Meaning of A Hard Day’s Night by The Beatles & Song Story

The Beatles have released five films. The first of these was A Hard Day’s Night, for which the band performed the musical composition of the same name. The film was a hit, and the song was no less successful, becoming a hit in the UK, US and other countries.

History of the song “A Hard Day’s Night”

Ninety percent of the track was the brainchild of John Lennon (John Lennon).

Paul McCartney recalled that when it came time to write the title track, Lennon volunteered to take over:

John said, “I’ll write it,” and he did. The next day he came with a song. He didn’t seem to have all the words. I think I helped with the middle part.

It is believed that the name came up with Ringo Starr (Ringo Starr). Here’s what the Beatles drummer had to say:

We got busy and worked all day, and then we ended up working all night. It turned out that I thought it was still day, and said: “It was a difficult day,” and then I looked around, saw that it was already dark, and added: “… night.” This is how A Hard Day’s Night was born.


Lennon used the expression “A hard day’s night” in his book In His Own Write, published on March 23, 1964, before the song was recorded. In a poem by Sad Michael written in 1963, there is a sentence: “He’d had a hard day’s night that day, for Michael was a Cocky Watchtower”. However, John insisted that it was Ringo Starr who came up with the phrase.

Here are John Lennon’s memoirs:

I was driving home and Dick Lester suggested the name Hard Day’s Night, taking it from something that Ringo had said. I used to use it in In His Own Write, but it was Ringo’s random line. You know, one of those malapropisms [ошибочное использование слова – примета Blimey]. Ringoism, which he said not for the sake of laughter, but just like that. Well, Dick Lester said we’d take that title, and the next morning I brought the song. After all, there was a little competition between me and Paul, who will get on the A side, who will have more hit singles.

All We Are Saying,
David Sheff

As usual, McCartney’s account of the history of the song differed from Lennon’s:

We were almost done filming the film and we were in a bit of a funny situation that we hadn’t been in before. The thing is, we didn’t know what to call the movie. So we sat in the Twickenham studio and had a brainstorming session. Director Dick Lester, us, Walter Shenson, Bud Ornstein and some other people were sitting around trying to come up with something.

Then we said, “Well, Ringo said something the other day.” And he said after the concert: “Wow, it was a hard day’s evening.” John and I asked, “What? What did you just say? He replied, “I am incredibly tired. It was a hard day’s evening.” “Hard day’s Night! Damn brilliant! How did he think of that! Wow!” That’s how Ringo’s words “It was a hard day’s night” came to mind during a brainstorming session.

many years from now,
Barry Miles

The composition begins with a loud chord, about which George Martin said:

We knew she would open both the film and the soundtrack, so we needed a particularly strong and impressive opening. The sharp guitar chord turned out to be the perfect start.

The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions,
Mark Lewisohn

Meaning of A Hard Day’s Night

The composition is performed on behalf of a guy who is endlessly in love with his girlfriend and is ready to work up a sweat so that she does not need anything.

McCartney explained what the song is about:

John and I usually sat down and wrote about whatever was on our minds. It seemed a bit ridiculous to write a song called A Hard Day’s Night. It sounded funny then, but soon we had the idea to talk about how it was a hard day’s evening, that we are constantly working hard, returning home to the girls, and everything is fine.

It is possible that in A Hard Day’s Night Lennon referred to his wife, Cynthia, although he never confirmed this assumption.

In the words of the song, hints of intimacy slip through, which was very defiant for those years.

Recording A Hard Day’s Night

The song was recorded on April 16, 1964 at the second Abbey Road Studios. The job took about three hours. As a result, the choice fell on the ninth double.

Journalist Maureen Cleave recounted the day’s events.

One day, I picked up John in a taxi and took him to the Abbey Road recording session. The melody of the song A Hard Day’s Night was spinning in his head. He scrawled the words on a card a fan gave to his little Julian for his birthday. It said: “When I get home to you, I find my tiredness is through”. I said, “The line about being tired is rather weak.” He cheerfully replied, “Ok.” Then he took the pen from me and immediately changed it to a more ambiguous one: “When I get home to you/I find the things that you do/Will make me feel all right”.

The other Beatles and, of course, the amazing George Martin were already in the studio. John somehow purred them a tune. They had no copies of the text or anything else. I have no idea how they did it, but three hours later the tape was ready. And you can see that same greeting card in the British Library.

The melody of A hard day’s night is a bit like the Irish folk song Donall Og.

Albert Goldman noted:

The entire composition is written in the Mixolydian mode. This is an old mode, abandoned in the early seventeenth century, but preserved in English and Irish folk music.

The Lives of John Lennon, 1980

Release and achievements

The song A Hard Day’s Night was first released in the US. On June 26, 1964, she was released on the self-titled album, which became the soundtrack to the film of the same name.

It was heard in the UK on July 10, 1964. In addition to the album, they released the single A Hard Day’s Night with Things We Said Today on the back. On July 13, 1964, the single from I Should Have Known Better hit US stores.

In 1965, A Hard Day’s Night brought the band a Grammy for Best Performance by a Vocal Group.

In 2004, the song was included in the list of the 500 greatest songs of all time by the readers of Rolling Stone.

Clip A Hard Day’s Night

Let’s watch the music video for the Beatles song.

Interesting Facts

  • Phil Collins, then a schoolboy, appeared as an extra on the set of The Beatles, but the scenes with him were cut. Later, when he was already a famous musician, the producers found and presented him with records with his participation.
  • In 2003, a hotel named after the song opened in Liverpool. It is located next to The Cavern, where the Beatles often played in their early days.

A Hard Day’s Night FAQ

  • When was A Hard Day’s Night recorded?

The Beatles worked on it in the studio on April 16, 1964.

  • When was A Hard Day’s Night released?

The song was released in the US on June 26, 1964, and in the UK, The Beatles track was released on July 10, 1964.

  • Who took part in the recording of the song A Hard Day’s Night?

The song was recorded:

  • John Lennon – vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar and electric guitar
  • Paul McCartney – vocals, bass guitar
  • George Harrison – lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums, bell
  • George Martin – keyboards
  • Norman Smith – bongos.

A Hard Day’s Night Lyrics

It’s been a hard day’s night, and I’ve been working like a dog
t’s been a hard day’s night, I should be sleeping like a log
But when I get home to you I’ll find the things that you do
Will make me feel right

You know I work all day to get you money to buy you things
And it’s worth it just to hear you say you’re going to give me everything
So why on earth should I moan, ’cause when I get you alone
You know I feel ok

When I’m home everything seems to be right
When I’m home feeling you holding me tight, tight, yeah

So why on earth should I moan, ’cause when I get you alone
You know I feel ok

When I’m home everything seems to be right
When I’m home feeling you holding me tight, tight, yeah


You know I feel alright
You know I feel alright

A Hard Day’s Night – The Beatles

It’s been a hard day’s night,
Bb C
and I’ve been working like a dog,
It’s been a hard day’s night,
Bb C
I should be sleeping like a log
But when I get home to you,
I find the things that you do
Will make me feel right.

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