I am no musician, but I know what I like, and the music I review will be songs that deserve to be played forever.
We all know their greatest hits, but what about their other songs?
The Beatles had many great songs in their years together. We all know their biggest hits, but what about the songs that had names in the title? Beatles songs are so well crafted lyrically and musically, these songs are almost like chapters of a novel. They may not have been the best known, in some cases, but when added to an album it was a perfect piece of the puzzle and the right fit. There were several other songs that had names in the title, but they weren’t written by any of The Beatles so I didn’t include them on the list. Here are the songs with names in them:
"Eleanor Rigby" is from the Revolver album, released August 5, 1966. It was written by Paul McCartney. The song was number one on both the British and American charts. The melody came to Paul first and then the lyrics. McCartney said he came up with the name Eleanor from actress Eleanor Bron, who had starred with The Beatles in the film Help!. Rigby came from the name of a store in Bristol, Rigby & Evens Ltd, Wine & Spirit Shippers. Paul McCartney recalled in 1984, "I just liked the name. I was looking for a name that sounded natural. Eleanor Rigby sounded natural."
"For The Benefit of Mr. Kite" is from the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album which was released June 1, 1967. This song was written by John Lennon. John Lennon got the idea for the song from an antique circus poster he had purchased. He said that it was a song that he went through the motions with. Later he was proud of it and compared it to a watercolor painting.
"Michelle" came from the Rubber Soul album which was released December 3, 1965. It was a song mainly written by Paul McCartney with John contributing the middle eight. The song won a Grammy in 1967. Paul McCartney went to a party that was thrown by art students and this guy came up in a striped shirt and sang a French song. Paul at parties would imitate this guy but used French sounds instead of actual words because he didn’t speak French. Later John suggested he write a real song in that style.
"Dear Prudence" is from The White Album, released November 22, 1968. It was written by John Lennon. The subject of the song was Mia Farrow’s sister Prudence. The Beatles, Mia Farrow, and her sister went to India to study under the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. Prudence was trying so hard to communicate with God that she stayed in her room. It was up to John to get her to come out and socialize with everyone. John has said it was his favorite song that he wrote while he was a Beatle.
"Doctor Robert" is from the Revolver album released August 5, 1966. It was written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon. The song was about a doctor in New York who would give celebrities any pills they needed. This song could have come from today’s headlines Michael Jackson’s doctor comes to mind. Elvis Presley also had his own Dr. Robert these kind of doctor’s aren’t good for anyone.
"Her Majesty" is from the album Abbey Road, released September 26, 1969. This song is pure Paul McCartney. It only last 23 seconds, but it is a catchy little tune almost like an English pub song.
"Hey Jude" was a single that came out August 26, 1968. The flip song on the 45 rpm was "Revolution." This was a song that Paul McCartney wrote for his little friend, John’s son Julian, because John was leaving his wife Cynthia for Yoko Ono. Paul had become like an uncle for Julian and he wanted to write a song that would make him feel better. This song was number one on the American charts for nine weeks.
"Julia" is from the album The Beatles released November 22, 1968. It was written by John Lennon. The song is about his mother Julia. After she had John her sister raised him because John’s Julia had divorced John’s dad and had remarried and was raising another family. They became closer when John reached adolescence. When her husband would go to work John and her would listen to records. She loved Elvis Presley just like John. Tragically she was killed one night by a drunken police officer who struck her with his car. Julia bought John his first guitar and the love of music he inherited from her. The song was also written for Yoko too. He called her "mother" until the end of his life.
"Lady Madonna" was released as a single on March 15, 1968. It was written mainly by Paul McCartney. It became a number one hit in the UK and it reached number four in the American charts. John Lennon helped with the lyrics. The song is about all the hard working single Catholic girls in Liverpool. The song originally was going to be about the Virgin Mary. The tune was inspired by Fats Domino and his boogie-woogie piano style.
"Lovely Rita" came from the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. It was written by Paul McCartney. He was inspired when he got a ticket from a female parking attendant outside the Abbey Road studios. This is a case where something good came out of a bad situation.
"Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" is from the album the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. It was written by John Lennon. John’s son Julian had drawn a picture at nursery school and he said it was his friend Lucy in the sky with diamonds. Paul McCartney said that is was also a veiled reference to the drug LSD. Julian said he used to show his dad all his drawings from school and this one inspired him to write the song.
"Martha My Dear" this song is written by Paul McCartney and was on the album The Beatles (the white album). It was about Paul’s English Sheep Dog who was named Martha and it was also a little bit about his then girlfriend Jane Asher. It has the style of an old English Music Hall sound. It is a cute song.
"Maxwell's Silver Hammer" this song is written by Paul McCartney and was on the Abbey Road album. It is kind of a gruesome song about a guy who keeps killing everyone with a hammer. Paul had high hopes that it would be released as a single, but the lyrics stopped that from happening. John thought it was “granny music”.
"Mean Mr. Mustard" this song is written by John Lennon and was from the Abbey Road album. John also wrote this song in India. He was inspired after reading an article about a miser who hid his money so he wouldn’t have to spend it. John was never really happy with the song. It was mainly just filler for the album.
"Polythene Pam" this song is written by John Lennon and was on the Abbey Road album. John also wrote this song in India and once more he claimed he never really cared for it. He was searching for an idea and this idea came when he had an encounter with a lady dressed in Polythene.
"Rocky Raccoon" this song is written by Paul McCartney and was on the album The Beatles. Paul was goofing around playing acoustic guitar with John Lennon and Donovan when he came up with this folk rock song. This was the last song the Beatles had with John playing harmonica on it.
"Sexy Sadie" this song is written by John Lennon and was on The Beatles. John had become disillusioned with the Maharishi in India who was hitting on some of the females who were there to learn from him. He had the name Maharishi in the song, but George who was fan of his asked John to change the lyrics. He then called him Sexy Sadie.
"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" this song is written by Paul McCartney and was on the album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band . Paul had the idea that the Beatles would be role play and their alter egos would be from the Sgt. Pepper’s band.
"The Ballad of John and Yoko" this song was released as a single in May 1969 and was written by John Lennon. It was a number one song in the UK and it reached number eight in the US. It was the story of John and his marriage to Yoko and all the things that occurred right after that with their honeymoon with the press expressing their views on things.
"The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" the song was written John Lennon and it was on The Beatles. John based this song on a rich guy who was there learning with all of them. The rich guy wanted to be enlightened, but he went off to shoot a few tigers. This didn’t sit well with John and he created this song.
The Beatles were very creative in their years together and it shows in the quality and quantity of work they created. This is a fun look at songs that may not have reached the top of the charts, in some cases, but are worth taking a listen or a re-listen to whichever the case may be.
© 2017 cfjots
cfjots (author) from Conway, SC on February 19, 2018:
Hi Flowerchild. I like the song Anna, but I was only using songs written by the Beatles and that song wasn't. I thank you for bringing it up it helps keep me on on my toes.
Flowerchild on February 18, 2018:
You Forgot "ANNA" from the Beatles, from 1963