I Want To Hold Your Hand

Album: Meet The Beatles! (1963)
Charted: 1 1
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • This was the first Beatles song to catch on in America. In 1963, the Beatles became stars in England, but couldn't break through in the US. They couldn't get a major label to distribute their singles in America, so their first three singles there, "Please Please Me," "From Me to You" and "She Loves You," were issued on small labels and flopped, even though they were hits in England.

    Late in 1963, American news outlets started reporting on this British sensation, and interest in the group started to rise. Capitol Records took notice and released "I Want To Hold Your Hand" Stateside on December 26. The song rose up the chart, and on February 1, 1964, hit #1.It sold better in the first 10 days of release in the US than any other British single, and remains the best-selling Beatles single in the United States, moving over 12 million copies.
  • The Beatles celebrated madly when they found out they were #1 in America. They came to America for the first time on February 7, 1964, greeted at the airport by screaming fans. "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was the #1 song in the country at that time, and it stayed on top for seven weeks, until their next single, the re-released "She Loves You," replaced it.

    Conquering the US was, and still is, a big deal for British bands. Many groups that are huge in the UK (Oasis, Blur) never really catch on in America.
  • John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote this in Jane Asher's basement. Asher was an actress who became Paul's first high-profile girlfriend. After appearing in several movies, TV shows and stage productions, Asher became an authority on baking, and has her own business selling party cakes and supplying baking and decorating equipment. She and Paul broke up in 1968.

    Jane had a brother named Pete Asher who teamed up with Gordon Waller to form the duo Peter & Gordon and McCartney wrote for them their hit single "A World Without Love." Pete recalled in a 2010 interview with Gibson.com the two Beatles penning this song at his home: "My mother had a practice room that she used to give private oboe lessons when she wasn't teaching at The Royal Academy, where she was a professor. There was just a piano, and an upright chair and a sofa. Paul used that room to write in, from time to time. One afternoon John came over, while I was upstairs in my room. The two of them were in the basement for an hour or so, and Paul called me down to listen to a song they had just finished. I went downstairs and sat on the sofa, and they sat side by side, on the piano bench. That's where they played 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' for the first anywhere. They asked me what I thought. I said, 'I think it's very good.'" [laughs]
  • The Beatles performed this on their first two Ed Sullivan Show appearances, which took place February 9 and 16, 1964. There was already a media frenzy around The Beatles, which was amplified when millions saw them on Sullivan's show. The Beatles were booked for the show before they had a hit in the US, so they actually got paid less than many other guests for their appearance.
  • Bob Dylan thought the line "I can't hide" was "I get high," and a reference to marijuana. He was surprised to learn they had never tried pot, and became part of Beatles lore when he introduced them to it.
  • This was one of John Lennon's favorite Beatles songs. It starts with a falling melody, which is typical of Lennon's songwriting, and ends with a cadence with a quarter-interval: "I'll think you'll understand." That quarter-interval cadence you can even hear in Lennon's first bit of "From Me to You" and in "Tomorrow Never Knows." McCartney most often uses second-intervals. Also typically Lennon is the sudden octave-run, "Haaaaand..." The same octave-run you can hear in the end of the middle part in Lennon's "Please Please Me": "To reason with youuuuuu..." Also note that the beginning of the melody in the middle part is almost the same melody as the beginning of the middle part in "Don't Let Me Down." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Johan Cavalli, a music historian in Stockholm
  • Two parody groups made answer songs to this in 1964: "I'll Let You Hold My Hand" by The Bootles and "Yes, You Can Hold My Hand" by The Beatlettes.
  • This was played on the Washington, DC radio station WWDC before it was released in America by a DJ named Carroll Baker, who got the record from a stewardess. It was a huge hit with his listeners and prompted Capitol Records to release the song ahead of schedule - they planned to issue it on January 13, 1964.
  • This was the first Beatles song recorded on 4-track equipment. Some of their first songs were in mono.
  • The Beatles also cut a German version called "Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand." They picked up some German while playing The Star Club in Hamburg in 1962.

    In the 1960s it wasn't uncommon for British stars to record new versions of their hits in other languages. The idea was to increase airplay on continental stations and to get a hit before an indigenous artist recorded a version in the local tongue. On January 29, 1964, The Beatles went into the Pathé & Marconi Studios in Paris and recorded "I Want To Hold Your Hand" and "She Loves You" ("Sie Liebt Dich") in German. The lyrics had been hurriedly translated by a Luxembourger named Camillo Felgen, who was then a program director at Radio Luxembourg. As well, apart from their recording of "My Bonnie" in the early '60s, this was the only time The Beatles recorded in another language. In addition it was the sole occasion on which they recorded outside London.
  • When this hit #1 in the US, it was the first time a British group topped the chart there since 1962, when "Telstar" by The Tornados did it. Until The Beatles came along, most British groups that had hits in America came and went pretty quickly. The Beatles kicked off the British Invasion, leading to a lengthy occupation on the charts for acts like The Rolling Stones, The Kinks and The Who as well as The Beatles.
  • At times John Lennon realized the crowds The Beatles played to were so loud they really couldn't hear them sing, so sometimes instead of singing the line, "I want to hold your hand," he would say, "I want to hold your gland" as a reference to women's breasts. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    bob - Laguna Beach, CA
  • It was the youth who discovered The Beatles, and while young people can be easily manipulated through hype and image, in the case of The Beatles it was the music that drew them in. An American girl Sanda Stewart, 15 years old in spring 1964 (according to Hunter Davies in his book Beatles) said: "I was one day in a shop with my mother when I suddenly heard 'I Want to Hold Your Hand' on the car radio. Such a special sound! I could never stop thinking about it. No song has effected me on that way. Several other girls in school had reacted in the same way. We saw the Beatles on photos and thought they were ugly. But their music was fantastic."
  • This song was used in the movie Across the Universe at a much slower tempo. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Breanna - Henderson, NV
  • A fairly straightforward and simple Beatles song, this one still has some musical complexity that foreshadowed what was to come. "The middle eight of that does something," Tony Banks of Genesis explained. "The way the key changes at that point is something I hadn't heard before."
  • The Melvins' 2018 release Pinkus Abortion Technician features a cover of a cover of this Beatles' classic. Dale Crover explained that the Melvins' version is a cover of the Moving Sidewalks' version of the song. Moving Sidewalks was formed in the mid-1960s and featured Billy Gibbons, who later went on to be part of Texas blues-rock band ZZ Top. Moving Sidewalks had a more psychedelic sound than ZZ Top, and the Melvins' cover stays faithful to their interpretation of the Beatles' tune.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 69

  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn this day in 1982 {May 8th} Lakeside performed their covered version of "I Want To Hold Your Hand" on the nationally syndicated television program, 'Soul Train'...
    At the time the song was at #95 on Billboard's Hot Soul Singles chart, it's was also in it's ninth and final week on the chart, six weeks earlier the song had peaked at #5 {for 4 weeks} on Hot Soul Singles chart...
    Between 1978 and 1990 the Dayton, Ohio funk band had seventeen records on the Hot Soul Singles chart, five made the Top 10 with one reaching #1, "Fantastic Voyage", for two weeks on January 25th, 1981...
    Besides the above two records, their three other Top 10 records on the Hot Soul Singles chart were "It's All The Way Live - Part One" {#4 in 1978}, "Raid" {#8 in 1983}, and "Outrageous" {#7 in 1984}...
    May Don Cornelius {1936 - 2012} R.I.P.
  • Dan from SeattleThe 60's - what a time to be a teen-ager.
    This is the song that officially brought "The Lost Years" and "The Great Folk Music Scare" to a close.
    From Chuck Berry to Elvis to Buddy Holly, rock 'n' roll was considered to be "a fad", a flash in the pan, something that wouldn't last. When Holly died in a plane crash in 1959, it was said "the fad" was over. Popular music was dominated by Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, the Kingston Trio, and Peter Paul & Mary. "Hey, remember rock 'n' roll?" everybody said.
    After more than 4 years, this song hit the radio in late 1963. Suddenly, rock 'n' roll was a synonym for "popular music" once more. And it's stayed that way ever since.
  • Trebor from TexasTo Mr. Crump- The Swedish expert is a chronic whiner. You should read his similar posts on the The Beatles Bible website. He carries on about Paul and George Martin working against Lennon and on and on. It's pathetic and pitiful. I sometimes wonder if he is any kind of Beatles fan at all.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 16th 1964, the Beatles played two shows at the Olympia Theater in Paris, France...
    And legend has it, sometime during one of the shows word was received from across the pond in the U.S.A. that their first American single, "I Want to Hold Your Hand", was selling 10,000 copies an hour in New York City alone...
    At the time the song was in its first week on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, it was at position #45, the following week it rose to #3.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 10th 1963, 'The CBS Evening News with Walter Cronkite' featured a segment* reporting on the new British pop music sensations, the Beatles...
    At the time the Fab Four had the two top records on the United Kingdom Singles chart; "I Want to Hold Your Hand" was at #1, it had bumped their "She Loves You" down to the #2 spot...
    And one month and two days later on January 12th they would enter Billboard's Hot Top 100 with their debut charted record "I Want to Hold Your Hand", it entered at #45...
    * The segment was originally scheduled to air November 22, but was delayed because of extended news coverage of the J.F.K. assassination.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 7th 1963, the Beatles appeared as panelists on the BBC-TV program 'Juke Box Jury'...
    One of records the Fab Four panned was Bobby Vinton's "There, I've Said It Again"; at the time the record was at #22 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart, twenty-two days later on December 29th it would peak at #1 for four weeks...
    And on January 26th, 1964 it was the Beatles themselves with "I Want to Hold Your Hand" that knocked Mr. Vinton out of the number one spot...
    On the same 'Jury' show the Beatles really liked Elvis' "Kiss Me Quick"; it would peak at #34 on the Top 100 chart.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 19th, 1964, "I Want To Hold Your Hand" by the Beatles moved into position #3 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    Just the week before it had entered the Top 100 at #45, and can you guess were it was next week in 1964???...
    R.I.P. John and George.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyIn Australia the last week of December was very lucky for the Beatles...
    The last week of December 1963 "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was at #1...
    In 1964 it was "I Feel Fine"...
    And in 1968 "Hey Jude" was at #1...
    Then in 1969 they missed by one week; Elvis' "Suspicious Minds" was #1 during the last week of December that year ("Something" was #1 the week before)...
    The Beatles disbanded in 1970 but during the last week of December 1972 "Imagine" by John Lennon was #1...
    R.I.P. to John, George, and Elvis.
  • Carol from Indianapolis, InI was 14 when my Mom honored my request to buy me a 45 record while she was at the store. She brought this one home. Flip side: She Loves You. I never heard of The Beatles, and i'd never heard anything like it when I played it. I was totally blown away and on a fast track toward Beatlemania!
  • Johan from Stockholm, SwedenThis was the Beatles fourth hit in autumn 1963. As the former Beatle hits it has that new expressionism!
    In the magazine Rolling Stones "100 greatest Beatles songs" it is no 2. Among the first 20 songs, Lennon has 11 or 12, McCartney 4, Harrison 2, Lennon-Mc 2 or 3. Not a single song by McCartney from Sgt Pepper.
  • Joe from Baltimore, MdThere's no extra beat in the beginning. It's played exactly the same as the "I Can't Hide, I Can't hide, I Can't Hide" part. If you think of it that way it makes sense.
  • Meocyber from Alma, CoThis was the crashing, huge beginning for my love - respect- admiration of the Beatles. When that rickenbacher guitar strains came on I was hooked. Then that excellent harmonizing. Ofcourse the super lead vocals of John were perfect. For simple lyrics they still talked well about a young first love.
  • Jeff from Livermore, CaI agree with Frank from Haverstraw about the intro count. There is an extra beat before John starts singing. I wonder why they threw that in???
  • Joe from New York, NyThis song "I WANT TO HOLD YOUR HAND" was for many the beginning of it all for Beatle fans. Yet there are earlier tunes that were big in England that The Beatles had great momentum with such as "Please , please me"....."This boy"........."She loves you"......"From me to you"....."I'll get you"....."All my loving".....which were also BIG here in America BUT for the average Beatle Fan this was the start....a brand new sound....it still today sounds as fresh as it was when I first heard in back in late 1963 in Queens, New York....Whitestone , New York to be exact. My dad even said that it was a brand new sound....only a few artists in the history of pop music can do that....Elvis Presley was one in the 1950s....and before that Frank Sinatra in the 1940s.....Bing Crosby in the 1930s.....when they come around it changes things on a great level in that it NOT only moves things in the music business but in many other fields of life....The Beatles are without doubt movers and shakers.... Joe Nania a.k.a. Hollywood Joe www.hollywoodjoe.com hollywoodjoe@mail.com hollywoodjoe@usa.com
  • Meocyber from Alma, CoDamn straight. From the opening guitar/bass strains through the perfect harmonizing this song is the best intro to the Beatles they could have done. Firstly you can see the guitar influence of Chuck Berry and the Buddy Holly harmonizing influence. It was the time of musical giants!
  • George from Belleville, NjThis song has such a clean clear melody,a beautiful melody,that is why it has an enduring quality.The song is so simple yet so complex for it's time.The sound of it has a universal appeal.What a great way musically to start the British invasion.I agree with Billy Corgan from Chicago.
  • Randy from Houghton Lake, MiI was in grade school during Beatlemania I remember my parents buying this 45 and my brothers and me playing it over and over. I'm 55 now and have seen a lot of musicians come and go but I don't think anything except for maybe Elvis came close to the Beatles.
  • Walter Crump from San Francisco, CaThe so called expert from Stockholm obviously seeks to minimize McCartney's at least equal contribution to this classic. Lennon was not shy about taking credit for his contributions to Lennon/McCartney songs. Thus, it is notable that Lennon, in an interview, referred to this as an equal collaboration and even credited McCartney for striking, during its composition, the key chord on the piano that got the writing of the song really rolling. Both Lennon and McCartney referred to this as an equal collaboration--I would take their words over this "experts." Also "From Me to You" was also co-written and further you can find many melodic similarities between "I want to hold your hand" and songs written by McCartney alone or in collaboration with Lennon.
  • Luiz from Rio De Janeiro, BrazilAlthough The Beatles clearly sing "I wanna hold" every reference to the song states "I want to hold". And just like Johann Cavalli, it was the first Beatles song I ever heard and it never got out of my mind. I was strongly impressed by the song and spent all day long searching for it on the radio. I was 12 back then. And I didn't know a single word in English at the time.
  • Steven from Oxnard, CaThis song was actually covered by "The Standells" on an episode of the "Munsters" not the "Adams Family."
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvI love this song! This song will never be forgotten, I mean seriously how can we ever forget the song that sent Beatle Mania into full force? This is just a brillant song and one of their best, a true Lennon and McCartney master piece.
  • Tarryn from Wollongong, AustraliaPaul's Bass playing in this is great.
  • Danielle from Cocoa, FlAt times John Lennon realized that the crowds the Beatles played to were so loud that they really couldn't hear them sing, so sometimes instead of saying "I want to hold your hand," John would say, "I want to hold your gland" as a reference to women's breasts.
    hahahhah he could hold my gland id marry john.
  • Brad from Lexington, KyI agree with Bob Dylan, I think it says "I get high!" too.
  • Reed from New Ulm, MnRob-Santa Monica-----unfortunately i think you're correct, sorry to say.
    Those days were far more innocent and carefree.
    Even their look---the suits and ties-----you'll never see that again from groups today.
    They were true professional showmen in every respect. and....Manager Brian Epstein was a genius in how he presented them. Ticket price to see them at Shea Stadium, Aug.'65 was a mere $5.00-----
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Moa true gem- one of the most influential pop\rock masterpieces of all time! too bad my music teacher is making my class sing this at a 'music festival', complete with horrible accompaniment, plastic shakers, and clapping thats always a beat off. somewhere, john and george are banging their heads on the wall....
  • Rick from Newton, NhI remember it like it was yesterday. It was January 1964 and I was walking through downtown Amesbury, Mass with my Mother. Aubachons Hardware store had this song blaring over their outside speaker system. I begged my mother to buy me the record. We went to the store which also housed a records section and purchased it. I still have the record today. From that point on I was hooked by these four great musicians from Liverpool. The Beatles have been and always will be a part of my family. They were certainly instrumental ( no pun intended) to my success as an adult.
    Rick, Newton NH
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Moalthough i really do prefer their later stuff, i adore this song. its impossible not to- the lyrics are simple and heartfelt, and the music behind them rocks! i love that fact about john lennon realizing nobody could even hear what he was singing- its so predictably john.
  • Alan from Greene, RiThe German version says the girl is as pretty as a diamond...
  • John from Cranston, RiI was 10 years old in 1964 years old when I heard a Beatles song for the very first time and this was that song. I literally listened to it with my draw dropped since the opening chords and was a Beatles fan before it even ended.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, CaListening to this on the signal "skip" from a nyc station,(I was then based in Ohio)this was
    an unusual sound...raw vocal harmonies, the drone of a 5th in the bass part at times, that added Capitol records added echo,and the poppy handclaps....yeah, this was "wayyy" different..
  • Ken from Louisville, KyGeorge Martin kept trying to get EMI's Capitol lablel to release Beatle singles in the U.S., but they declined. Finally, in early January 1964, Capitol did agree to release "I Want To Hold Your Hand", but just in Canada. It became an instant hit on Canadian radio stations that had U.S. audiences (such as in Toronto and Windsor) and U.S. DJ's were having the Canadian single sent to them. So Capitol finally decided to release it in the U.S. later that month.
  • Billy Corgan from Chicago, Ili think the beatles were a very creative band that influeced generations of young musicans to grow up and do somthing incredible with there music....like my band "The Smashing Pumpkins"


    -Cogan out!
  • Akul from Dehli, Indiaits amazing coz if the beatles wrote this song today they wud have probably said more than just "i wna hold ur hand".. *sighs* ppl were kinda innocent back then..
  • Br!tt@ny from Florissant, Moprefect 10! love it and the cover by T.V. Carpio is just as lovely!
  • Lucyinthesky from Philadelphia, PaBob in Baltimore this is also to you,

    I and many people understandably feel that John Lennon had the best rock voices ever! George Martin said John's voice was one of the best he ever heard,and in May 1967 when The Beatles were recording their song,Baby You're A Rich Man,two recording engineers said they were always fascinated with the sound of John Lennon's voice,and they always wanted to record it live and when they heard him singing this song live they said they couldn't believe how great his voice was and that anyone could sing that well live.

    And there are many people on message boards saying they can't stand the sound of Robert Plant's and Mick Jagger's voices,and Bruce Springteen has one of the worst voices I have ever heard,he sounds like he's throwing up to a music backing! I have to turn the radio off as soon as he's on,and the same thing with Tom Petty,he has a terrible nasally bad voice! Bob Dylan has never been considered to have a good voice but I can tolerate him!

    Also,The Beatles were *NEVER* a boy band at all not even in 1963,1964 and 1965,and they were Mostly a Great *ROCK* Band from the start! They started out playing 8 hours a night for two years in a row playing in the sleazy strip clubs of Hamburg Germany wearing tight leather black pants and jackets,cursing and smoking on stage,and taking speed pills to awake,and going to bed with many young women groupies.The cleaned up image was a fake joke that their manager Brian Epstein created which John hated and resented the most.

    There were a lot of rough thugs who came into those clubs,and if they played bad live,they would have beaten the crap out of them playing 8 hours a night for 2 years! Instead they became the most popular successful group in these German clubs even with all of the competition from other groups from England and Germany! They also played live in The Cavern Club for several years.They worked very hard to get where they got!

    The Beatles wrote many great rock songs that were pretty rocking for the time,John's great song You Can't Do That from early 1964 which he played lead guitar on for the first time,Paul's great blues rocker,She's A Woman from late 1964,John's I Feel Fine from late 1964, with the first use of feedback guitar,and one of the first songs to have a great guitar riff,a year before The Rolling Stone's Satisfaction came out,Paul's screaming hard rocker especially for 1965,I'm Down which they played even louder and more screaming at the August 1965 Shea Stadium concert,plus Day Tripper,Paperback Writer,She Said She Said,And You're Bird Can Sing, Taxman,all with heavy electric guitar sounds,John's 1968 hard rocking single Revolution,Yer Blues,Birthday,Back In The USSR,While My Guitar Gently Weeps,Everybody's Got Something To Hide Except Me & My Monkey,plus Paul's Helter Skeklter which as many people have pointed out was the first heavy metal songs,plus John's I Want You She's So Heavy on Abbey Road which many people have also pointed out was one of the first heavy metal songs,plus his great rocker Come Together,Paul's Oh Darling,You Never Give Me Your Money,and the hard rocking jam of Paul,George,and John on the song The End,etc!! So anyone saying THe Beatles were not a rock band You Are Wrong!!


    The Rolling Stones were very good friends and fans of The Beatles and Mick Jagger was at 4 Beatles recording sessions and Keith Richards was at 2 of them with them! The Beatles even wrote one of The Rolling Stones first hits with the song,I WAnna Be You're Man in late 1963.

    Mick Jagger was such a big Beatles fan that when The Beatles were recording their song,Baby You're A Rich Man in May 1967,he came there and stood on the sidelines just to watch and listen to them record it and his name was on the tape box because he likely sang at the end verses.

    The Rolling Stones could also be considered a pop band since they too were very popular,had many hit songs and albums and some of their songs could be classified as pop,Ruby Tuesday,Angie,She's A Rainbow,Lady Jane,As Tears Go By,Waiting On A Friend,Emotional Rescue, their whole Sgt.Pepper rip off Their Satanic Majesties Request and they also put out many greatest hits albums. And John actually would sing in concert often because he knew nobody could hear because of the screaming, the words I Want To Hold Your Gland meaning women's breasts and he also would often use curse words in concert but nobody could hear because of all the screaming.And as early as 1963 and 1964 music critics like William Mann of The London Times and some others were seriously analyzing The Beatles music including this song and She Loves you and pointed out their use of interesting and unusual chords and how they arranged them.Bob Dylan said decades ago about The Beatles early music,that their melodies and harmonies were wonderful,their chords were outrageous and they were doing things in music nobody else was! Roger McGuinn of The Byrds says that The Beatles used folk rock chords and put it into pop rock which had never been done before,and he said that they invented folk rock music without even knowing it! He started to play a 12 inch string guitar soon after he saw and heard George Harrison playing one in The Beatles film A Hard Day's Night in 1964!










  • Caitlin from Upper Township, NjTHE BEATLES ROCKED!!!
  • Gary from Huntington, WvIf there is the greatest song of all time this has to be it. Anybody that can remember Janurary of 1964 sure knows, The Beatles are in a class alone.........................
  • Musicmama from New York, NyTo Rob from Santa Monica, CA: You're right. This song would be laughed off the airwaves if it were released today. So would most songs from before 1967 or so. Why, then, do we listen to this today? Why do people listen to "classic rock" or "oldies" stations even though nobody could do that kind of music today? We need to understand what was to understand what is. Besides, even though the song is innocent, the instrumentation--especially the guitar work--was pretty sophisticated, even by today's standards. And, well, what else can you say but that this song still rocks!
  • Frank from Haverstraw, NyYeah, before Bob Dyan introduced them to all the drugs. No wonder Zimmerman thought it was "I Get High". Who cares what he thinks anyhow?

    Great song. Yeah Lee, I love those 6 notes too.
    I still can't get the intro count down. I don't know what everyones problem is with Beatles vs Stones. Who cares! I could go on and on about how Mick Jaggers vocals sound like a bad US Southern impression, but I won't. A most rockin' song and performance. I can hear a bit of Roy Orbisons Pretty Woman influence in the bridge. Have to listen to Surfin. Never heard the whisper...
  • Mike from Verona, VaThe group "The Standells" (Dirty Water) did a cover of this song on an Adams Family episode.
  • Krissy from Boston, MaI love the way John sings this song. I loved hid voice.
  • Cj from West Haven, CtI LOVE this song. It's so innocent. Also, it has killer bass and drumming. ROCK ON PAUL AND RINGO!
  • Sal from Bardonia , NyThis song started the British Invasion and ended the American dominance on the charts and also the American dominance in songwriting.This was the first of six number one songs of 1964 for the Beatles all written by them at a time when The Rolling Stones,The Yarbirds, The Kinks and The Animals first singles were cover versions.
    Sal,Bardonia, NY
  • Bob from Baltimore, Mdthis song is one of the (deleted) of all time. It took zero talent to write a song like this. And to the person who said the beatles got explicit---are you kidding me? And to the person who says this is more rock than the stones--uh no. this is boy band music, not rock. good day.
  • Mark Johnson from Nashville, TnAt first Capitol Records, the American arm of EMI Britian, told the Beatles manager surf music was selling big in America as a reason not to release their first few singles. He had to go to smaller record companies. John and Paul's reaction to this was to use the Beach Boys first single Surfin as a template to construct I Want To Hold Your Hand. Right down to the handclaps that mirror the snar drum on Surfin as well as the tempo and feel, I Want To Hold Your Hand is almost a carbon copy of Surfin at its core. Give another listen to both and you will see, I promise! Mark Johnson, LA California
  • Phil from Holland, PaSorry, a reference to his feelings that he can't hide.
  • Phil from Holland, PaI cant hear "something" whispered anywhere, but it is repeated as a word many times when they sing "and i'll tell you somethin'...". Oh, and a response to the other comment mentioned earlier, i've ALWAYS heard "I can't hide," not, "I get high," because, for one reason, it wouldn't make sense to say the latter. When he says "I can't hide," it's a reference to his feelings. Who sings this, Lennon or McCartney. It's probably Lennon, since it sounds a bit like him and he sang most of the earlier songs.
  • Asef from Silkeborg, DenmarkJohn Lennon played this song for His freind Gerry Marsden from "Gerry and The Pacemakers" when they were on tour together with "The Beatles". Gerry recalls that John came into His hotel room and said: Gerry here´s our new song "I Wanna hold your hand" but Gerry just replied: that´s terrible,not knowing how big a hit it would turn out to be.
  • Bram from Zoetermeer, NetherlandsWith al the respect to the Stones, I think this is more like Rock 'n Roll than Stones-songs are. Apart from that, this was earlier than the Stones, so who would have given them the inspiration to make Rock 'n Roll music.......
  • Phil from High Ridge, MoListen for the whisper of the word 'something'.
    Gotta warn you, once you hear it, you always will.
  • Nick from Sherborn, MaI always thought it read "I's such a feeling that my love, I get high!" I guess it's "I can't hide" though.
  • Andy from Florida, FlIf my sheet music memory serves me correct, this was one of the very first fast rock songs performed "4 beats per measure". Count the beat throughout this song as 1,2,3,4 1,2,3,4 1,2,3,4. Most fast pop songs before this were "3 beats per measure", count like 123 123 123 123 throughout. Please correct me if I'm wrong.
  • Andy from Florida, FlAt the time, an American pop group called "The Four Preps" wrote a humorous song about a girl trying to write a letter to the Beatles. The song was called "A Letter To The Beatles".
    At the end of the song, and I believe in other parts of it, they actually sing the Beatles refrain "I want to hold your hand..."
    It's a great song - and pretty funny too!!! Go to Amazon.com to hear a clip of it.
  • Jack from Soperton, GaOne of my first rock and roll 45 records bought for me as a small kid. Played it over and over on my flip-top player, so much so my Mom hid the record for a week. Catchy guitar intro, stays the course well, and finishes strong.
  • Linus from Hamilton, On, CanadaI love the overlapping noise Lennon and McCartney's voices make in this song - this is one of my favourites and probably the best of their early stuff.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScThat's funny that Bob Dylan thought the line was "I get high."
  • Lee from Clearwater, Fli love the 6 notes george plays after the words, oh yeah i tell you something...... they are as monumental as beethovens 4 notes that start the fifth symphony
  • Ross from Independence, MoThis is #16 in Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
  • Jo-c from Lima, PeruBest song ever, period. "'Cause when I touch you I feel happy, inside ... It's such a feeling that my love, I can't hide, I can't hide!" ... What a great song!
  • John from Millersville, MdYou're very right, Rob. But that's just what makes this song so great! It's such good, clean, wholesome rock. Before the Beatles were all drugged up, and before they got too...ah...explicit. This is a song about wanting ot hold hands! Today, it's "I wanna you!" No class. This song makes me as happy inside as holding hands.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScHey Chelsea. Yeah, it still rocks!
  • Nessie from Sapporo, Japan"Many groups that are huge in the UK (Oasis, Blur) never really catch on in America." The Jam, The Stranglers, Paul Weller...
  • Rob from Santa Monica, CaUnfortunately, this song would be laughed off the charts if released today. Lyrically, it is simply too straightforward and earnest. It would have to have an ironic twist (like the girlfiend turns out to be dead) to make it palatable to today's jaded listeners.
  • Isaac from Auckland, New ZealandThe people of earth is the greatest song ever by the greatest band ever. I may only be 17 but mate what a beauty
  • Kristine from Hamilton, ChinaI love this song too!!! It's one of my favourites.The Beatles are the best group and will always be. You can't help but love them.

  • Meme from San Francisco, Cathe beatles rock forever.... long after death
  • Scott Baldwin from Edmonton, CanadaI just learned to play this on my guitar and i am gonna play this at my aunt's weddinG!AWESOME...
  • Yu from Demarest, Paclassic. This is what boys want to say and what girls want to hear.
see more comments

80s Video Director Jay DubinSong Writing

Billy Joel and Hall & Oates hated making videos, so they chose a director with similar contempt for the medium. That was Jay Dubin, and he has a lot to say on the subject.

Greg Lake of Emerson, Lake & PalmerSongwriter Interviews

Greg talks about writing songs of "universal truth" for King Crimson and ELP, and tells us about his most memorable stage moment (it involves fireworks).

We Will Rock You (To Sleep): Pop Stars Who Recorded Kids' AlbumsSong Writing

With the rise of Kindie rock, more musicians are embracing their inner child with tunes for tots - here, we look at pop stars who recorded kids' albums.

Narada Michael Walden - "Freeway of Love"They're Playing My Song

As a songwriter and producer, Narada had hits with Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston, Mariah Carey and Starship. But what song does he feel had the greatest impact on his career?

Graduation SongsFact or Fiction

Have you got the smarts to know which of these graduation song stories are real?

Jesus In Pop Hits: The Gospel Songs That Went MainstreamSong Writing

These overtly religious songs crossed over to the pop charts, despite resistance from fans, and in many cases, churches.