Music Throwback Saturday: songs from the With the Beatles album

They became familiar with three-part harmonizing .

WithTheBeatlesHere’s another article about how the Beatles influenced many other artists; there are plenty more examples.

But they too were influenced by other musicians. I’m rereading Steve Turner’s “The Beatles: A Hard Day’s Write,” subtitled “the stories behind every song.” Fairly often, the members of the group are quoted as having been inspired by a piece for their own creations. I thought I’d put some of their songs up against the source material, with links to all.

She Loves You:

Paul got the initial idea of using ‘she’ and ‘you’, instead of the familiar ‘me’ and ‘you’, from Bobby Rydall’s then current British hit ‘Forget Him‘ in which the narrator told a girl to forget about a boy who doesn’t appear to truly love her. ‘Yeah yeah’ was frequently used as an aside in Fifties skiffle music, as well as by Cliff Richard in ‘We Say Yeah‘ (1962).

I’ll Get You:

One of the songs musical tricks, the shift from D to A minor to break the word ‘pretend’ was taken from Joan Baez’s version of the traditional song ‘All My Trials‘ (1960). There, the shift takes place underneath the words ‘don’t you cry’.

Hmm. I own that Baez song but never made the connection.

All I’ve Got To Do:

John appears to have used Smokey Robinson’s ‘You Can Depend on Me‘ as the model.

Little Child:

Paul remembered that part of the song’s melody was inspired by ‘Whistle My Love‘, a 1950s song by the British folk singer Elton Hayes and used in the Walt Disney film Robin Hood.

Hold Me Tight: It was influenced by the Shirelles, though no specific song is mentioned. Here’s their ‘Baby It’s You‘, which the Beatles covered.

I Wanna Be Your Man (first link):

It was meant to emulate the feel of the Shirelles’ song ‘Boys‘, which Ringo sang in concert. The dragged out ‘maaaan’ of the chorus was inspired by Benny Spellman’s song ‘Fortune Teller‘.

This Boy:

They became familiar with three-part harmonizing by singing Phil Spector’s ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him‘.

Note: Yes, the first two songs weren’t on With the Beatles, but appear in that chapter in Turner’s book.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

One thought on “Music Throwback Saturday: songs from the With the Beatles album”

  1. I’ve occasionally wondered if “You’re Gonna Lose That Girl” is sung to the same guy to whom “She Loves You” was sung two years earlier; there’s enough of a story there to make, well, a story.

    Also along the lines of “Forget Him”: Jerry Butler’s “He Will Break Your Heart” (which everyone thinks of as “He Don’t Love You”), and Freezepop’s “Lose That Boy,” which perhaps gains resonance since it’s sung by a female.

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