Browse by Title
A B C D E F G
H I J K L M N
O P Q R S T U
V W X Y Z #  




Yesterday

by

The Beatles



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

This is the most covered pop song of all time, over 3,000 versions recorded according to The Guinness Book Of World Records. For years, it was also the song with the most radio plays, but in 1999 BMI music publishing reported that "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" had passed it. Still, at any given time, some version of "Yesterday" is probably being broadcast somewhere.
Paul McCartney wrote this song and was the only Beatle to play on it. It was the first time a Beatle recorded without the others, and marked a shift to more independent accomplishments among the group. While John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote The Beatles early songs together, by 1965 most of their songs were primarily written by one or the other, although they continued to credit all their songs Lennon/McCartney.
A string quartet was brought in to play on this. In addition to the strings, this is notable as one of the first Pop songs to use elements of Classical Music.
This was the first Beatles song that could not be reproduced live without additional musicians. When they played it live, including their famous Shea Stadium concert, it was just McCartney with an acoustic guitar.
While touring in Paris, McCartney claims he tumbled out of bed and the tune was in his head. He thought he had heard it somewhere before, and played the melody to different people in the music industry to make sure he wasn't stealing it. The working title was "Scrambled Eggs" until Paul could figure out lyrics.
This was the first Beatles song to capture a mass adult market. Most of their fans were young people to this point, but this song gave the band a great deal of credibility among the older crowd. It also became one of their "Muzak" classics, as companies recorded instrumental versions as soothing background noise for shopping centers and elevators. Another Beatles song that lived on in this form is "Here Comes The Sun."
McCartney wrote some of the lyrics during a 5 hour car trip from Lisbon to Albufeira (in Algarve, south of Portugal), on the 27th of May, 1965, when he was on vacation with Jane Asher. The villa where Paul and Jane stayed was owned by Shadows' guitarist Bruce Welch. Bruce said that when he was packing to leave, Paul asked him if he had a guitar because (Paul) was working on the lyrics since the airport. Said Bruce: "He borrowed my guitar and started playing the song we all now know as 'Yesterday'." (thanks, Rato - Lisbon, Portugal)
The Beatles performed this on their third live Ed Sullivan Show appearance and on their last tour. For the live appearances, McCartney would play with a prerecorded backing track of strings.

McCartney says that when he performed it on Sullivan, just before the curtain opened a stagehand asked him, "Are you nervous?" "No," Paul lied, to which the man responded, "You should be. There's 73 million people watching."
This was one of 5 Beatles songs McCartney performed on his "Wings Over America" tour in 1976.
McCartney had to ask Michael Jackson to use this in his movie Give My Regards to Broadstreet. Jackson outbid McCartney for the publishing rights to The Beatles catalogue, something that fractured their friendship as McCartney counseled Jackson on the value of publishing rights.
McCartney has consistently talked about how easy this song was for him to compose. In describing it, he has said "I did the tune easily and then the words took about 2 weeks." (thanks, Shannon - Kathleen, GA)
This song caused a rift between McCartney and Yoko Ono. When The Beatles Anthology album was released, McCartney asked that the writing credit on this read "McCartney/Lennon," since he wrote it. Yoko refused, and it was listed as "Lennon/McCartney," which is how they usually credited songs written by either Beatle (between Please Please Me and With The Beatles, the song credits turned from McCartney/Lennon to Lennon/McCartney). In 2003, McCartney switched the writing credit for the first time when he listed 19 Beatles songs on his Back In The US album as "Paul McCartney and John Lennon." Paul claims he and John made an informal agreement in 1962 regarding the credits, but he had every right to switch it if he chose. Yoko disagreed.
Some of the artists who have covered this song include Boyz II Men, Ray Charles, En Vogue, Marianne Faithfull, Marvin Gaye, Tom Jones, Nana Mouskouri, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Supremes, The Toys, Andy Williams, and Tammy Wynette. (thanks, Jerro - New Alexandria, PA)
This was featured in the 1997 movie Bean, when the title character (played by Rowan Atkinson) sings it with David Langley (played by Peter MacNicol) as they trot home one night. (thanks, Tiffany - Dover, FL)
Paul McCartney's first performance at the Grammys came in 2006. He joined in with Jay-Z and the lead singer of Linkin Park to sing part of the lyrics to this song. Paul also performed "Fine Line" and "Helter Skelter" earlier in the show. (thanks, Patrick - Statesville, NC)
When McCartney played this song, he tuned his guitar one tone lower than usual. On a recording that can be heard on The Beatles Anthology, he explains to the musicians before the song: "I'm in G, but it's F." (thanks, Mikhail Povorin - Moscow, Russia Federation)
John Lennon referenced this song in his anti-McCartney solo effort "How Do You Sleep?" with the lyrics, ''The only thing you've done was yesterday, and since you've gone you're just another day." (thanks, Jordan - buffalo, NY)
Carrie Underwood performed this song at the Primetime Emmy Awards on September 22, 2013 in honor of The Beatles historic Ed Sullivan Show appearance nearly 50 years earlier (February 9, 1964). Underwood's performance was conceived as an affirmation of the power of television and its impact on music and entertainment, as she got her start on the TV show American Idol.

Underwood didn't switch the gender for her performance, singing "I'm not half the man I used to be."
The Beatles
The Beatles Artistfacts
More The Beatles songs
More songs covered by Elvis Presley
More songs inspired by dreams
More songs performed on The Ed Sullivan Show
More acoustic songs
More songs featuring a string section
More songs about looking back on fond memories
More songs covered by The Supremes
More songs that had different titles when they started
More songs used in movies
More songs covered by the Glee cast

Comments (128):

I was listening to a Beatles tribute band the other night in a pub, when the band played this song, I was looking for a Beatle poster in the wall where the Beatles look very sad, I think they were under a LSD trip, it was Pepper period. And I thought that maybe the lyrics for Yesterday, which are very sad if you think of it, came from a deeper sadness in the heart of Paul. I think "why she had to go, I said something wrong" it was maybe a feeling that young Paul (unconsciously) felt when his mother died. When I realized that, I understood why John and Paul had such a strong friendship, they shared the same kind of pain.
- ricardo, santiago, Chile
Important things to know about Yesterday:
1. Without the strings it had never been that success. The strings was George Martin's idea, not McCartney's.
2. The melody is inspired by Lennon's "Do You Want to Know a Secret." The same upclimbing melody.
- Johan, Stockholm, Sweden
On December 3rd, 1967 Ray Charles performed "Yesterday" on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
One month earlier on November 11th, 1967 his covered version entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; eventually it peaked at #25 and spent 7 weeks on the Top 100...
It reached #9 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart and #44 in the United Kingdom...
R.I.P. Mr. Charles (1930 - 2004) and Mr. Sullivan (1901 - 1974).
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
The song started out as "Scrambled eggs, oh, you've got such lovely legs" so Paul could get a feel for the lyrics.
- Gabrielle, Chicago, IL
This song was recorded on the same day in June '65 as several other McCartney classics "I Just Saw Her Face" and "I'm Down". He showed off his creative/performance range....Folk--Pop & Rock 'n Roll. Not a bad day of for a just turned 23 year old artist!
- Rick, Brick, NJ
No they did n o t write all together before 1965. Lennon said: Our best songs were always written alone. We´d workin´apart ever since we´d been workin´together (Pete McCabe 1973, in the Beatles Paperback writer, edited by Mike Evans) for example Please Please Me was written by Lennon alone 1961
In the five albums and ten singles before Yesterday, Lennon was the dominant composer. That is embarrassing for McCartney, therefor he nowadays emhasize that they at that time wrote all together.
- Johan, Stockholm, Sweden
Lennon considered this Paul's best song by far.
- Kunal Somaiya, Mumbai, India
To Keith Durham. I agree completely to what you said about the similarities between Yesterday and Do You Want to Know a Secret? from 1962. They start in the same way: "...yesterday..." respective "...listen...". Then, especially, follows the same climbing up in melody! And the middle part-melodies are very similar. McCartney could 1964 have been
unconsciously influenced by Do You Want to Know a Secret?
Johan Cavalli
- Johan, Stockholm, Sweden
I wish teenagers my age listened to the beatles like me
- Olivia, Philadelphia, PA
I am 15 and no one my age appreciates the Beatles. Everyone my age loves rap and crap like that. But I have grown up with the Beatles and I am so thankful for my parents. They made me listen to the Beatles all the time. Without them, I would be sucked into the suger-coated, auto-tuned world of pop. THANK YOU SO MUCH MOM AND DAD!
- Olivia, Philadelphia, PA
What's this about the Shea Stadium concert? It wasn't done at that concert (at least not in 1965), although it had already been done on the British "Blackpool Night Out" program (apparently like the Ed Sullivan Show in the U.S.). And within a day of that 1965 Shea Stadium concert, it was done for the studio audience of the Ed Sullivan Show, but that show (the last black-and-white Ed Sullivan Show) was not aired until September 1965. Studio version had been done in June 1965, and I have heard Paul McCartney was doing some playing of the song during the making of "Help!" movie earlier.
In, say, the 1966 Tokyo concerts, the Beatles all played in G major on "Yesterday".
- Carl, APG, MD
You can really hear the pain in his voice. It's so sad, bud it made for one of the best Beatle songs ever! I love this song so much that I printed it off the Internet so I could play it on my trumpet! lol I'm such a band nerd! <3
- Megan, Stevenson, AL
This is an amazing song, and brings deep memories and regrets. I believe I've heard somewhere that Paul got the idea for the song and title from the poem"Mutability" by Percy Shelley.
- David, Detroit, MI
During the year 1965 both "Yesterday" & "Satisfaction" by The Stones were No.1 for four weeks and no other song was No. 1 for a longer period. Yet when Billboard had it's Year-End chart for the Top 100 Songs of 1965, "Satisfaction" was the No. 1 Song of the Year but "Yesterday" didn't even make the Top 100, how can that be??? {NOTE: "Wooly Bully", a song I like, was ranked as the No. 3 record for the Year of 1965, yet it only peaked at No. 2 on the weekly chart}
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
Hello...its A Day In The Life, where Tomorrow Never Knows, and while I'm Only Sleeping, it looks like Rain...but Here Comes The Sun.....and a Blackbird sings Let It Be, While My Guitar Gently Weeps...so I'll Follow The Sun.....Good Day Sunshine...I'm tasting colors and listening to the rainbow And Your Bird Can Sing Something to Eleanor Rigby, while she tends to her Octopus's Garden.....Hey Jude! Dear Prudence! In My Life, I Will walk the Long And Winding Road, Here, There and Everywhere...All Across The Universe...because I Am The Walrus on a Magical Mystery Tour.......Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam say HI!.....Goodbye.....;)
- WES, HOUSTON, TX
I agree with K, I could definetly see Jude singing this in Across the Universe, it would fit in quite nicely.
- Breanna, Henderson, NV
The only thing I have to add is the obvious: when Rato from Lisbon, Portugal (see Songfacts above) mentions that Paul flew to stay with one of Cliff Richard's band members from the Shadow's (Bob Welch) he had been struggling to come up with the lyrics to his dream inspired melody. One of the lines states,... "there's a Shadow hanging over me"... the obvious is the reference to Bob Welch. Lennon loved double meanings (like "Norwegian Wood" = Knowing She would), Paul was a quick learner.
- John, Eugene, OR
Paul plays this song with his guitar tuned down 1 full step
- brian, boston, MA
What else can be said about this song.The most covered song in the history of popular music.Everybody in their own way can relate to it.A timeless melody and deep haunting lyrics,an unbeatable combination.
- George, Belleville, NJ
The original lyrics line was as follows: "scrambled eggs/oh my baby oh I love your legs/mmmmm" as I read somewhere in an interview with Paul McCartney.
- Fermin, Resistencia, Argentina
I agree with 'Breanna-Henderson
ah such a great song one of the best in music history. the beatles live on.
- Lacey, Chicago, IL
This should have been in Across The Universe (the movie). It would have been absolutely perfect for Jude, but no, they had to have Lucy sing Blackbird.
- K, nowhere, ON
How can you dislike this song, it's so beautiful I absolutly love this song, it's a timeless classic that even my anti-Beatles friends like.
- Breanna, Henderson, NV
This is very possibly there best song and it contains the most beautiful and depressing lyrics imaginable, a subtle and indescribably perfect melody and excellent instrumentation.
- Michael, North Merrick, NY
ah, come on and admit it, Joe from tx....you like a scrambled egg. And to quote Lennon: "but you know i know when it's a dream"
- Ernie, Seattle, WA
The sound of the door opening in 'Yesterday" is an actual event where George Martin left the recording studio while the band was performing. It was used in an advertising campaign for A.D.A.M System studio monitors, touting the accuracy of their Ribbon Tweeter.
- Erik, NYC, NY
what is wrong with you, joe from tx?! paul, manipulative and aggressive?! sure, he was really bossy in the later years, but SERIOUSLY...
- chloe, St. Louis, MO
What a sweet, melancholy song this is-------my favorite bit is the opening srumming on the guitar and the first word.
- Daevid, Glendale, CA
Not only was Paul with Jane Asher when he wrote Yeserday, but he was introduced to classical music by her. Paul probably lifted the music from a 19 century Neopolitan classcal piece called Piccere Che Ven Dicere (Re: Yeserday Wiki) Neither Paul nor John could read music they depended on George Martin for his musical maestro knowledge and technical skills. After the Beatles break up they went back to three chord songs. Paul is on record stating they borrowed from many diverse songs and adapted sometimes outright. Golden Slumbers is another said song Paul almost recomposed verbatim. Paul went around for around two months laying down his little dream story about Yesterday, with Ham and Egg lyrics. Paul has always been a very manipulitive aggressive and talented charmer. Paul's is a passive aggresive, while John was just upfront in his agressive lionese psuedo confidence. Poor George could not hold his own with either John or Paul.
- jo, so tx, TX
paul wrote "i said something wrong ,now ilong for yesterday" because when told his mother had died he said "who,s gonna bring in the dough now"as his father was out of work(his mother was a midwife).
- mick, liverpool, United Kingdom
I really love this song .The only problem with it's so amazing I get caught up in the emotion.And by the time I stop and listen the songs over!
- Elanor, Liverpool, United Kingdom
breath taking. its mind-blowing if you think about it- heres a band that started with two kids jamming in their rooms in town in england, over 40 years ago, and still middle schoolers can be heard singing 'revolution' between classes in st. louis! incredible!
- chloe, st. louis, MO
I like this song.I love Paul.
- nasa, tianjin, China
This has to be one of the most beautiful songs ever written, and his voice is just gorgeous on it too. The song gives you mixed emotions, it's like you're happy and sad all at once. I finally learned this on guitar a few months back, and it's a fun one to play.
- Julia, *, OH
this song is on Mr. Bean Movie (They sing it when they are drunk walking down the road)
- Emily, Newcastle, Australia
Whenever I'm having a bad day this song always gets me through.
- Emily, Oklahoma City, OK
I thought the original lyrics were supposed to be "Sausages, all I had for tea was sausages"?
- Derek, London, United Kingdom
The Matt Monro version of this song is the best of all the covers.
- mark, dublin, Ireland
Man, I really thought for some reason that John wrote it.
- Sibella, Pretoria, --
can this still be considered a beatles song even though paul wrote it, paul performed it alone, and he recorded it without john ringo or george?
- Alex, Las Vegas, NV
Romeo, He says "Im not half the man I used to be" he is feeling regret for things he said when his mother died. maybe there are other things he had done in his life that made him feel he could have been a better man at times.
- Dawn, Worcester, MA
Paul did write this for his mother , but it was after she died,he said something he has always regreted. He said something like "Now how are we supposed to live without her money" or along those lines.
- Dawn, Worcester, MA
Hi,

Just want to share to all that 'YESTERDAY' is my favorite song of Sir Paul MaCartney. Can anyone tell me what's the meaning of the line-I'm not half the man I used to be'. I'm really confused on that line.

Thanks a lot.

Will wait for your response.

Much Oblige,

Romy, County Durham, UK
- romeo, County Durham, United Kingdom
This song should be role model foe everyone. It tells people to over come the past and to look into tomorrow, and to not live in yesterday. One of the best Beatles songs.
- Jude, Toronto, QC
The only part of this song that I have never really liked that much is when Paul sings "I believe in yesterday" What does this line mean? Later on after the break-up of the band, John was once quoted saying "I don't believe in Yesterday"
- Forrest, Rochester, MN
When the Beatles perfomed in Japan,they were told the audience would consider it "impolite" if the other 3 members of the group went offstage when Paul sang "Yesterday" (as they did when the he performed this in other parts of the world). So they came up with an arraingment to include an electric guitar, bass and drums, just for the Japanese concerts.
- Ken, Louisville, KY
This song has got to be one of my favorite songs of all time. I cant get enough of it. It makes me sad/happy everytime i hear it. Ill listen to it, and i can either sing along with it, cry while listening or just enjoy the beautiful sound coming out of my cd player. its just amazing. =]
- Dezirae, Endicott, NY
one of the best songs ever written,period!
- wes, sherwood, AR
This is one of the most beautiful songs ever written by Paul.
Let it be would have to be another one that is also beautiful.

Pauls voice is..undiscribable
- Grace, Bundaberg, Australia
There are claims out there that, for instance, the song was inspired, perhaps unconsciously by "Answer Me" by Nat King Cole. Apparently, the tune is a German folk song. Anyone you know visit Hamburg? Another story has it inspired, again subliminally, by "Georgia"; a song by Hoagy Carmichael.
- ray, New Orleans, LA
The most amazing song ever written. I love most all Beatles songs but this is the best. Lovely, sad and pure. Perfection. You can never make a better record than this. I'm 61 years old now but I never tire of hearing this song. Long Live the Beatles, long live Paul McCartney and Long Live "Yesterday"
- Bart, Westmont, NJ
so from listening to it, the ray charles version sounds like it was dubbed over the beatles, so you actually hear both artists like they are singing together. very interesting. beatles are my #1 band and i'm only 24.
- nicole, n/a, WI
Yesterday is a great song but it's not 100% McCartney. He wrote in in a dream but somewhere in that dream was the Lennon McCartney song "Do you want to know a secret". The two songs are different but they have similar melodic shapes and rhythms. Try singing " Listen, do you want to know a secret" to the melody of Yesterday or " Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play" to the melody of Do you want to know a secret and you'll see what I mean. Yesterday is Paul's song but with a (subconscious) contribution from John. Even when they weren't writing together, they inspired each other to create great songs.
- keith, Durham, England
I don't care what people say. To me it is the greatest song of all tme and yes one of the most meaningful. True delight.
- vaibhav, SHAHJAHANPUR
Yeah -- Scrambled Eggs -- when I first heard this from a friend who is a huge Beatles fan (since 1963), he rattled off the following possible working lyrics -- * * * Scrambled eggs / Yesterday I had scrambled eggs / Today I will have scrambled eggs / Oh, I believe in scrambled eggs! / * * * -- Today I can't hear this song without a little chuckle. I hope I haven't ruined it for any of you, but I just couldn't help myself!
- Fred, Laurel, MD
Greatest pop song of the last millenium?? I'm sorry, this is good, even great, but you people need to get a handle on just how HUGE a millenium is (or else the 'musicians/people in the music biz' need to). And yes, pop music was certainly hugely transformed in the Elvis/Beatles era, but the same could be said of the eras of Sinatra/Dorsey/(Glen)Miller, Rudy Valley, Scott Joplin, J.P.Sousa, Gilbert&Sullivan, Stephen Foster, Turlagh O'Carollan, etc., etc. And this covers only about the last third of that period. Relative to their eras, I suspect many songs have been as big or bigger. I would venture that the greatest 'pop' song of the last millenium might be Greensleeves. It'd be hard to think of a tune that's lasted as long as that has and is still being performed (admittedly, not in throngs and droves). It's what? -- 10 or 20 times as old as 'Yesterday' and still going? In the last century, maybe H. Carmichael's 'Stardust,' often touted as the most perfectly composed popular song (anybody know what they meant by that?). Other contenders for the millenial title might be Amazing Grace, Maple Leaf Rag (yes, there are words to it, but it's probably better without them), Planxty Fanny Powers (instr.), Beautiful Dreamer, Yellow Rose of Texas, Happy Birthday (the most sung song ever?), ___, ___, ___[fill in the blanks with your favorite tarantella or Gregorian chant]...
- Fred, Laurel, MD
The Beatles were one of the first (if not the first) of the modern rock era. Their style brought a whole new perspective into modern music. The thing about this song is how it steps back and lets the music play softly. And this was only enhanced when performed live...except for the occasional intteruption by a love-mad teenage girl's scream when Paul began to sing.
- Simon, Chattanooga , TN
I love it. An amazing song by an amazing band.
- krissy, Boston, MA
I was fixing Paul McCartney's Vox AC30 amp at Abbey Road Studios, studios when the original "Beatles" Yesterday was recorded in the Sixies. It was recorded with only 2 out of the 4 EL34 output valves (tubes)in place, as I had to take out two bad ones, that were causing a hum down the mike (that was placed in front of the amp).
The original tune that Paul played was completely altered with a new chord structure
by musical director, George Martin, who was present at the session. George, however took no credit for this - or any other Beatles melody, which I'm sure he helped refine!
- Syd, London, England
NOTE: There was no such thing as pop music (as we know it) before the Beatles.
- Matt, bristol, England
John said that they were more popular (with young people) than christ NOT bigger...he was stating a fact
- Matt, bristol, England
By 1980 Yesterday had been covered more then 2500 times
- Peter Boyko, Edmonton, Canada
The great vocal work by Paul, the beautiful melody, the lyrics, the strings--This is, reasonably, the GREATEST popular song and recording of all time.
- John, Gainesville, FL
this is the nicest sounding song I've EVER heard
- Lucas, Austintown, OH
oh yeah. and the beatles didn't release it in england because they were embarassed that they were a rock band releasing a soft song.
- sarah, Pittsburgh, PA
ah! the story behind how he wrote this song hasn't been posted! well, here's how it was. paul woke up one day with the tune of yesterday in his head, and he thought it was an old jazz tune because his father loved jazz and he heard a lot of it as a kid. he asked all his friends about it, but after he realized he "wrote it in his sleep", he had to write lyrics. [this was already said, but] its working title was scrambled eggs.
- sarah, Pittsburgh, PA
The most covered song of all time with an arrangement of solo acoustic guitar and a string quartet another unique arrangement from a electric rock band.
Sal,Bardonia, NY
- sal, bardonia , NY
You know what i do hear the door (or whatever it is) at 18, and mines not a bootleg...so I dunno
- Jeef, San Francisco, CA
I love this song. It was a very clever move to not bring drums in this one, because this is supposed to be a slow and sad song, so Ringo could just take a break from this one, because drums aren't needed in a song like this.
- Olle, Stockholm, Sweden
Try listening to this back to back with Helter Skelter.
- Ian, Lethbridge, Canada
Surely one of the greatest Beatles songs. At the very least top 5.
- Jon, Oakridge, OR
Exquisite in its simplicity - and unforgettable. More proof that the Beatles were responsible for more memorable pop music than just about anyone.
- Clarke, Pittsburgh, PA
How could anyone say this song is overated? It is a masterpiece and incredibly beautiful. That's a fact.
- Michelle, x, PA
Sara from Nashville: If you downloaded a ripped version off the internet and it was recorded, the person ripping this song probably had Yahoo messenger on, and one of the sound fx is a door opening (someone's just signed in). A lot of people ripping songs forget to turn it off when they're recording.
Not to accuse you, of course.
- Casey, Dalton, GA
Anybody else hear something that sounds like a door opening about 18 seconds through? You have to listen really close to hear it, but I think it's a door. If it's not, then somebody correct me please.
- Sara, Nashville, TN
To Me This Song Is Overrated
- Darius, Lancaster, CA
The opening piano part for Westlife's 'Swear it again' has been lifted from this song. Maybe i'm hearing things, but thats what i thought when I compared the two songs.. Any feedback??
- Xavier, Pune, India
The Beatles...well they were really good. Except then they losing their friendship and sometimes they did really stupid things like drugs.
As for the song, I agree with Mia lol Give the rich adorable cutie a break...why does everyone suspect an *inside story* with every song? They can sing what they like can't they?
I am kinda disappointed about their behaviour but everyone makes mistakes...but then again drugs really ruined their rep, and the way John said what he liked also did. "We're bigger than Christ now" - if he had been a half modest chap he wouldnt have said that. Which is why none of the other Beatles had not said that. Excuse me if I am making it look like the whole disagreement that ended the Beatles was John, I am not trying to do that but I am trying to emphasize that John did play a big role. Paul was *growing out* of his Beatles role, he coulnt work with a team like that anymore, but as for John enough is enough, the world just gave him too much for his pride to take. McCartney never gets the credit.
Anyways, back on the subject, Yesterday is a beautiful song, but so sad, I first heard it when I was 8 or something like that.
And Shirley, although I absolutely agree with you, I also have to add that although the white album was one of their best, they were not a particular *team* anymore by that time. It was for the better of them that they split up and went their different ways, was it not? After all, John continued his peace activism, Paul went to pursue a better music career, they became friends over again and it all worked out. The breakup as I say again was for the better of them.
Well then that is all I have to say
- Buzz, Hamilton
I have heard that it was John and the other Beatles who convinced Paul that Yesterday was his song. He didn't think it was possible to have the music come together that quickly, and felt he must have heard the melody somewhere else.
- Allan, Vanderhoof, Canada
Paul wrote this song for his mom when she'd alredy passed away. The lyrics say "I said something wrong, Now I long for yesterday". He said a really bad taste joke when he n his brother found out that she had cancer and i guess he refers 2 that there. Magnificent song, by the way
- aaaaa, aaaa, MI
This is easily the greatest song of all time.
- Jeef, San Francisco, CA
i cant listen to this song with out crying. it's so sad. it's a shame though becuase it's such a great song
- Christina, Roseville, CA
With regard to Calum, Edinburgh, Scotland ("If it's true that without George Martin The Beatles would have progresssed half as much as they did, why didn't he do the same with Gerry and the Pacemakers and the other Mersey groups he produced?", think of it this way, Sir George was a musical "chef" who happened to be "cooking" with extraordinary ingredients.
- John, Jersey City, NJ
Paul wrote this song for his mom when she'd alredy passed away. The lyrics say "I said something wrong, Now I long for yesterday". He said a really bad taste joke when he n his brother found out that she had cancer and i guess he refers 2 that there. Magnificent song, by the way
- ariana, lima, Peru
This song is kind of sad, but it's my favorite Beatles song. I have this on my iPod and always play it. There was a powerpuff girls episode where they used this song. All the villains were called the "Beat-alls" and when Professor was talking to the girls, he was saying "yesterday, all your troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though there here to say." Fave part is "why she had to go i don't know, she wouldn't say."
Beautiful song.
- Michelle, Anaheim, CA
<3333333333333333333333
- sarah, Pittsburgh, PA
I think the meaning of this is pretty obvious: the guy in this song was in love with a girl, but she broke up with him and he doesn't know why. It was just the day before the song was written that they were still a couple.
- Grace, Fairfax Station, VA
Isn't anyone going to say that this song is about drugs? Some of you have claimed that all the other songs are drug related! It is a fantastic song.
- lee, clearwater, FL
I don't think anyone could possibly name for me a more beautiful song than this. Simply a masterpiece. Paul McCartney is a musical genius.
- Roger, Los Angeles, CA
#12 in the VH1 top 100 rock songs list
- Jordan, wilmette, IL
This is one of the greatest songs none to man kind.
- Alana, Porcupine, Canada
Something which is perfect cannot last forever...The Beatles were perfect. What had to happen, happenned. No one can or should be blamed. This song is a simple beautiful song, instrumentals are also as enchanting even without the heartfelt lyrics. Top Notch!
- Ascorbic, New York, NY
If it's true that without George Martin The Beatles would have progresssed half as much as they did, why didn't he do the same with Gerry and the Pacemakers and the other Mersey groups he produced?
- Calum, Edinburgh, Scotland
In Eva Cassidy's hauntingly beautiful version of "Yesterday", she makes a subtle change in the lyrics that gives it an entirely different slant. The line "why (s)he had to go, I don't know, (s)he wouldn't say, I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday." Cassidy sings "I said 'something's wrong ..'" That is a very different meaning. In McCartney's line, he is taking the blame (I said something wrong). Cassidy's line professes to not understand (something's wrong) why the relationship when sour.
So sad we cannt ask her why she made this change.
- Jerry, Brooklyn, NY
Maybe Brett thinks "Piggies" is abysmal because he just doesn't get it! This is not rock, or folk; it's social satire in the medieval musical form known as "madrigal". The White Album is, if nothing else, a tribute to the diverse range of musical genres the Beatles were capable of. From surfer songs ("Back in the USSR" to a lullaby ("Good Night") with blue grass (Don't Pass Me By"), do-wop (the album version of "Revolution"); psychedelia ("Revolution #9"). The arrangement of "Obla-di, Obla-dah" is essentially a polka! And so it goes, so many other styles and all done brilliantly!
- Jerry, Brooklyn, NY
the guns n roses song yesterdays is nothing like this song!! this ones much better.ooh but izzy luks gorgeous in the gnr video for yesterdays
- Emu, Paradise City, Other
Even though Paul sang solo,this is one of their greatest hits in my book. And the "B" side song of the Capitol record is "Act Naturally". P.S. The song was #1 only in the US for 4 weeks.
- Richard, Connellsville, PA
The best cover of this song was done by Sinatra. Sinatra sings it slower, and adds a whole new style to it, with the same meaning.
- Vincent, St. Davids, England
This is #13 in Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
- Ross, Independence, MO
After recording this, George Martin suggested to Brian Epsitein that they put it out as a "Paul McCartney" solo single. Paul refused, and furthermore refused to have the song released as a "Beatles" single, since he felt that singles should be true group efforts (It was included on the Help! soundratck LP, though). The Beatles couldn't (at that time) control what Capitol did with their songs in the U.S., so it was released as a single in America, but not anywhere else in the world.
- Ken, Louisville, KY
truly Robb, Paul was a guitar player but the band needed bass, so he learned
- Caitlin Walton, Dallas, TX
The only thing I have to say about this is that it's one of my favorite Beatles songs. It's pretty unique because only one of them sings and they usually have up tempo songs. I just love it.
- Shannon, Chicago, IL
At the Budokan in Japan, they play a version of this with the full band, not the pre-recorded strings.
- Mike, New Point, VA
The original dummy lyrics were "Scrambled eggs, oh baby, how I love your legs".
- Marina, Seattle, WA
"Scrambled egg; how I love to eat a scrambled egg"
- Alan, City, MI
Wow, some people make me laugh. While the Beatles early standards such as: "She Loves You", "All My Loving", "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "A Hard Days Night" are great songs, yes. However, If you listen to things like: "Norwegian Wood", "Tomorrow Never Knows", "A Day In The Life", and "Because", theres just something else there. Their creativity as a group was always one step ahead. The voacal and musical arrangments of the later material alone makes those songs worthy a much higher standard than the early ones.
- Robb, Hamburg, NY
Im a John Lennon guy. You can tell alot about a person depeding of if they are either a John Lennon or Paul McCartney guy.
- Robb, Hamburg, NY
Paul was the bass player for the beatles and probably thought no one knew he could play guitar. He thought he was not only writting a good song, but showing people that he was the "best" in the group. I dont think John Lennon would ever want to perform any song he wrote with the accompaniment of the other beatles. There was no set leader of the group, but Paul was most likely trying to get out front with this one.
- Robb, Hamburg, NY
there is a Guns and roses song called yesterdays on the album use your illusion, it has a similiar melody but i think the lyrics are diffrent.
- Charlie, Thomaston, CT
Performing "yesterday", only the right chords in the right position are allowed because chords cadence is perfectly connected with melody. There's no other way to do. This may explain why the song can be considered as a little work of art in pop music.
Lennon's figure is irrelevant in Yesterday's creation history. The song probably brings out definitively a new jealous guy inside the Beatles couple who never assum that McCartney is, at least, the same genius than him.
- Piti, El Ferrol, Spain
i thought stairway to heaven was the most covered
- Dave, Springfield, United States
"Jill's right. Let's face it, the Beatles were really sucking near the end ("Piggies" was abysmal) " Oh really, Brett? So you're telling me that early Beatles is good and later Beatles is bad? I think it must have been opposite day when you wrote that, or you're a musical idiot. Let's see... "I Want to Hold Your Hand", "She Loves You", "Boys"... fun songs but far from musical or artisic genius. Now look at their later albums: Sgt. Pepper, Magical Mystery Tour, Rubber Soul, Revolver, White Album, Abbey Road, Let it Be... You are an idiot.
- Mike, Storyville, United States
this song is incredible, im not surprised some consider it the best of the millenium, actually it was voted as the best oldie of all time by a radio staion from chicago. and if there are any other teens here...im 15, i'd like to talk w/u.
- Liliana, Huntley, IL
Listening to countless Beatles songs recently, I had forgotten the impact of George Martin's techniques. John, Paul, Geroge, Ringo, George Martin, and Brian Epstein created magic, which in my opinion will never be created again.
- Kim Phillips, Wichita, KS
Does anyone know where i can buy a copy of "Yesterday... And Today"?
- Scott Baldwin, Edmonton, Canada
"Yesterday" was voted by musicians/people in the music biz as THE best song of the last millennium. Which is quite an achievement. Well done Willy Nelson for writing it. [only joking!]
The song is in 'The Guinness Book of Records' as The Most Covered Song, a record that it has held for about 3 decades. I can see (and understand) McCartney's point about the song-writing credit. We all know that McCartney wrote it, but he is concerned that future generations will think that, because Lennon's name comes first, that Lennon was the main songwriter. Lennon's name being first was something that always rankled with Paul. If he had Yoko had a better relationship, then they could have successfully outbid Michael Jackson if they had wanted to. THAT is the biggest mistake ever made. Incidentally, the discussion about Yoko (below) is disgraceful(especially saying she's a bitch and that she should have been shot...whatever happened to 'peace and love', man?) She did not break up The Beatles (and even if she did, hooray for her) and I think she has dealt with Lennon's legacy in a very sympathetic way (notwithstanding the issue relating to her and Paul being unwilling to outbid Jackson for the publishing rights to most of The Beatles' songs).
- Martin, London, England
you say this "yesterday" is the most covered song by the beatles? I thought it was "Eleanor Rigby"? Well?
- john, laguna hills, AL
John loved Yoko... thats all there really is to it, and that was The Beatles message anyways right. All you need is love. So we can't really blame John because he was in love, pour guy. I still dont like Yoko though. And this is one of the most incredible songs ever written. Its just amazing. I love it so and it touches my heart every time i hear it. Peace
- BoB, Las Vegas, NV
I don't like Michael Jackson OR Yoko Ono, to tell you the truth. Even if John constantly brought Yoko to all of their sessions together as a "band", I still love John. People make mistakes, and it's only human to laugh at this obvious one he made. Get over it. ANYWAY, this song rose to the top quite fast, and I'm not surprised Paul woke up to this tune in his head. He does tell the story of how the song came about quite often, but why wouldnt he? Wouldn't YOU be surprised if you woke up with a masterpiece in your head? Give the rich adorable cutie a break for God's sake.
- Mia, Elk River, MN
Yoko should not have been at all the sessions, but it was John who brought her which caused all of the tension. And anyway, why are we all talking about Yoko?! This is supposed to be a discussion about "Yesterday," quite a revolutionary song for its time. Yes, strings were used in rock songs before this, but never in the way it is used in "Yesterday." It paved the way for the Beatles future experimentation and I must give much credit to George Martin. Without him, the Beatles would have progressed half as much as they did.
- Adrian, Wilmington, DE
I didn't like the fact that Yoko alienated Julian and cast him aside. He was John's son also. And yes John really loved her. But Brett your comment about the Beatles becoming pathetic towards the end is not true. The white album is always in the top 10 albums of all time. That's usually out of 100.
- Shirley, Ocean, NJ
Jill's right. Let's face it, the Beatles were really sucking near the end ("Piggies" was abysmal) and even if Yoko ended the band, at least she killed it before it got pathetic and still had grace. Also, the fact is, as David pointed out, John genuinely loved her and it wasn't one of those stupid "celebrity romances" like Britney and Justin, Bruce Willis and Demi Moore, Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck/P. Diddy/Anybody, etc. Look at "God" or "Everyone's Got Something to Hide (But me and my monkey" or "Happiness is a warm gun". They were in love, and if John prefered being with her over dangling controversial quotes in the media's face and writing drug-induced lyrics, good for him. What's more important, our entertainment or a person's life and love? As Jill pointed out, that insane pediophile gender/race-bender Michael Jackson is the one we should really be stoning.
- Brett, Edmonton, Canada
i don't know why you all hate yoko. it should be michael jackson that you aim your fury at.
- jill, placentia, CA
This wasn't the first pop song with strings. Strings were used in pop songs all over the '30s.
- Nate, Pelican Rapids, MN
I agree with hylas from Boston. There are a lot of pop songs with string arrangements recorded before Yesterday. It certainly wasn't the first time! Off the top of my head I can think of two Buddy Holly songs, True Love Ways and It Doesn't Matter Anymore, that use strings as the main backup, and those were recorded in 1958.
- Dan, Fort Collins, CO
We should remember what Yoko said so eliquently,
"Don't worry, don't worry, don't worry, don't worry, aahhhahaahhhaahhh
- Cornboy, Auburn, CA
Let's all forget the jealousy over Yoko. John loved her very much and she has paid wonderful tribute to him through charitable works, including saving the Peace Abbey in Sherborn MA from bankruptcy. All you need is love. David, Santa Fe
- david, santa fe, NM
"Yesterday" was far from the first pop song to use strings. You hear violins on pop songs, including rock & roll songs, from the 20's onward. Perhaps you mean the first pop song to use a string quartet. I don't know about that. It would be surprising if true, but I can't think of any other specific case of a song using a string quartet before that (although many would have used the instrumentation of a string quartet - cello, viola, 2 violins -- as part of a larger orchestra).
- hylas, boston, MA
You have to to post comments.
Henry McCulloughHenry McCullough
The only Irishman to play at Woodstock (backing Joe Cocker), Henry was an early member of Paul McCartney's band Wings.
Gary Brooker of Procol HarumGary Brooker of Procol Harum
The lead singer and pianist for Procol Harum, Gary talks about finding the musical ideas to match the words.
Jules Shear - "All Through The Night"Jules Shear - "All Through The Night"
Shears does very little promotion, which has kept him secluded from the spotlight. What changed when Cyndi Lauper had a hit with his song? Not much, really.
Tom Keifer of CinderellaTom Keifer of Cinderella
Tom talks about the evolution of Cinderella's songs through their first three albums, and how he writes as a solo artist.