- Published on 1963
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 6 on “Please Please Me“
About “Ask Me Why”
The song was mainly a John Lennon composition, written in early 1962, but it was credited to Paul McCartney and John Lennon, as were all other Lennon/McCartney originals on the first pressings of Please Please Me album. It was part of their live act prior to their recording contract, and was one of the songs performed at their Parlophone audition in Abbey Road’s studio three on 6 June 1962.
Complex in arrangement, it emulates the style of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, whom Lennon was influenced by, and the guitar phrase is drawn from the Miracles’ What’s So Good About Goodbye” (1961).
“Ask Me Why” was recorded on 26 November 1962, the same day they attempted another Lennon and McCartney song called “Tip of My Tongue” which, along with “Ask Me Why” was also being considered for the B-side of the “Please Please Me” single. However, George Martin felt that “Tip of My Tongue” still needed some work, and it was eventually given to Tommy Quickly to record.
Meaning of “Ask Me Why”
The lyrics of “Ask Me Why” convey a sense of unconditional love. The narrator expresses a deep and abiding affection for his romantic partner. Lines like “I love you, oh, so much, can’t count all the ways” emphasize the profound and unwavering nature of his feelings. The narrator in the song is open and willing to share his emotions. He invites his partner to ask about his feelings, indicating a desire for honest and transparent communication in the relationship. This theme underscores the importance of mutual understanding and emotional honesty in love.
The song captures the simplicity and purity of romantic affection. It conveys the idea that love doesn’t always need grand gestures or extravagant expressions. Sometimes, the most powerful declarations of love come from sincere and straightforward expressions of one’s feelings. The narrator’s willingness to share his feelings and his invitation to “ask me why” also reflects a sense of vulnerability. He is putting himself out there, making himself emotionally available, and exposing his heart to the potential for joy or heartbreak. This theme resonates with the universal experience of being vulnerable in matters of the heart.
The sentiment expressed in “Ask Me Why” is timeless. The song’s message of profound love and willingness to share one’s feelings is something that transcends eras and continues to resonate with audiences of all ages. “Ask Me Why” is one of the songs from the early Beatles era, characterized by its melodic simplicity and heartfelt lyrics. It reflects the band’s ability to convey universal emotions, even in their early years, and showcases their talent for crafting memorable, emotionally resonant music.
“Ask Me Why” is a heartfelt love song that celebrates the enduring power of genuine affection. It captures the essence of being open, vulnerable, and deeply in love, and its message remains relevant and touching to this day.
- John Lennon – vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar
- Paul McCartney – bass, backing vocals
- George Harrison – lead guitar, backing vocals
- Ringo Starr – drums
How to play “Ask Me Why” on guitar
“Ask Me Why” features George Harrison on lead guitar and John Lennon on rhythm guitar. George Harrison played the distinctive arpeggiated riff that is a prominent feature of the song’s melody. John Lennon played the rhythm guitar chords that provide the harmonic foundation for the song.
The guitar work in “Ask Me Why” is relatively simple compared to some of The Beatles’ later, more complex compositions. It features a clean, jangly sound that was characteristic of the early Beatles recordings. The song’s structure is built around a catchy melody and harmonies, with the guitars providing a supporting role to the vocals.
If you’re interested in playing the song on guitar, you’ll find that it’s accessible for players of various skill levels. The main riff and chord progression are relatively straightforward, making it a good choice for beginners looking to learn Beatles songs.
The following videos show you how to play the lead guitar and rhythm guitar parts of the song:
How to play “Ask Me Why” on bass
The bassline in “Ask Me Why”, like many early Beatles tracks, is fairly simple but effective. It provides a solid foundation for the melody and harmonies.
The bassline in “Ask Me Why” follows the chord progression of the song, providing a rhythmic and melodic backbone. It complements the guitars and vocals, contributing to the overall sound of the track. McCartney’s bass playing in this song, as in many Beatles songs, is characterized by its melodic and inventive approach, even within the confines of a relatively simple song structure.
If you’re a bass player interested in learning “Ask Me Why,” you’ll find it to be a good introduction to McCartney’s early bass playing style. The bassline is catchy and fits well within the context of the song, making it an enjoyable piece to learn and play.
The following video shows how to play the bassline part of the song:
“Ask Me Why” karaoke
For anyone who wants to try singing “Ask Me Why”, the following video features the karaoke version of the song: