? She wasn't even born thenBailey - Orlando, Fl
Just wanted to agree that this song was DEFINITELY NOT about Anna Nicole Smith.Arthur Alexander wrote this song in '62 or ' 63. Anna Nicole Smith wasn't even born then..Sounds good in theory but sorry no biscuit.. And no it's not a Beatles originalBailey - Orlando, Fl
This is a reply to Peter from Birmingham:

If you listen to the original Arthur Alexander version, you'll hear that it is sung as "go with him" there as well.
Cody - ??????, On
You know this is a very good song. The vocals on it is so well done it's very interesting.Breanna - Henderson, Nv
When I first got into The Beatles, I was really surprised to find this song. :)Anna - Gettysburg, Pa
What a great song...killer harmonies by George and Paul. Though the best part of the song for me has to be when John sings/screams "All of my life.." his voice is perfect! Thank god he had a cold on that day of recording. Ha!German - Costa Mesa, Ca
For years and years, I've looked at my copy of THE EARLY BEATLES (US) and noticed that there are two songs right next to each other called ANNA and CHAINS. Somehow my young mind kept repeating a phrase "Anna in Chains" "Anna in Chains..." I thought it would make a good name for a rock band. Several years later in the late 80s a band called ALICE IN CHAINS hit it big. I always wondered if that name was inspired by the Beatles!!!!! (might be a stretch, but you never know!)Barry - New York, Nc
I would imagine that the original disc had been labeled with the word "To" in the title and then afterwards before the actual recording he felt that the word "With" flowed more freely from the tongue, so he changed it. It makes no sense otherwise to have a word in the title that he never sings.Peter - Birmingham, United Kingdom
Chuck Berry and arthur alexander did have songs covered by the beatles, the stones and dylan. Elvis also covered songs by both song writers. Alexander did have a track covered by the Who, not sure about chuck on this oneMatthew - Bromley, United Kingdom
I absolutely love this song! John Lennon sounds different in this one but its still great. I like the part "Anna,just one more thing girl, you give back your ring to me and i will set you free go with him". i also like the back up singing.Kayla - Nashville, Tn
Love this song! Please Please Me is such a fun album.Rosario - Naples, Fl
I was named after this song! I'm getting married in July and this is the theme for the wedding. I think it's a great song and I truely wish someone would remake it and bring it to younger people!Anna - New Bern, Nc
Um, Maxwell- this song was recorded BEFORE Anna Nicole Smith was even born. It appears that you know your music trivia about as much as George W. Bush knows what is going on in Iraq. The 'Married ...With Children' episode, which this song appears was a funny one, I might add- the trouble that Al Bundy had to go through to find this record at a music store.Randy - Colerain Twp., Oh
When I sing this to my best freind Anna, who Loves The Beatles, She gets all pissed off cos of what Anna does in the song.Bianca Sanchez - Alburquerque, Nm
John Lennon had a head cold while singing this song. I discovered this off some site when I was so curious as to why this song sounded nothing like John, who's voice is incredibly distinctive. Silly stuff, but yeh =]Nora - _____, Ny
Michael, I haven't had the exprince because my best friend's name is Anna. She is nice, emo, and she loves The Beatles. Love it!Krissy - Boston, Ma
Having myself recently been treated harshly by a girl named Anna, I like this song but find it quite difficult to handle. Has anyone else had this or a similar experience?Michael - Oxford, England
No this song is not about Anna Nicole Smith. I don't think she was born yet. It is a really good song. It is one of my favorties by The Beatles.Krissy - Boston, Ma
This song is about Anna Nicole Smith committing suicide so she could join her son.Maxwell - Houston, Tx
Just classic Lennon on vocals.
Paul, Adelaide Australia
Paul - Adelaide, Australia
To Rick of San Juan: unless Arthur Alexander wrote under the pseudonym of Terry Thompson, he didn't write 'Shot of Rhythm and Blues'. Arthur's version was first released on Dot as the flip of 'You Better Move On', another song covered by an English groupTony - Devon, England
There are only 4 known copies of "Anna"/"Ask Me Why.Jonathan - Johnstown, Pa
Barry, i think that is just a coincidence. Rick, I noticed that too... I think something was lost in translation for the title. Its a bit too early for the Beatles to be tricking us with fake messages...Johnny - Los Angeles, Ca
I really want to hear this song, because my best friend is very jealous of me and the fact that I have a song named after me "Michelle" and I want to find one thats at least close to hers "Anne"..*sigh* I bet it's beautifulMichelle - Antigonish, Canada
Even though they are in different keys, it just sounds like the melody of "In my Life" was inspired by "Anna." I'm not sure how well I'm explaining the similarity. Probably not very well...Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Silvia. The similarity is kind of hard to put out. Let me think about and I'll try to explain it to you some other time. It's just that the beats of both songs sound very similar, but "Anna" is a little bit slower than "In my Life". That's part of it.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
I like the song, in fact I have a good friend named Anna. But I don't hear the similarity between this and "In My Life"...Sylvia - London, England
Now that you mention it Stef, there is a similarity between the two songs. I never noticed it before. The words set them apart, and the beat slower with anna than with my life, but they are twinned to each other in some ways. I don't think it is a rip off either, I think that sometimes when so many songs are written, similariites take place when they are written by the same writer.Lee - Clearwater, Fl
Strangely enough... this song sounds very similar to "In My Life." The beats are very similar. I don't it was a rip off, but it's sort of an odd coincidence. Has anyone elese noticed that, or am I really that crazy?Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
You only have to hear this song once to know what album it belonged on. It, and most of the other songs on the album, has such a clean sound. It has a relaxing melody. It is hard not to hum it when you turn of the sound. It is a good early Beatles tune. Hey complex is great, but we still need the simple songs.Lee - Clearwater, Fl
It's strange how the phrase "go WITH him" is repeated 8 times in The Beatles version and 7 times in the Arthur Alexander version, and the "go TO him" in the song's title is never mentioned.Rick - San Juan, United States
The Beatles were great admirers of Arthur Alexander. His compositions "Soldier Of Love", "A Shot Of Rhythm & Blues" and "Anna (Go To Him) were part of their repertoire in the 1963 BBC "From Us To You" broadcasts.Rick - San Juan, United States
This song was released on the same album as the song CHAINS. If you put ANNA and CHAINS together, you get "ANNA IN CHAINS." I've always wondered if the band Alice In Chains actually got their name as a variation of these Beatles cover songs!!Barry - New York, Nc
hey this is a hell of a song. i love playing it on guitar. its my favorite song on the please please my album, which more people should own.Paul - Flagstaff, Az
I think it's sad, but a rational sacrafice.Mauricio - Hanford, Ca
Arthur Alexander is not the only person to write songs that were recorded by Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles. That honour will have to be shared with Chuck Berry! Bob Dylan recorded "Nadine", the Stones' first single in the UK was "Come On" and the Beatles recorded "Roll Over Beethoven" and "Rock and Roll Music". In fact, Chuck Berry can claim to have the most songs recorded by Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones and the Beatles. Wait a minute; what about Buddy Holly.......?Ed - Perth, Australia
In one episode of *Married ... With Children* Al searches for a song he only news the first three notes of. It's actually this song, although in its original incarnation by Arthur Alexander.Dierk - Hamburg, Germany