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Girl by The Beatles

Album: Rubber SoulReleased: 1965
  • John Lennon: "This was about a dream girl." His wife Cynthia thought this song might have been about her. (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA. U.S.A)
  • As a joke, George Harrison and Paul McCartney repeated "tit" on the backing vocals. Most people don't notice it or think they are singing something more innocent.
  • This was one of John Lennon's favorite Beatles songs. He revealed in the January 1971 edition of Rolling Stone, that in this song he was, "in a way, trying to say something or other about Christianity" which he was "opposed to at the time." He explained: "I was just talking about Christianity in that - a thing like you have to be tortured to attain heaven. I'm only saying that I was talking about 'pain will lead to pleasure' in 'Girl' and that was sort of the Catholic Christian concept - be tortured and then it'll be alright, which seems to be a bit true but not in their concept of it. But I didn't believe in that, that you have to be tortured to attain anything, it just so happens that you were."
  • Jackson Browne said in Rolling Stone magazines 100 Greatest Singers Of All Time issue: "There was a tremendous intimacy in everything John Lennon did, combined with a formidable intellect. That is what makes him a great singer. In 'Girl,' he starts in this steely, high voice: 'Is there anybody going to listen to my story.' It's so impassioned, like somebody stepping from the shadows in a room. But when he comes to the chorus, you suddenly realize: He's talking directly to her. When I heard this, as a young teenager, it hit the nail on the head. It embodied the feelings I was living with every day - completely burning with sexual desire, with almost a regret at being so overpowered." (thanks, Bertrand - Paris, France)
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Comments: 65

Lennon said in "Lennon letters" that there is an "oriental" sound in Girl, which he composed: "...regret a single day..." like "...everything is clear in our world..." in Oh My Love in his Imagine album 1971.

George Martin, in his The Beatle Girls, didn´t get the melody. "...regret a single day..." consists of four halfsteps notes, but Martin

made it most whole steps! That´s typical Lennon, he can have sudden special notes, he was really a genius. George had easier to understand McCartney´s more conventional songs. In George Martin´s Off The Beatle Track, Martin did instrumental versions of The Beatles hits, but he missed the most important note in Lennons Please Please Me: In the middle part, the climax is an octave rise, but Martin avoided the octave
Johan - Stockholm, Sweden
Lennon´s "Girl" is one of the Beatles best, and the best song in the "Rubber Soul" album. Typical Lennon: A painful A-part melody, and the resolve in "Giiiiirl".Johan - Stockholm, Sweden
This song fits very nicely in the Rubber Soul album. It has harmony and melody.I like the atmosphere it brings as a ballad with mood and feeling. Another great song by Lennon.George - Belleville, Nj
One of the best songs that the Beatles ever did. Amazing...love John's voice:)Megan - Stevenson, Al
Notice that in the "ti-ti-ti ..." part, the song is being done in 4/4. Elsewhere it's in 12/8 (4 beats per mesaure, but each of those 4 beats is broken into 3 parts).

When I click on "View Lyrics", I am getting the lyrics of the earlier "Thank You Girl". Please fix!
Carl - Apg, Md
I love the first sentence " is there anybody going to listen to my story". Like someone who is lonely ,being travelled a lot ,and want have much sad stories to tell others.
I dont really like it if it is just a simple story about a girl>_
Jia - Shanghai, China
the first verse is a direct reference to smoking pot. I think that the chorus is simply there to hide the verse meaning. (?)Rob - Melbourne, Australia
Love it! John is still my fav!Jessica - Chisago, Mn
John Lennon got it! I did not realize how far he was into to "The Truth" about our being on this Planet..till 2001!
Rubber Soul was my FAV!!!!

Andy Barber/KJSR-FM/Tulsa
Andy Barber - Tulsa, Ok
I think this song is definitely about a girl, with the way that Lennon himself has described it to the press, and others. However, I do also think that it is possible that the song is in reference to pot. Not for the inhale,(which both the title of the song and the inhale may be considered drug reference). What makes me believe there is a reference to marijuana is this lyric: "She's the kind of girl that puts you down when friends are there you feel a fool." Basically I can relate that when I smoke weed I usually get thinking a lot, and become very internal and depressed. And at times it is when my friends are around and I feel lame and ashamed for feeling "down". I am completely aware that not all Beatles songs are reference to drugs, but that doesn't mean that this one is drug-reference free either lol. Maybe the main theme and message of the song is about a girl, and catholicism, but there is a double entendre to it as well, if so, that just proves even more so the genius that was John Lennon.Joss - Schenectady, Ny
chloe-------you're right..i was overthinking that one a bit. sorry.Harold - San Bernadino, Ca
reed, i think you're overthinking it. seriously, if you think about it hard enough, anything can sound like a drug reference. would they seriously try so hard to hide it if it WERE about drugs? they didnt with "day tripper" and "got to get you into my life". and, look at the rest of the lyrics. do they make ANY sense whatsoever if its not about a real girl? really now, give them some credit.Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
Linc---pardon me for saying so, but wouldn't lust be the sound of exhaling?...also, pot is of the 'female' plant; is it not?...["GIRL"]Reed - New Ulm, Mn
The impassioned inhaling is the verbal expression of lust - hate to disappoint but not every Beatle song is about drugs folks.Linc - Beaumont, Tx
George Martin said he stopped the recording session and asked Paul and George if they were singing "tit-tit-tit". They said "No, George, it's dit-dit-dit". Martin said he knew they were pulling his leg, but decided to let them have their little joke. He didn't think anyone would notice.Ken - Louisville, Ky
Adam from Beaver Falls: Yeah, it makes sense that this song could be about pot, considering that right after they sing "girl" in the song, they make an inhaling sound like they're smoking something. :)Eric - Bend, Or
I really love this song and i find very interesting George's and Paul's backing vocals ..."tit-tit" even if they sing it as a joke.Ths song brings at the beginning a tranquility as the bit at first is not quick...then the rythm becomes faster.Timoklia - Athens, Greece
*something. oh and by the way; this isn't about drugs at all.Faith - Liverpool, --
It's pretty funny that George and Paul say "tit" during this. I love how they don't mind being wacky and they don't worry about people analizing their music. I also love that they don't take writing songs into deep consideration; they just wrote it and made sure it sounded good. And if you think that the "tit" thing is immature or laking a "better word to sing" you're just ignorant because they were brilliant songwiters. Lets see you write songthing better.Faith - Liverpool, --
great song off of Rubber Soul. I didn't know the "tit" thing was intentional, I though it was just a noise...I love when they do silly stuff in the background. (ex. singing Frere Jaques during Paperback Writer.) And I think everyone should stop with the drug references.Rosario - Naples, Fl
Good song. The vocals are pure magic. The way the guitar notes parallel the last verse in a harmonizing tune is very nice. Also the lyric "will she still believe it when he's dead" very powerful.Tony - Red Deer, Ab
Jude, the main character of the Beatles-inspired sixties nostalgia film "Across the Universe" sings this song at the movie's opening.Bill - Erie, Pa
This is my favourite Beatles songs...Love it.Hannah - Hampshire, England, United Kingdom
Yeah Adam, Beaver Falls, PA, Pot was called Girl. Yup and Heroin is called Horse. But only AFTER the Beatles songs came out and people started looking for drug references.Forrest - Rochester, Mn
The sighing is how much in love he feels with the girl. He does not puff a joint. Enough said.Peter Griffin - Quahog, Ri
about seeing this song as about drugs:

when a pickpocket meets an angel
all he sees are pockets.
Blue - Portland, Or
john was coming up with some great opening lines by this stage. i think this one is a parody (perhaps subconsciously on john's part) on all the folk songs that begin with "come gather round people and ill tell you a tale". lennon starts with "is anyone going to listen to my tale"Owen - Cavan, Ireland
I want to add to the Miles's comment, that yes that song was released in the USSR on the EP "Kaleidoscope no 8" (in 1965?) with the text on the label: "Devushka, vokalno-instrumentalnyi ansambl, musyka i slova narodnye" (Girl - vocal-instrumental group - traditional music and lyrics). Neither The Beatles, nor Lennon and McCartney were mentioned, because The Beatles (and all the rock'n'roll music) was banned in the USSR at that time. Soviet censors had no idea that this beautiful ballad had any connection with The Beatles.Jaan - Pärnu, Estonia, Other
Listen carefully to John lennon voice in the beginning; it's fabulous. If you compare that one with previous Beatles love songs, that's about the same lyrics; but the voice, the guitar line. Everything has changed. A real change with the previous album except maybe for I'm only sleeping.R - Montreal, Qc, Canada
The guitar at the end sounds somewhat like a sitar but it's an acoustic guitar with capo.The Beatles used capo a lot on Rubber Soul to make the guitars sound different than the actual instrument they were playing.Joe - Montvale, Nj
ok these people arent humans (otherwise how can they make so many excellent songs?)Melquiades - Cali, South America
I recently read an article where John's first wife Cynthia "thought" this song was written about her. The only plausible line that this could be about Cynthia is "When I think of all the times I've tried so hard to leave her, she will turn to me and start to cry. And she promises the earth to me and I believe her, after all this time I don't know why." The rest of the lyrics don't really fit the description of Cynthia and or of her relationship with John.Vickie - Sydney, Australia
No drugs, no pinching, just John with a very good one! listen to that chords at the refrain.... well found!Bram - Zoetermeer, Netherlands
Very faintly in the background, Lennon can be heard mumbling, "Smoke it or sniff it. Don't shoot up." Years later, Madonna planned to remake this song. But during rehearsal, her intended remake of "Girl" morphed into her song "Who's That Girl".Zoloft - Milton, Wv
A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away...whoops, sorry 'bout that...my mom and I were driving and we were listening to this song on a cassette I'd made and in the instrumental break just before the fadeout, my mom commented that the melody of the guitar solo sounded very Russian. And would you believe it? When Girl was released for the first time in the (then) Soviet Union on an EP by Melodiya, Girl was not credit as a Lennon-McCartney song, but as a traditional Russian folk song. Odd, no?Miles - Vancouver, Canada
C'mon ..forget about all that "song gossip"
...just focus on how this super talented man plucked that beautiful melody from those simple chords...and told a story that fit the melody like a silk glove
Jim - Nycity, Ny
I love Paul's music, but John's best stuff has a depth and profundity that Paul never approached. This song is typical Lennon soulfulness. The idea that "only suffering leads to salvation" is NOT a Christian doctrine, just another misunderstood one.Jerry - Portland, Or
Good point, Stefanie.Steve - Fenton, Mo
hi, i have to do a refarate of the song girl, thanks for the nice informations. i guess the woman, who is desprited, is his dream woman!!Yvonne - Berlin, Germany
One of my favrtie Lennon songsSteve - Troy, Ny
To be about a dream girl, this song has some pretty pesimistic lyrics. Who know what inspired John to write it though.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
A different type of song for the Beatles. I really liked it. It was one of my favorites on the album.Lee - Clearwater, Fl
John. I don't think Paul was saying that this song is specifically about drugs. The key word in his comment is "probably". I'm surprised that anyone thinks this song is about drugs anyway!Stefanie Magura - Rock Hill, Sc
I'm JOhn in Topanga, California, not IDJohn - Topanga, Id
William, in Pheonix, Arizona...."farajacka"??? Don't you nean "Frere Jacques"... the old French ditty??? C'mon people... act like you've been somewhere! And for those of you who seem so convinced that most, or even many songs are about drugs (especially Paul in Flagstaff, Arizona) it's just not that simple/ Thanks to the same William in Phoenix, though, for downplaying the constant drug influences. As for an entire album being a pot or lsd album, while the Beatles themselves, in Anthology, mention this as a general summary, no album can be considered "entirely" anything, but is a calico of influences, perhaps a joint or two, lots of inside jokes, even random words- especially with John Lennon!- and pure poetry. The "tit, tit, tits", however, is true. I absolutely adore the Beatles, but some of you fans are merely shooting from the hip with a fast or facile "explanation". Thanks, you others, for thinking before you write...John - Topanga, Id
Hey does anybody here agree this is a great song even if it isnt about pot. Im surprised only one person mentioned the brilliance of this song. It probably is about drugs, but despite that GREAT SONG. People dont realize how extremely difficult it is to produce the music the beatles produced about drugs. Sometimes the only thing that you find easy to write lyrics to is pot. The beatles have over 120 hit songs probably about 20 of them are deliberitely about drugs. That is 16 percent. How many bands can even say they have 20 great songs. Come on what im saying is pretty obvious.Paul - Flagstaff, Az
Ok guys...so i hate to be one of those who sees drugs everywhere but if you read the lyrics you'll see that the pot reference actually makes sense. Besides, i've read somewhere a piece that spoke of different drugs that influenced several of their albums, and they said that Rubber Soul was a pot album, while Sgt. Pepper's was a LSD one.Nelle - Lima, Peru
Actually John wrote this song as a protest against the oppressive nature of Christianity in general and the Roman Catholic church in particular. The lines:

Was she told when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure
Did she understand it when they said
That a man must break his back to earn his day of leisure
Will she still believe it when he's dead
are a reference to the Christian doctrine that only suffering leads to salvation.
Martijn - Helmond, Netherlands
The "tit tit" lines are deliberate because McCartney has stated many times it was for a laugh. McCartney also wrote the Greek sounding bit at the end, after going to Greece and hearing simular.Rich - Birmingham Uk, England
<- Scott Baddwin, edmonton, England>>

actually, it's about 2 queers. a quote from john himself. obviously taking the piss at the idiot news media. geeze, everybody's sniffing for drugs all the time.

like some orwellian nightmare. saints preserve us, batman!
William - Phoenix, Az
<- Carrie, somewhere, WA>> I noticed it straight away, thank you so much. one of the cool things about the beatles was their humor. like singing farajacka in the background of paperback writer :)William - Phoenix, Az
I read the Beatles Anthology, where the beatles stated that saying "tit-tit-tit" was deliberate and it was a joke to see if anyone would notice. no one did.Carrie - Somewhere, Wa
beautiful song, the inhaling sounds are really nice, i dont think they're a drug reference, they're more like the 'girl' takes his breath away, and he sighs when he sees her (i.e. you sigh when you're in love)Natasha - Chico, Ca
ive just noticed that the song that john lennon liked the best are my favorites such as this one, and dear prudenceEllen - Nashville, Tn
Guys,The sharp intake of air is not a drug refrance. Its how he feels about the girl.Scott Baldwin - Edmonton, Canada
The huge sigh is simply symbolism for how he feels about the girl. It's the equivalent of saying Damn!.Natalie - Mulvane, Ks
Don,2 responses to your A's and B's:
A:In the book Paul did not say that the girl was a drug referance he said that any word in the english dictianary could mistaken for a drug.B:the "tit-tit-tit" part was NOT for delibiratian,it was for a LACK of a better word to sing.
Scott Baddwin - Edmonton, Canada
the best part is the "tit-tit-tit's".Scott Baddwin - Edmonton, England
Adam,not every song by the beatles contain drug references.OK,Mabye the sound sounds like a drug reference but does NOT MEAN ITS A DRUG REFERANCE. :(Scott Baddwin - Edmonton, England
Ok, enough about the subliminal messages. This song is a great piece of work, one of the best songs on Rubber Soul. It sounds almost Dylan-influenced both in the lyrics and the arrangement. I love the philisophical statements in the last verse. The Beatles were definitely moving away from the cliche pop songs by this time.Adrian - Wilmington, De
I know about about the "tit" story, but not about the pot reference. Here's my take. the background chorus can be taken as a repeat of "ti" which makes it sound like a vocal rendition of possible violin arrangement. and the deep intake of air can be taken as a build up of a hugh sigh which makes more sense with the nature of the song. The interesting point is that it is the intake, not the sigh which adds more tension and sorrowness of the narrator of the song.Yu - Demarest, Pa
Adam, then any word in the english language can be mistaken for a drug. Come on now.Shirley - Ocean, Nj
A: Paul has admitted in his authorized biography that the sharp intake of air during the choruses of "Girl" was a deliberate reference to smoking pot.

B: He also stated in the same book that the "tit-tit-tit"'s were also quite deliberate, NOT, "for lack of a better word to sing."
Don - Rapid City, Sd
I had heard that this is yet another obscurely written songs containing drug references. Apparently, at one point or another in the sixties (in Britain probably), pot was called 'girl.' Another reference comes during the noises made by Lennon during the chorus which, if the rumor is true, are self-explanatory.Adam - Beaver Falls, Pa
The "tit" line was used for lack of a better word to sing.Marvin - East Brady, Pa