- Published on 1964
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 1 on “A Hard Day’s Night“
- Track 8 on “1962 ‐ 1966 (Red Album)“
Table of Contents
The Beatles’ quotes about “A Hard Day’s Night”
RINGO 1964: “We went to do a job, and we’d worked all day and we happened to work all night. I came up still thinking it was day I suppose, and I said, ‘It’s been a hard day…’ and I looked around and saw it was dark so I said, ‘…night!’ So we came to ‘A Hard Day’s Night.’”
JOHN 1980: “I was going home in the car and Dick Lester suggested the title, ‘Hard Day’s Night’ from something Ringo had said. I had used it in ‘In His Own Write,’ but it was an off-the-cuff remark by Ringo. You know, one of those malapropisms. A Ringo-ism, where he said it not to be funny… just said it. So Dick Lester said, ‘We are going to use that title.’ And the next morning I brought in the song… ‘cuz there was a little competition between Paul and I as to who got the A-side– who got the hits. If you notice, in the early days the majority of singles, in the movies and everything, were mine… in the early period I’m dominating the group. The only reason he sang on ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ was because I couldn’t reach the notes. (sings) ‘When I’m home/ everything seems to be right/ when I’m home…’ –which is what we’d do sometimes. One of us couldn’t reach a note but he wanted a different sound, so he’d get the other to do the harmony.”
PAUL circa-1994: “The title was Ringo’s. We’d almost finished making the film, and this fun bit arrived that we’d not known about before, which was naming the film. So we were sitting around at Twickenham studios having a little brain-storming session… and we said, ‘Well, there was something Ringo said the other day.’ Ringo would do these little malapropisms, he would say things slightly wrong, like people do, but his were always wonderful, very lyrical… they were sort of magic even though he was just getting it wrong. And he said after a concert, ‘Phew, it’s been a hard day’s night.’”
About “A Hard Day’s Night”
“A Hard Day’s Night” was released as the title track of The Beatles’ third studio album in 1964. It’s known for its distinctive opening chord, played on George Harrison’s 12-string Rickenbacker guitar. The song was written by John Lennon and credited to the songwriting duo Lennon-McCartney. It was also released as a single in the UK (with “Things We Said Today” as its B-side), and in the US (with “I Should Have Known Better” as its B-side.)
The song opens with a famous chord that has been the subject of much discussion and analysis. It’s often referred to as the “G7sus4” chord. The rest of the song follows a classic chord progression. John Lennon takes the lead vocals in the song, with Paul McCartney and George Harrison providing harmonies. The vocal delivery is energetic and captures the youthful exuberance of The Beatles.
“A Hard Day’s Night” features the distinctive 12-string Rickenbacker guitar played by George Harrison, providing a jangly sound. Paul McCartney’s melodic bassline and Ringo Starr’s solid drumming contribute to the overall musical texture. The lyrics of “A Hard Day’s Night” were inspired by a remark made by Ringo Starr. The phrase “a hard day’s night” was a Ringoism, a term used by the band to describe his unintentional wordplay. The lyrics capture the fatigue and relief after a day’s work.
The success of the song led to the use of its title for both the Beatles’ first feature film, released in 1964, and their third studio album. The film is a musical comedy featuring the band’s music and was well-received by both critics and fans. “A Hard Day’s Night” is widely considered one of The Beatles’ classics and is often celebrated for its innovation and influence on the pop and rock music of the time. It marked a turning point in the band’s sound as they began to explore more complex musical arrangements and experiment with different instruments.
The phrase “A Hard Day’s Night” was actually coined by Ringo Starr, who used it to describe the exhaustion and fatigue that came from their demanding schedule of recording and performing. The lyrics talk about the feeling of working hard all day and then looking forward to spending the night with a lover. The lyrics convey a sense of longing and anticipation, and the upbeat tempo and energetic melody capture the excitement and youthful enthusiasm that characterized much of the Beatles’ early music.
“A Hard Day’s Night” is often interpreted as a celebration of youthful vigor and the joy of being in love, while also acknowledging the challenges and demands of their hectic lifestyle as one of the most popular and successful bands in the world at that time.
- John Lennon – double-tracked vocals (verses), electric and acoustic rhythm guitars
- Paul McCartney – double-tracked vocals (middle-eight), harmony vocal, bass
- George Harrison – lead electric twelve-string guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums, bongos, cowbell
- George Martin – piano, producer
How to play “A Hard Day’s Night” on guitar
The guitar work in “A Hard Day’s Night” by The Beatles is distinctive and iconic. The song features a prominent and instantly recognizable opening chord played by George Harrison on his 12-string Rickenbacker guitar. The chord is often referred to as the “G7sus4” or “G suspended 4” chord, and its exact formation has been the subject of much discussion among musicians and Beatles fans.
The rest of the guitar work in the song includes a combination of strumming and arpeggios, contributing to the lively and energetic feel of the track. The guitar parts, played by both George Harrison and John Lennon, are integral to the overall sound of “A Hard Day’s Night” and helped define the signature sound of The Beatles during that period. The use of the 12-string guitar, in particular, gives the song a jangly and distinctive quality that set it apart from other contemporary rock and pop songs.
The following video shows how to play “A Hard Day’s Night” on acoustic and electric guitar. Two parts concern the rhythm guitar, one acoustic and one electric, and a third which is the solo together with the final arpeggio:
How to play “A Hard Day’s Night” on bass
McCartney’s bass line in this song is notable for its melodic and rhythmic qualities. Instead of simply providing a foundational rhythm, McCartney’s bass part in “A Hard Day’s Night” is more melodic and dynamic, contributing to the overall musicality of the track.
The bass line follows the chord progression of the song but includes distinctive runs and fills that add a sense of movement and excitement. McCartney’s approach to the bass in many Beatles songs was innovative for its time, and it played a crucial role in shaping the band’s sound.
The bass in “A Hard Day’s Night” is a key element in the song’s composition, blending with the guitars and other instruments to create the distinctive sound that became synonymous with The Beatles during the 1960s.
The following video shows how to play the bass parts of “A Hard Day’s Night” with tabs:
Opening chord of “A Hard Day’s Night”
The opening chord of the song is famously known as the “A Hard Day’s Night” chord. It’s a unique and debated chord due to its complex and dissonant sound. It’s actually a combination of several guitars and a piano playing different chords simultaneously. The exact composition of this chord is still a subject of discussion among musicians and scholars. This video shows how to play it on different instruments.
“A Hard Day’s Night” karaoke
Here’s a great Karaoke version of “A Hard Day’s Night”