Meaning of Yesterday by The Beatles & Song Story

On September 13, 1965, the famous song Yesterday by the rock band The Beatles was released as a single in the USA. The legendary composition is the brainchild of Paul McCartney, who composed and recorded it. He said that he dreamed of the melody, so at first he thought that he had heard it somewhere before.

For a month, he played the melody to various musical experts, so that they would suggest where he could borrow it from. Then no one could name the source. Several speculations have been made since, but none of them sound convincing enough to take him seriously.

The history of creation and the meaning of the song Yesterday – The Beatles

If music came to McCartney by itself, then with the text everything was much more complicated. The first words to the melody were complete nonsense, in which “scrambled eggs” (“scrambled eggs”) rhymed with “legs” (“legs”).

Paul McCartney wrote the song for a long time and regularly thought about it when the whole group was working on new compositions, which sometimes caused ridicule from partners.

The song did not even have a serious name for a long time (except for the comic Scrambled Eggs). The Yesterday variant only came about shortly before the final version was written.

It happened in May 1965 in Lisbon. McCartney was staying with a girlfriend at Bruce Welch’s house, and the Yesterday we all know was first played on an acoustic guitar by a member of the rock band The Shadows.

Recording and release

Not everything is clear in the history of the recording of Yesterday, because there are too many contradictions in the eyewitness accounts. According to the most famous version, the song was recorded by McCartney, accompanied by a string quartet, with the help of producer George Martin.

The rest of The Beatles did not take part in this. Perhaps this is the reason why they didn’t want to include Yesterday on the Help! album at first. and insisted that it not be released in Britain. Officially, this was explained by the inconsistency of the song with the group’s image.

However, the single was released in the US. After a couple of months, Yesterday topped the charts and spent about a month at the top, and for the next few years remained the most popular song on American radio stations. The album has sold over three million copies worldwide. In the UK, the single was released only eleven years later.

Yesterday Song Achievements

The popularity of Yesterday around the world is incredible. It is almost impossible to list all the charts that she headed. It entered the Guinness Book of Records as the song that was covered the most (in 2003 it was reported that there were more than two and a half thousand).

It has been played over seven million times on American radio and television alone, and BBC Radio 2 listeners voted Yesterday the best song of the century.

Rolling Stone magazine ranked Yesterday the Beatles thirteenth on their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

Clip Yesterday – The Beatles

Let’s watch the online music video for “Yesterday” by The Beatles.

Interesting Facts

  • Although Yesterday was written by McCartney, Lennon is also credited as one of the writers. However, his name comes first.
  • In 2000, Paul asked Yoko Ono if she would mind changing the order on the Anthology album, but Lennon’s widow refused.
  • When performing Yesterday, McCartney always tuned the guitar down one tone.
  • The line “The only thing you did was yesterday…” (“The only thing you did was yesterday…”) from the John Lennon song alludes to Paul McCartney and his immortal creation.
  • The song was criticized by many famous performers. John Lennon said that her lyrics made no sense, and Bob Dylan said that “there are millions of songs like Michelle and Yesterday.”
  • Yesterday became the first song that attracted the attention of the older generation to the work of The Beatles. Prior to that, the bulk of the group’s fans were young people.

Yesterday – The Beatles Lyrics

All my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks like though they’re here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday

I’m not half the man I used to be
There’s a shadow hanging over me
Oh, yesterday came today

Why she had to go I don’t know
She wouldn’t say
I said something wrong
Now I long for yesterday

Love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Yesterday – The Beatles Lyrics

Just yesterday
Problems didn’t show up
Now it seems that they are with me forever,
Oh I believe in yesterday

I’m completely discouraged
Evil fate hung over me
Oh, yesterday came suddenly

I don’t know why she had to leave
She didn’t want to explain
I said something wrong
And now I’m longing for yesterday

Just yesterday
Love was just a game
Now I need somewhere to hide
Oh I believe in yesterday

Song quote

Paul wrote a great song – Yesterday. This is a wonderful song. But I never wanted to be its author, and I don’t believe in yesterday…

John Lennon

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