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  1. Abbey Road (album)
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From Me to You

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


"From Me to You" is a song written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and released by The Beatles as a single in 1963. The single was The Beatles' first number one in some of the United Kingdom charts, second in others, but failed to make an impact in the United States, a task left to later releases such as "She Loves You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand" which launched the British invasion of America. It was one of the very last songs to be credited "McCartney/Lennon" - soon afterwards their songs began appearing credited to "Lennon/McCartney".

"From Me to You" was partially hindered in America by a cover version which came out first. The alternative release was given much of the airplay, and peaked in the charts at ninety-six, although The Beatles did manage to sneak in at 116th as well. After the British invasion, "From Me to You" was released on the B-Side of a single featuring "Please Please Me" on the A-Side.

Writing and touring

Lennon and McCartney began writing "From Me to You" while on a coach heading to Shrewsbury as part of The Beatles' tour with Helen Shapiro. They had been reading the New Musical Express and found the title in the letters section of the magazine which was entitled From You to Us. In 1980 Lennon recalled writing the song: "We were writing it in a car I think, and I think the first line was mine. I mean I know it was mine. [Hums melody.] And then after that we just took it from there. We were just writing the next single. It was far bluesier than that when we wrote it. The notes today - you could rearrange it pretty funky." McCartney also talked about rearranging the notes in 1964: "From Me to You - it could be done as an old ragtime tune - especially the middle eight - and so we're not writing the tunes in any particular idiom. In five years time we may arrange the tunes differently. But we'll probably write the same old rubbish!"

McCartney was not the only one on the bus who called it rubbish - Kenny Lynch, upon hearing The Beatles singing "ooh", remarked "You can't do that. You'll sound like a bunch of fucking fairies!" Soon afterwards he stormed off, declaring The Beatles didn't know anything about songwriting. Roger Greenway recounted the story: "John and Paul were sitting at the back of the coach and Kenny Lynch who at this time fancied himself as a songwriter sauntered up to the back of the coach and decided he would help them write a song. After a period of about half an hour had elapsed and nothing seemed to be coming from the back, Kenny rushed to the front of the coach and shouted, 'Well, that's it. I am not going to write any more of that bloody rubbish with those idiots. They don't know music from their backsides. That's it! No more help from me!'"

Regardless, the song was regarded by The Beatles as innovative and catchy enough to be released a single, as was the case. This was one of a small number of Lennon/McCartney songs which the duo truly co-wrote: more often one of them would dominate the process with perhaps another giving suggestions. McCartney described it as "very much co-written".

The release

The recording on March 5, 1963 at Abbey Road Studios went without a hitch and on April 11 Parlophone Records released "From Me to You" in Britain as a single, with "Thank You Girl" on the B-side. Nine days later it kicked off a twenty-one week run in the British charts, culminating with reaching #1 on May 4, a position it would retain for seven weeks. "From Me to You" was the first song to reach number one in every published chart in Britain - not bad for the group's third single - and it is widely considered to be their first chart-topping song, for although "Please Please Me" reached the summit on almost every chart, it missed out on Record Retailer's, generally considered to be the most authoritative at the time, where it stopped climbing when reaching #2. "From Me to You" would be the first of eleven consecutive number one singles by The Beatles.

The first single release of 'From Me to You' in the United States flopped, but did manage to chart, peaking at 116th.
The first single release of 'From Me to You' in the United States flopped, but did manage to chart, peaking at 116th.

Interestingly, "From Me to You" replaced Gerry and the Pacemakers' "How Do You Do It", a song which had been offered to The Beatles but rejected by them in favour of "Please Please Me". Gerry and the Pacemakers, who also hailed from Liverpool, were very much rivals of The Beatles in their early days — Gerry and the Pacemakers attained the first number one ("How Do You Do It") before The Beatles, and also claimed their second and third number ones before The Beatles did, slowly losing steam afterwards as Beatlemania was launched and The Beatles dominated music worldwide in 1964.

In America, "From Me to You" backed with "Thank You Girl" was released on May 6 by Vee-Jay Records, a record label which would become notorious for their abuse of Beatlemania by releasing misleading albums, although the same could be said for other record labels such as Swan Records. Although the outlook beforehand had looked bright, with Cashbox magazine naming "From Me to You" as its "Pick of the week", Del Shannon had released his cover version before Vee-Jay got The Beatles' single out, leading to Shannon's version getting the lion's share of publicity and airplay. Shannon's version was the first time an American artist had covered an original Beatles song. However, "From Me to You" did manage to chart, peaking at 116th during their three week run. It was The Beatles' first time in the American charts, and it offered a taste of their future success. Shannon's went a step further and peaked at ninety-six, but the end result was a partial success for some of The Beatles anyway — this was the first time a Lennon and McCartney song had charted in America.

On January 16, 1964, Vee-Jay moved to capitalise on The Beatles' newfound success in America, releasing "Please Please Me" backed with "From Me to You" on the B-Side, which was basically recreating a single with the A-Sides from The Beatles' first two singles. Although Vee-Jay was involved in a court dispute with Capitol Records, The Beatles' new record label, the single managed to sell over a million copies, with "Please Please Me" hitting third in the charts. "From Me to You" was not as successful, but it did attain 41st during its eleven-week run which began on March 14.

A true indication of how successful The Beatles became thanks to "From Me to You" (though it would soon be overshadowed by "She Loves You" and "I Want to Hold Your Hand") was expressed by McCartney: "The first time I thought we'd really made it, was when I was lying in bed one morning, and I heard a milkman whistling 'From Me to You'. Actually, I'm sure that I once heard a bird whistling it as well. I swear I did!"

Melody and lyrics

"From Me to You" consists of four verses and two intervening bridges. The last half of each verse is a mini-refrain, while the lyrics of the bridges are identical. The verses each consist of a rather short eight measures. The bridge begins on a low note and suddenly jumps to a very different and unexpected key. At the bridge's climax, the chord changes are accompanied by "woo!" Lennon plays prominent harmonica solos during the beginning, middle, and end of the song, as he did with "Love Me Do".

"From Me to You" was later rereleased in the U.S. as the flip side of a single featuring "Please Please Me" on the A-Side.
"From Me to You" was later rereleased in the U.S. as the flip side of a single featuring "Please Please Me" on the A-Side.

McCartney said of the song: "The thing I liked about 'From Me to You' was it had a very complete middle. It went to a surprising place. The opening chord of the middle section of that song heralded a new batch for me. That was a pivotal song. Our songwriting lifted a little with that song."

In the song, the singer offers his love to the object of his affections — he has "everything that you want". Interestingly, for yet another song based on first-person pronouns, the song lacks a lead singer. A sound bite from the song is available.


  • Paul McCartney on bass, lead vocal
  • John Lennon on rhythm guitar, harmonica, lead vocal
  • George Harrison on lead guitar, harmony vocal
  • Ringo Starr on drums


  • The Beatles Official Website. Retrieved Sept. 6, 2004.
  • The Beatles Ultimate Experience. Retrieved Sept. 6, 2004.
  • Unterberger, R. Retrieved Sept. 6, 2004.
  • Retrieved Sept. 6, 2004.
  • Retrieved Sept. 6, 2004.
  • Retrieved Sept. 6, 2004.

External links

  • Alan W. Pollack's Analysis of 'From Me to You'
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