She Said She Said

Album: Revolver (1966)
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  • The song was inspired by the actor Peter Fonda, who was on an acid trip along with George Harrison and John Lennon while they were together at a party. Accounts vary as to how events unfolded, but there is a consensus that Fonda kept saying "I know what it's like to be dead," which ended up being a key line in the lyric.

    At this time, Harrison, Lennon and Starr were just starting to experiment with LSD. While The Beatles were on tour in Los Angeles, they rented a house and threw the party. By Fonda's account, Harrison was having a bad trip, so he tried to settle the guitarist by telling him that he had nothing do be afraid of, and that he know what it's like to be dead because he shot himself in the stomach when he was 10 years old and nearly died.

    In his 1980 Playboy interview, Lennon said that he was trying to take in the beauty of the girls and the atmosphere, and Fonda kept coming over and whispering, "I know what it's like to be dead, man." Lennon found this creepy and annoying, but the incident stuck with him and inspired one of the most psychedelic Beatles songs.
  • John Lennon originally wrote the song as "He Said He Said" because the line came from Peter Fonda, but it didn't sound right, so he changed it to "She."
  • This song marks an interesting spot on the Beatles timeline, as it was the first time and LSD experience directly influenced a song. They could be wildly creative on acid, but it caused a rift in the band as McCartney initially abstained. It also led many fans to listen with an ear for drug references, leading to some misguided interpretations of their songs.
  • Paul McCartney didn't play on this track, as during the recording he found himself at odds with his bandmates. George Harrison played the bass part.
  • The Beatles recorded this in nine hours during the last session for Revolver.

Comments: 47

  • Zach R from WisconsinOh dear. I think a certain mouse might not appreciate me telling the secret meaning of the song. Ha ha!
  • Gib Murph from Haverhill Maforget about the drugs...forget about controversy of what inspired the song...just listen to it & enjoy the fab fours' musical's nice!!
  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaAgree about Ringo's drumming.
  • Johan from Stockholm, SwedenThese are the top fourteen songs voted 2012 by MOJO readers and Beatles fans. She said She said by Lennon is no 14:
    1. Tomorrow Never Knows
    2 Hey Bulldog
    3. Rain
    4. Happiness Is a Warm Gun
    5. And Your Bird Can Sing
    6. For No One
    7. Dear Prudence
    8. It´s All Too Much
    9. Long Long Long
    10.I´m Only Sleeping
    11.You Know My Name
    12.Helter Skelter
    13.I Want You
    14.She Said She Said

    That is 10 Lennon, 2 McCartney and 2 Harrison
  • Johan from Stockholm, SwedenLeonard Bernstein (who composed the music to the musical West Side Story) thought that this song was the very best on the album Revolver.
  • David from Barnsley, United KingdomAmazing song, it is in key of Bb but the 7th note is always Ab instead of A, i.e. Mixolydian Mode. I can't think of any other songs off the top of my head which are in this Mode, but I'm sure there are plenty around.
  • Sydney from Dallas, TxThis song of the weird ones. I certainly like the riff in the beginning. Its certainly a one of a kind song, but I still like it. Acutally, after I heard this for the first time, I had a nightmare about it. Still love it though.
  • George from Belleville, NjAlso I'd like to mention that Brian from Boston once again said it right and I agree with him.The main thing is the song and how it sounds,not the drug reference.
  • George from Belleville, NjA classic rocker with a great electric guitar sound.This song is high energy and a cool listening experience.It has an almost hypnotic quality that grabs the listener with clear lead guitars and awesome drumming by Ringo.Another great song.
  • Brian from Boston, MaI would like to see someone try to convince me that this was not an LSD inspired song... You can't because it is an LSD inspired song I had someone on this sight trying to tell me that Lucy in the sky with diamonds was not an LSD inspired song. Yes John might have gotten the idea from jullians' drawing but that doesn't mean that the song itself was about the drawing all you have to do is use your ears and realize that the images in this song describes an LSD trip. At no point in the song does John mention a drawing. I atually don't beleive the story of the picture but even if I did the two are not mutually exclusive. In other words if Lennon had never taken LSD before having seen jullians picture I don't think the song would exist. There are Beatles fans out there that want so bad to believe that they never took drugs. Of course they did they admit it. No not all of the songs they wrote were about drugs but smoking pot was a major factor in their creative process as was LSD. Songwriters under the influence of Marijuana have written some of the best songs in history.Some of the best books ever written were also the product of "Stoned" authors. I am not advocating the use of marijuana I am simply saying that I am amazed at how many people are ignorant to its influence.You can live a clean and healthy life and still enjoy music that was written by someone under the influence of pot.Good like trying to find a song worth listening to or a book worth reading that was not. I am amazed at the attitude we have against pot in this country. On tv it's ok to show someone get shot in the head but god forbid we show someone smoking pot
  • Heather from Los Angeles, CaI agree with Brittanie in Liverpool, the song does seem like a conversation between friends. The girl is saying to the guy that he just doesn't get her, but he says, "no, no, no, you're wrong" or, "I really do understand you". He reassures her by telling her that childhood was the perfect time "when I was a boy, everything was right...." but being an adult is hard and he sympathizes. It's comforting.
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvGeorge helped John out in this song, he contributed to the line "I said no no no your wrong when I was a boy" Says so in the Anthology Book.
  • Nick from Seattle, Albaniaone of their first LSD inspired songs! the best
  • Julia from Richland, WaI'm an American and when I first heard this song, I knew that John said "head" and not "hair", just to let y'all know...
  • Matt from Ny, NyAnother one of John's surrealistic journeys where the lyrics serve to paint images superimposed on each other.

    I can pick out so many things about this track that amaze me...even 40+ years later
  • Matias from Miami, Fl"The song is so beautiful. It's almost as if you can actually feel it."
  • German from Costa Mesa, CaThe guitars on this tune are great! I love Ringo's fills and rolls through out the whole jam, amazing, and the opening riff just grabs ya... great song!
  • Madison from Norway, MeThe "When I was a boy" part is another song that either John or Paul wrote but never finished. They decided to use it in this song.
  • Max from Vancouver, Canadaan amazing song on their best album...the guitar is sweet and the words really hit you hard, even ringo is at his best...but the fact that it is one of their greatest despite paul's absence proves who their best songwriter was...
  • John from New York, NyA great example of how drugs are a good thing, JK. But seriously, reminds me a bit of Rain.
  • Shannon from Toronto, CanadaJohn Lennon couldn't have written the lyrics to the song 'she said, she said' without Peter Fonda's help. Fonda was tripping on acid with Lennon and George Harrison in 1965. Harrison and Lennon were both having bad trips and Harrison thought he was going to die. Fonda told him "I know what it's like to be dead and you're not going to die." He was referring to the time he accidentally shot himself as a child and his heart stopped beating three times on the operating table. Lennon then said to Fonda "what do you mean you know what it's like to be dead? You're making me feel like I've never been born." He ended up using those phrases in the song 'she said, she said.'
  • Bryant Urban from Seattle/born Trenton,n.j., Wathis is one of their songs that separates them. unique. "when i was a boy!" haunts me still. like jimi this is creative genius. soul music
  • Sarah from Sacramento, CaI've read Peter Fonda's biography and I've heard all about his rotten childhood. Henry Fonda didn't like Peter, but Peter wanted him to.
    Love this song though.
  • Joe from Montvale, NjI love this song it's in true Mixolydian and it has sections in contrasting meters something that not many rock groups were doing at the time.
  • Nathan from Bruges, BelgiumJohn Lennon took loads of drugs, but it's a great song.
  • Darius from Lancaster, CaI always love this song especially the riff. Something tells me that I've heard it somewhere before though
  • Joe from Lethbridge, CanadaActually it was John Lennon and Stephen King. They were dropping Peter Fonda off the roof of their hotel.
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoFonda says that when he first said he knew what it's like to be dead, Lennon whirled around and said, "Who put all that sh*t in your head?"
  • Robb from Hamburg, NyPaul doesn't even play on this song, and it doesn't even matter. You know you have a great band when you can have one or even two of the guys missing and still come away with a complete song.
  • Lauren from Some Place, DeI remember hearing this on the radio and being entranced by it. Definitely among the best songs on Revolver.
  • Robb from Hamburg, NyThe English/Liverpoolian accent makes some words seem different to alot of American listeners. He says head. If you listen to it and say the word "head" in your mind as he sings it, you can clearly hear that is what he says.
  • Yo from Sudbury,ontario, Canadathis is my favorite beatles song
  • Owen from Boulder, CoThe correct lyric should be: who put all those things in your head (not hair.) It makes more sense and it rhymes with said.
  • Kevin from San Antonio, TxThe opening guitar riff just hits you in the face...
  • Sam from Philadelphia, Paactually it was john lennon and steve mcqueen dropping on the hood of johns car and steve out of the blue said i know what its like to be dead
  • Kika from Nyc, Nythis song has such a great melodicness about it.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI meant weird song huh guys.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, Sceird song huh guys.W
  • Mauricio from Hanford, Caawsome song, everything is right, everything is right...
  • Ruben from Buggenhout, BelgiumThe Black Keys made an excellent cover of this song. It was on their debut album, it rocks even beter, it's more raw, so the mysterious lyrics come to a better end.
  • Robb from Hamburg, NyI have always loved this song. Lennon's songs always seem to reach me some how
  • Mike from Youngstown, OhPaul McCartney is not present on this song. He and Lennon had a row just before it was recorded, and Paul walked out. George Harrison played bass, and both vocal parts are sung by John Lennon.
  • Joe from West Creek, NjThis is definitely one of my favorite songs lyrically.
  • Simone from Tawonga South, Australiaapparantly when Lennon and Fonda were dropping acid together, Fonda stood in the corner saying 'she said, she said' repeatedly.
  • Liliana from Huntley, Ilthis song is so weird...i luv it
  • Brittanie from Liverpool, EnglandThis sounds like one of the conversations my best friend and I would have.
  • Paulo from New York, NyWouldn't be surprised if this inspired the movie Easy Rider, or at least the graveyard sequence.
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