Hello Goodbye

Album: Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
Charted: 1 1
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  • Paul McCartney wrote this. His friend Alistair Taylor, who was visiting McCartney, asked Paul one day how he wrote his many songs, and how he came up with his ideas. Paul took him into his dining room to give him a demonstration of his hand-carved harmonium. As an experiment, Paul asked Taylor to shout out the opposite of whatever he sang, such as black and white, yes and no, hello and goodbye, etc. From this, the song was born.
  • John Lennon hated the song. He viewed it as an inconsequential song of McCartney's, saying it was "three minutes of contradictions and meaningless juxtapositions." What further infuriated Lennon was that his "I Am The Walrus," was issued as the B-side to McCartney's A-side "Hello Goodbye." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    gavin - hampden, MA, for above 2
  • This is a song about how people are always different in what they say and do. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Tom - Syracuse, NY
  • The Beatles made a music video for this, but at the time they were called promotional films. It was banned by the BBC because Paul was clearly lip-synching, which was against The British Musician's Union's rules.
  • Shortly after this was released, McCartney explained, "The answer to everything is simple. It's a song about everything and nothing. If you have black you have to have white. That's the amazing thing about life."
  • The ending where all The Beatles sing, "Hela, hey, aloha," was improvised in the studio. This part plays over the end credits of the Magical Mystery Tour movie. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France, for above 2
  • The working title was "Hello, hello."
  • There is a fake ending on this song that drove disk jockeys nuts, as the sound of dead air made them think the song had ended before they were ready.
  • Target used this in commercials with the lyrics changed to "Hello, Good Buy." The Beatles do not control the publishing rights for most of their songs and cannot keep them from being re-recorded and used in ads.

    In 2008, Jonas Brothers recorded the song for a new Target commercial.
  • When Paul McCartney played a show in Tel Aviv, Israel on September 25, 2008, he opened with this song. It was the first time a Beatle performed in the country. Ofer Lichtman, who covered the show for The Times of Malta, wrote: "There is still a debate regarding the true reason behind declining The Beatles' arrival to perform in Israel. The common story behind it was simply the lack of money and the prudence of the Israeli government. Due to Israel's poor economical situation in the '60s the organizers and promoters could not come up with the sufficient funds that were claimed and when they appealed to the Israeli Government for help, they were turned down because "The Beatles were a threat on the morality of the youth.

    Forty-three years later, earlier this year, the Israeli Government has sent its ambassador in Britain to officially apologize to Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr and to the relatives of John Lennon and George Harrison for its unfortunate decision. After weeks of nerve racking anticipations and contradicting headlines, Paul jumped on the stage in Tel Aviv in front of an audience of 50,000 people and gave us an outstanding night to remember and a story to tell our children and grandchildren. After all those years Paul has decided to come and play in Israel in spite the many life threats he got from extreme Islamic groups."
  • In 2009 The Performing Rights Society announced this as the most ever played Beatles song in public places in the UK. One of the reasons for this is that this was the first Beatles single release after BBC Radio 1 started broadcasting and the station played this song endlessly.
  • The California power pop band Hellogoodbye took their name from this song.
  • A cover by the Los Angeles singer Boh Doran was used in a commercial for the eBay-like company Mercari that aired during the Super Bowl in 2021.

Comments: 64

  • Gargatholil from The UniverseHello, Goodbye opens the second side of the Magical Mystery Tour album and, by this time, we are deep into the mystery. Although this appears to be a song about romantic misunderstanding, in my opinion, it is not. I hear it as a song about death and reincarnation. It describes the surprise and confusion that a soul feels at the time of death when it has been taken out of its body and, instead of being sent to some heaven-world as it had expected, is told that it has to return to the Earth plane for yet another life. It is part cosmic tutorial and part warning to the Counterculture Generation to pay attention, spiritually, or face the consequences.
    Seen from this perspective, the conversation is between the soul and the Angel of Death. The first line describes the soul’s reaction to being told it has to go back (the “you” here is the Angel of Death). The soul wants to continue upward, into the blissful dimensions, but the Angel of Death stops it and says, “No, you must go back.”
    In the second verse, the soul is unable to tell the Angel of Death why it should be given the privilege of ascending into the astral heaven-worlds. Neither does the soul understand why it is being condemned to repeat another life on the Earth plane. As the conversation goes on, the soul gets progressively more confused since, besides the stress of this unexpected outcome, it is not used to operating in the mentally and emotionally more fluid astral environment.
    The final chorus is composed of made-up words loosely based on the Hawaiian word, aloha, which means both hello and goodbye. The feeling here is that hello and goodbye, arrival and departure, are actually the same event, which is the theme of this song. The end is the beginning.
    For more song interpretations by Gargatholil, buy The Pouring, or How the Universal Mind Reached Out to a Generation available at Smashwords and soon (Fall 2022) at Amazon print on demand.
  • Tim from Ohio, Usa I always thought it was, you say suck, and I say go, go, go, lol.
  • Pete from Nowra, AustraliaJohn seeemed happy enough in the video clip , smiling etc
  • Bridget from CoOh wait, I think scientists are right about The Beatles helping kids on the autism spectrum! I get really excited when The Beatles play, sometimes to the point where I start bouncing up and down! Maybe that's because I love The Beatles. But I'm sure other autistic people I know will feel the same way. I'll have to test the theory!
  • Bridget from CoI read somewhere that scientists discovered that this song along with others helps kids with autism and other disabilities. Honestly, I do not see how because the lyrics make no sense. Also, I have autism myself. I think the source I read is clickbait.
  • Russ from Pittsburgh, PaI absolutely love the ending scene of the video. You can clearly see the flirtatious interaction between the band and the hula girls. I’m sure it didn’t end with the video.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyIt was noted above that the working title for the song was 'Hello, Hello'...
    Earlier in 1967 on January 15th a record titled "Hello, Hello" by the Sopwith 'Camel' entered Billboard's Top 100 chart at position #43, seven weeks later it would peak at #26 {for 1 week} and stayed on the chart for ten weeks...
    Later in 1967 on May 21st Claudine Longet's covered version of "Hello, Hello" charted, for the two weeks it was on the Top 100 it was at position #91...
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn October 30th 1963, the Beatles appeared on the Swedish Sverige television program 'Drop In'; their performance was taped earlier in the day at the Arenateatern in the Grona Lund Amusement Park in Stockholm...
    They performed four songs, one of them was "She Loves You", and at the time it was at #2 on the United Kingdom's Singles chart, it did not make the Swiss Singles chart*...
    * Sort of surprisingly, their first record to finally make the Swiss Singles chart wasn't until 1967, when "Hello, Goodbye" would peak at #2, and then their next five releases would all reached #1 in Sweden.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn November 9th 1967, the first issue* of the 'Rolling Stone Magazine' hit the newsstands in San Francisco, California...
    John Lennon, in a photo from his soon to be released movie 'How I Won the War', was featured on the front cover...
    At the time the Beatles did not have record on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; but eighteen days later on November 26th, 1967 "Hello Goodbye" entered the Top 100 at position #45, and four weeks later on December 24th it peaked at #1 {for 3 weeks}...
    * The Beatles were on the covered of the 3rd issue and John & Paul on the 9th issue {Tina Turner graced the 2nd issue}.
  • Tony from San Diego, CaAlways felt like Paul was asking John to meet him in the widening schism between them. John was clearly rebelling at this time and Paul stayed more grounded. They had to eventually split. Good effort tho Mr. McC
  • Randy from Fayettevile, Ar"Hello Goodbye" is still one of my favorite songs. The booming bass & drums are absolutely awesome. Too bad that Lennon didn't like this McCartney composition. Lennon's "I Am The Walrus" is on the flip side of the single & I preferred it over the A-side back in '67 when it was climbing the charts. I've read that critics consider Lennon's "I Am The Walrus" one of his masterpieces. I agree with that! Still, "Hello Goodbye" holds its own.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 23rd, 1967, a tape of the Beatles performing "Hello Goodbye" was aired on the ABC-TV program 'American Bandstand'...
    One month earlier on November 26th it entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on December 24th it peaked at #1 (for 3 weeks) and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
    Also on the day it entered the Top 100 (Nov. 26th) it was aired on the CBS-TV program 'The Ed Sullivan Show'...
    The record's B-side, "I Am The Walrus", also charted, it reached #56...
    It was the 3rd Beatle record to reached #1 in the year of 1967 (the other two were "Penny Lane" and "All You Need Is Love")...
    R.I.P. John and George.
  • Harry from Sunnyvale, CaI heard this song while on a date, and the girl I was with seemed uncomfortable listening to it. like she picked up from the song how guys sometimes are just being friendly to a girl, and they say hello to them, but the girl takes it has the guy hitting on them, and her response is metaphorically, "Goodbye." I think that made my date feel guilty.
  • David from London, United KingdomDoes anyone know who came up with that last section "Hey la aloha" - if it was Paul I would say it was in keeping with his passive-aggressive personality which we see in lots of places...it might be a slightly bitchy comment on George's penchant for chanting as in we can replace "Hare Krishna" with any words we choose...?

    Overall I think the song is fantastic - a profoundly simple/simply profound song. The sentiment couldn't be simpler: opposites. But the song structure is actually v complex esp once one factors in the call and response elemnt in the singing. Surely it works because it starts with the utlimately simple idea and shows you can make something v. complex with it.
  • Melody from Kamakura, JapanJohn and Paul were both good songwriters but ive got to say that John was the better one. I mean Paul turned out to be absolutely rubbish after the beatles broke up because there was no competition between the two.
    however i like both songs.But i could tell from the video that john didnt look that enthusiastic about the song until the last part. lol
  • Allyson from Waverly, NyThis song is so bouncy and fun to sing! I can't imagine why John hated it, but then again, he wasn't always the most supportive of Paul...
    Anyways, love this song! =D
  • Terry from Naperville, IlThe ending where all The Beatles sing, "Hela, hey, aloha," Paul also puctuates that phrase with "hah-cha, hah-cha," - a regional India phrase that loosely interprets to OK! or Alright! or Yes! in English.
  • Thebeatles from Areawesome, AlYO, all the way at the bottom, Steve. A lot of John Lennon's song names were names from something in his past. For example, the song title "Strawberry Fields Forever". When John was a young boy he would play in a garden of a Salvation Army house called Strawberry Field. So it's just a memory I guess. I like to read biographies because yeah I'm nerdy like that. Also, I do not know where "I Am The Walrus" came from but I'm sure it's not random and he probably had a reason for that name.
  • Anthony from Oxnard, Caat 1:06/1:07, sounds like a wrong piano chord
  • Joe from Hoboken, NjPerhaps this song typifies the different personalities of Paul & John. In "here today" Paul indicates John would say we were worlds apart. Just a thought!
  • George from Belleville, NjI kind of agree with Joe from Hoboken,it could be possible that Paul was writing about his differences with John,but disguising it with his play on words.It is interesting to think of it that way.
  • Joe from Hoboken, NjI wonder if this song could be about John & Paul and how they were different from one another.
  • Joe from Hoboken, NjI think this song may be about Paul & John in a subtle way.
  • George from Belleville, NjIn my opinion,I believe Hello Goodbye made a lot of sense.The lyric is simple but effective in that there is a meaning to it.Life is filled with opposites,an action resulting in a reaction.This is classic pop song writing.The Beatles were very clever songwriters,the best in the business.There's a kind of magical charm to the song,the music,the melody,the play on words.About as catchy as it gets.
  • K from Nowhere, OnI am the Walrus may be > than Hello Good Buy, but Hello Goodbye > I am the Walrus. A-side vs B-side!
  • Nick from Seattle, AlbaniaI am the Walrus > Hello goodbuy
  • Rahul from Chennai, Indiathe tune is sooooooo catchy its hard to get outta my head grrrrrrr....... lol....nice song..i adore this one
  • Theresa from Murfreesboro, TnPaul created magic with this song. It's fun but also serious.
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Moi dont really get why people are saying this song has no meaning. ive always thought it was about how what people say and what they actually do is very different, how everyone acts like they know everything but they dont. even though it doesnt have as much poetry and pretty words as john's songs do, its not trite and meaningless. and please, people, why is everybody argueing over whos better, john or paul? you cant say which song is better, I Am the Walrus or Hello Goodbye, because theyre both great, in very different ways. the two of them were both geniuses, and they both had brilliant songs, especially together. its wierd, even though they hated each other toward the end, they somehow complemented each other well.
  • Mrcleaveland from Cleveland,John was right. It is kind of a stupid song. But it's not as stupid as I Am the Walrus.
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Moi started screaming at the tv and throwing a bit of a fit when i saw the jonas brothers singing this in a target commercial. my parents thought i was possessed, cursing at a commercial.
  • Sky from Boulder, Cohey guys, just wanted you to remember...no matter how much you argue, "hello, goodbye" is already on the A-side and "I Am the Walrus" is already on the B-side.
  • Lars from Sacramento, CaI have to say that I love them both. They are both are great song writers, and geniuses in music. I have memorized all of John's lyrics in "I Am The Walrus," and Paul's "Hello, Goodbye" is so catchy that it is on a Target commercial. Their songs will live forever.
  • Talitha from Austin, Txchuck chuck cha! favorite part!
  • Ken from Louisville, KyJohn did admit that he enjoyed the "Hey-la, heyla-hello-a" bit at the end.
  • Jj from Brooklyn, NyI guess there's no middle ground. I am (because my father was) a HUGE John Lennon fan and am flabbergasted by people who enjoy Hello, Goodbye more than I am the Walrus or Strawberry Fields. People's tastes are different, and I respect that. It's just in my opinion, HG is a crappy silly song that rhymes. IATW and SFF may not make sense to you, but H,G like Lennon said, is just a bunch of contradictions that rhyme.
  • Krissy from Boston, MaI love this song. It's a great song written by an amazing band. The Beatles were the best thing that ever happened. John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr were the best musicians and they always we be. They made such wonderful songs and music together. And nobody will be able to match it. They were just to good of a band. I love them. They were simply just amazing. They wil be remember forever.
  • Ruby from Cc, TxI remember, John hated this song. I love it, however. It's my ringtone...
  • Shannan Sherwood from Wilmington, DeThis is a great song and I love the video!
  • Kevin from Quebec, Canadai love the part where paul sings chuck chuck cha!
  • Darren from Hull, EnglandThe most amazing fact about this song is......

    That it was number 1 on the day i was born.
  • Izzy from Buffalo, Ny1) i heard that this was actually based on a bad relationship that one of the beatles had, where they couldn't agree on anything, 'the you say goodbye, i say hello' meaning that the woman broke up with whoever it was(i forget), but they wanted the relationship to last
  • Ian from Lethbridge, CanadaListen everybody! "Hello Goodbye" and "I Am The Walrus" are both brilliant songs, so just stop arguing and enjoy BOTH songs.
  • Joe from Lethbridge, CanadaTrue. Neither this song nor "I Am The Walrus" make any sense. But in the case of "I am the Walrus", that was the point.
  • Tim from Dalton, MaI Am The Walrus is not better than this at all...in fact I Am The Walrus makes less sense then this song
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoThis song seems to be primarily about a breakup that is against the protagonist's wish, a recurring McCartney theme, see Yesterday, We Can Work It Out, For No One. But it's rounded out with lyrics that seem to imply that the couple disagrees constantly, perhaps even reflexively, a common problem couples have. I was annoyed that McCartney opened his US tour sets with this song because it seemed to reflect a very superficial take on his own lyrics, as if the presence of the word "Hello" superseded the actual context of the word's use in the song, where it's futiley met with "Goodbye" and all that implies. Maybe that's why Lennon hated the song, because he sensed Paul's lack of commitment to it. But, heh-heh, probably mainly because Paul got the A-side!
  • Sam from Sudbury,ontario, Canadahow can paul hate this,i meen i would be frustrated if such a good song like i am the walrus was pushed to a b-side but seriously this is 100 times better,pauls best spng.Sorry john:D:D:D:D
  • Steve from Fenton, MoThis song has a catchy melody and may have made it to number 1 on the charts, but only from "Beatles momentum". There are probably thirty other Beatles songs not released as singles that would have been better. Not that this is a bad song, but by Beatles standards, it is mediocre.
  • Ryan from Kansas City, MoHa ha. I was a DJ and this song was like a bomb from the devil! It was a good song, but if people turn on the raido and hear silence....*CLICK*.....off goes the radio!
  • Ben from Portsmouth, EnglandI think Paul was a better musician than John, not because he was more of a musical genius, but he knew what people liked... and thats what counts!
  • Ken from Louisville, KyJohn Lennon's pithy commet about this song - "smells a mile away, doesn't it?"
  • Nelle from Lima, PeruHello Goodbye ia a great, fun song...but come on people, it doesn't take a genius to figure out I am the Walrus is by far superior. Besides, Paul and John had different styles that had wonderfunl consequences when combined...Paul is innocent romantic while John is much darker and reflexive.
  • George from Itaberaba, Brazil"Hello, goodbye" is a very very good song. "I am the walrus" is the best Beatles' song. We all know that, right? No more discussiobns, please
  • Lee from Clearwater, FlHow did they come up with something so commonplace, so ordinary, and make it into such a great song? I mean, the outfits, the hula girls, the combination of different video tracks, and the sending it to Ed Sullivan, all to sing a song about saying hello and goodbye. Once again, a great song is birthed from literally nothing. genius.
  • Erin from Reading, PaThis song always makes me think of rape. I know how terrible that is, but I can't help thinking that...
  • Jon from Danville, Ca"I am the Walrus" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" are not very distinguishible into genres and radio stations tend to favor certain genres of music, such as the pop-rock sound of "Penny Lane" and "Hello Goodbye". Also, John explained that "I am the Walrus " was purposely nonsensical, but i do agree that the whole B-side thing is quite rediculous, being on the disc is being on the disc. But please dont go insulting brilliant musicians and demoting their work due to one action that you may disagree with.

    "Imagine all the people, living life in peace"

    P.S... "yellow matter custard, dripping from a dead dogs eye" came from a rhyme that children sang when John was a young Boy

  • Nessie from Sapporo, JapanIf I'd written "I Am the Walrus" and it ended up as a B-Side, I'd be pretty pissed, too. I'm basically with John on this one. Paul was consistently better as a songwriter, but when the inspiration visited John he wrote the very best that came out of the Beatles.
  • Jack Lee from Nottingham, EnglandThe bit at the end of this where it ends for a few seconds comes back in suddenly "hayla, hay, heloha...."
  • Joe from West Creek, NjAgreed with Xavier. Paul and John together were an unstoppable commercial and artistically pleasing team. John and Paul have both done their fair share of classic tunes, and "Hello, Goodbye" to me is just another example of Paul's excellent songwriting abilities. I can see where John is coming from, saying it is inconsequential though, because it certainly is a lot more accessable and commercial compared to the rest of the songs on Magical Mystery Tour. Nonetheless, it is an excellent pop song with a creative arrangement and one of the finest Beatles songs of 1967.
  • Steve from Cincinnati, OhTo Grey, Knoksville, TN: John never explained the lyrics to that song. Did he eat "yellow mater custard" that had dripped from a dead dog's eye when he was a boy? That would not be a childhood experience for most. I did not say that Paul had a better musical mind than John, only that John showed jealousy when Paul excelled.

    Steve, Cincinnati
  • Xavier from Noisy Le Sec, FranceI like BOTH "Hello Goodbye" and "I Am the Walrus". It's way time to stop that stupid war between Johnnies and Paulies. Both Lennon and McCartney were geniuses, though never as much individually as they were together.
  • Grey from Knoxville, Tnsteve from cincinnati...John wrote "I am the Walrus"...how can you say he doesn't know what the lyrics are about? He wrote it with a good buddy of his after reading some fan mail from a boy who was going to their former grammar school...the same grammar school whose headmaster said John would be a failure. Their English teacher was having them analyze Beatles lyrics to find the hidden meanings of them. John wrote this song to dumbfound little smartasses trying to figure out his work. Everything in the song...from semonlina pilchard(things he ate as a boy) to yellow matter custard(part of a rhyme he was made to say as a boy)all relate to his life in some way...to say John doesn't know what the lyrics mean is ignorant...not to mention saying anything like Paul is a better musical mind than John...thats just ridiculous...
  • Steve from Cincinnati, OhJohn Lennon talking about lyrics? Didn't he admit that he had no idea what "I Am the Walrus" was about? Hello Goodbye still stands today. Lennon always thought his songs were better. He was an egomaniac and very, very jealous of Paul's accomplishments. 35+ years later, does "Strawberry Fields Forever" and "I Am the Walrus" even come close to "Penny Lane" and "Hello Goodbye" on radio stations?
  • Patrick from Durham, NcPaul McCartney used the infamous Rickenbacker 4001C64S Bass on this song giving it the trademark Treble punch that is present in the bass.
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