Don't Pass Me By

Album: The White Album (1968)

Songfacts®:

  • Ringo Starr wrote this and sang lead. It was the first Beatles song he wrote by himself.
  • Ringo wrote this song in 1963. In an interview for a New Zealand radio station during their 1964 tour of Australia, Ringo is heard in the background saying "sing the song I've written, just for a plug." Then, Paul says "Ringo has written a song called 'Don't Pass Me By.' A beautiful melody. This is Ringo's first attempt at songwriting." At this point, Paul and John actually sing a verse of it and Ringo says, "It was written as a country western, but Paul and John singing it with that blues feeling has knocked me out. Are the Beatles going to record it? I don't know. I don't think so, actually. I keep trying to push it on them every time we make an album." Paul then states, "Unfortunately, there's never enough time to fit Ringo's song on an album. He never finished it." Ringo put the finishing touches on it while in Rishikesh, India.
  • The original title was "Some Kind of Friendly."
  • This was #1 hit in Scandinavia.

Comments: 51

  • Charlotte from Liverpool, United Kingdomis it weird this one of my favourite done by the beatles? its pure ringo i love it! the way it took to 68 to finnaly record reminds me of a bit in family guy were ringo goes ive written a song and they all say put it on the fridge and ignore it, hehe this song was on the fridge i bet and for 5 years too :) great bluesy sound to it
  • Jerry Vadr from Seaford, NyI forgot to mention, many of Paul's lyrics in Beatles songs were things Ringo had randomly said.. perfect example is 'Eleanor Rigby'.. the entire song is a collection of random sayings by Ringo. Ringo is also heard in the background of many Beatle recordings, such as 'I Got Blisters On My Fingers!'.
  • Jerry Vadr from Seaford, Nysome of the comments here are way off...
    First of all, Ringo wrote this in 1963, it was the first song he wrote.. that's true, but it's not the first song he wrote that was recorded by the beatles.. Flying was written by Ringo and on Magical Mystery Tour. (yes, ringo had more than 2 songs he wrote with the beatles recorded, he had 5 actually, only 4 made it on albums).
    John Lennon's comments about Ringo not even being the best drummer in the beatles, was sarcasm.. Ringo had said it about himself in an interview prior to that.
    As for only George and Paul helping ringo with songs, not true! George co-wrote the most with Ringo, John comes in second, Paul third. John refused to take writing credits as he wasn't going to ever use the songs he helped Ringo with (however, recent releases of John in the studio post-beatles has John doing portions of some of Ringo's post-beatle singles he helped on, such as 'It Don't Come Easy').

    it's also a fact stated in many interviews with Ringo that he enver wanted to be a frontman with the group, as he preferred country/western while the others preferred rock n roll/blues. Ringo convinced the others to try a country song out, and they let him preform 'Act Naturally' on television in 1964. the song was later recorded in studio as a b-side to some releases of 'Yesterday' then landed on an album a year after that.
    The comment here about paul doing drumrolls... google it, Paul actually taught Pete Best how to do it in the early days.. Ringo wasn't able to do a drum roll, and often had sudden stops in weird places because he was left handed playing a right handed drum set. This is also what made Ringo so unique.. being able to pull it off, without all the technical aspects included. he had his own style because of it, that was often simulated by others, and still is, all because Ringo couldn't afford a left handed drum set (he was poor at the time, and left handed instruments were specially made and pricey back then).
    as for Ringo being a sick boy.. that's also true, ito his adulthood. He was temporararily replaced for the asia tour in 1964 by Jimmy Nichols when Ringo's appendix burst and he was hospitalized for months. This also wasn't the first time Ringo left the beatles.. he quit the group in 1967 while recording the white album when he got tired of the other three always fighting. he returned a few weeks later with a new song, and would only rejoin the band if it went on the album. They didn't have time to start with a newly written song, so 'Don't Pass Me By went on instead. The song he had written was 'Octopusses Garden' which went on Abbey Road by John's request.

    After the Beatles, Ringo is the only Beatle to still work with the other three. He played drums for Paul McCartney in studio and on the road (including with wings), worked a lot with George on many projects, and was a drummer with the Plastic Ono Band for a couple of tours. He was also the first to sign on for Paul's venture to record new beatles songs in 1996 for the anthology album using unfinished lyrics of John's.. George was hessitant as his health was starting to fail on him. Ringo talked George into it as a last tribute to the fab four and John (not knowing George would fight cancer for awhile).
    Today, Paul and Ringo are working together quite a bit on each others projects.. ever since they got together for the Beatles Rock Band release.

    It only takes a little research to get these facts straight. Google is your friend.
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvAnyone agree with me that this song kind of sounds like a stocker song? Either that or obsessive boyfriend to the extreem. I mean "I listen for your footseteps coming up the drive" really?
  • Reese from Carroll, Beninits about time that Ringo wrote and recorded a song! when they were at a recording for the BBC somewhere, Paul started singing it so he and Ringo started talking about it and when Paul said they dont have enough time to record it so Ringo said, "but Paul, you promised!" i hate how the other Beatles underestimate him!
  • Freddy from Miami, FlI wish he wrote and made more songs!
  • Nicolelynnnn from Penussss, Bermudathe lyrics....

    "You were in a car crash
    And you lost your hair"

    could be reffering to the "paul is dead" rumor.
  • Elmer from Seattle, WaSome people want to dance when they hear a song. When I hear this one, I just want to commence doing some deep knee bends!
  • Matthew Nims from La, CaDudes, I think it is very possible that P.M. played drums
    on Ringos number.
    Listen to the drumming on 'Momma Miss America', on
    McCartneys first solo record, the one he played everything on.
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnHas a country feel to it. Ringo's songwriting is a bit clumsy but I love his voice.
  • Lotte from Sønderborg, DenmarkI always sing along to this song. :)
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Mopsh, sure he is, bianca. you just keep thinking that. still, hes completely epic and i love his songs. i wish he would have written more.
  • Tyler from Phillipston, Mai hear the counting too
  • Shamomo Apaulo Onono from Liverpool, OhDoes anyone hear twords the end of the song someone (I think Ringo, maybe) counting to eight in the backround? It starts at 2:31 and goes 'till 2:41. And when 'nine' should be said, you just hear 'hmpf'. Listen!
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiSadly, there are only 2 Beatles songs written by Ringo.
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiThe best original Ringo recording for the Beatles.
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmRingo's Hot, and a good singer.

    *hmahdfb cough* sorry about the Ringo being hot but you know its true.
  • Robert from Chicago, IlA little piece of trivia: the mono version of this song is sped up (think Ringo as Shaun Cassidy) and the violin solo at the end is different (the player has a false start and gets goin' again).
  • Mb from Newburgh, Nywhats the "you were in a car crash and you lost your hair" about?
  • Ruby from Cc, TxI love Ringo. He's awesome. *cough* And I love this song. It's sweet.
    My friend downloaded it by accident, and now she loves it too! Wooooooooo Ringo.
  • Tiffany from San Diego, CaActually Paulo, Lennon complimented Ringo's drumming a couple of times as well. His "He's not even the best in the Beatles" crap shows how moody Lennon was. He also dissed George's playing as well as Paul's. Ringo's no exception.
  • David from Youngstown, OhIs Ringo Keith Moon, Ginger Bakier or John Bonham? Of course not. But put any of those three in the Beatles and they would have stood out like sore thumbs. Ringo was perfect for the Beatles. He could play complex drumming on tunes like Strawberry Fields Forever and Helter Skelter. He could do easier stuff like most early Beatles song. He also is a great percussionist. The point is Ringo is a great drummer and was ideal for the Beatles.
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Nythis song is good, but we all know ringo can do better. he is so talented, but he just needs encouragment, and a little inspiration. my friend's cousin's nephew is realted to ringo somehow, so, I GET ALL THE BEATLE'S AUTOGRAPHS!! just had to gloat about that for a sec. sorry:)
  • Olle from Stockholm, SwedenI don't really know if Ringo is the best drummer ever, but he was verrry important for the Beatles sound in all beatles songs.
  • Ian from Lethbridge, CanadaMatthew, Ringo isn't a lousy songwriter. He just needs "a little help from his friends", but he still gets the job done at least, and this is a great song! Octopus's Garden is also great!
  • Rob from Vancouver, CanadaThe comment by John that Ringo "wasn't even the best
    drummer in the Beatles" was just the sort of flip, off-the-cuff remark he was famous for and not a serious commentary of Ringo's skill. Now THAT was a long sentence.
  • Robb from Hamburg, NyPaul played some tracks on the White album sure, but he always came off to me like he was trying to hard to impress. If Ringo really wanted to play the drums like that, he would have.
  • Robb from Hamburg, NyI would also like to see Paul do any kind of drum roll or play fast beats with a single bass drum. Anyone with any musical ability can go to a drum set and make a beat just out of timing and rythym in their head. However, it is the tricky timings and rythym stuff that a drummer can do that a guy like Paul can't.
  • Robb from Hamburg, NyHe played some tracks on the White album sure, but he always came off to me like he was trying to hard to impress. If Ringo really wanted to play the drums like that, he would have.
  • Jaime from Baltimore, MdJack Fallon played the violin
  • George from Itaberaba, BrazilI agree with David: In my life, Sun Kins, Come together, Strawberry fiels, Hello, goodbye. Ringo's the best drummer ever.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI agre. this is a great song, and Ringo's a good drummer. love the drum solo on abby Road.
  • Kristen from Aurora, IlThe lines You were in a car crash And you lost your hair contributed to the Paul is dead theory since Paul supposedly died in a car crash when he saw Lovely Rita and did not notice the lights had changed.
  • Mandy from Calgary, CanadaAlso, I would like to add- YAY RINGO! I love Ringo Star, he is probably my favorite Beatle. He doesnt get much recognition and I am real proud of him because he does such a great job on drums and I believe he is a VERY valuble part of the Beatles and deserves more attention. And this song is great too.
  • Barry from New York, NcRingo first performed this song live in 1998 on a VH1 Storytellers special. Prior to this Ringo & the All Starr Band passed this one by!!!!
  • Laura from Santa Fe, NmGo ringo! Actually he was a sick child and he had his appendix split when he was really young. And he has a fragile stomach. Poor Ringo.
  • Federico from La Coruña, SpainRingo left India because all that spicy food wasn't fine for his stomach. He has a lot of alergies.
  • Paula-mersey from TÃ?mperley, ArgentinaI don´t like country music, but this song is one the best that Ringo ever sang,and in less way,ever made,cause Paul helped him a lot with it.But it doesn´t matters,it has a great sound.
    Go,Ringo!!!
  • Andre from Tampa, FlPower to Ringo!
  • Steve from New York City, NyRingo had been trying to get this on Beatles albums three or four years before The White Album was released, but the other Beatles wouldn't allow it. Finally they gave in and let it be recorded/released on The White Album.
  • François from MontrÃ?al, CanadaWho was playing violon on this one?
  • Alan from New Baltimore, MiRingo was a great drummer. The amount of different beats and styles he brought to the Beatles was phenomenal! Listen to Rain, Ticket to Ride, Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite, Yer Blues, and too many others to list. Why do you think they wanted Ringo over Pete Best if they didn't think he was a good drummer? Why didn't they let him just quit during Let it Be sessions instead of filling his drums with flowers when he returned? Why did all three of the others use Ringo on their solo albums? Paul's drumming was listless and boring. Listen to McCartney's first solo album or "Ballad of John and Yoko." Paul's drumming was merely adaquate, but not great or anything different than most drum machines.
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeHmm...that's odd Paulo because John has also been quoted as saying that Ringo's drumming is severely underrated.
  • David from Waco, TxI love this song.I have read that one reason Ringo left India early was that he didn't like the food.
    A story I have heared that is credited to Lennon; someone asked if the Beatles would have made it had they not been in a band together.His answer was no, he didn't have the girl appeal, Paul wasn't strong enough, George didn't want it enough and Ringo was the drummer.
  • Scott Baldwin from Edmonton, CanadaRight,on the beatles anthology DVD there is a part where George says that Ringo went there for the first 2 weeks (just to put) his toe in the water and see waht it was like.
  • Nick from San Francisco, Cawas it the Georgia Satellites?

    oh, and Paul was a better drummer.
  • Paulo from New York, NyRe: Ringo being a great drummer, it reminds me of something I read once. Lennon was once asked if Ringo was the best drummer in rock and roll. Lennon replied that Ringo wasn't even the best drummer on the Beatles.
  • Yo from Honolulu, HiDon't Pass Me By was covered by some punk band in the 90's, i think, which was infreakin'credible. Anyone know anything about this? I just heard it once on the radio and never again but WOW!
  • Liza from The Dalles, Or"You got in a car crash" Yet another "Paul is dead" reference.
  • Matthew from New York, NyWhile this was Ringo's first songwriting credit, he did not write this all by himself. He got a LOT of help from Paul. In every one of Ringo's songwriting endeavors, some one (usually George or Paul) helped him considerably. He was a great drummer, but a lousy songwriter.
  • Kay from Wakefield, MaI've met so many people who dislike this song for it's country-ish melody, but I think it's a great song. I wish Ringo had more of a chance in the Beatles spotlight!
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