- Published in 1965
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 17 on “1962 ‐ 1966 (Red Album)“
- Track 1 on “Past Masters Volume 2“
Table of Contents
The Beatles’ quotes about “Day Tripper”
JOHN 1972: “Me. But I think Paul helped with the verse.”
JOHN 1980: “That’s mine. Including the guitar lick, the guitar break, and the whole bit. It’s just a rock ‘n roll song. Day trippers are people who go on a day trip, right? Usually on a ferry boat or somethng. But it was kind of– you know, you’re just a weekend hippie. Get it?”
PAUL circa-1994: “Acid was coming on the scene, and we’d often do these songs about ‘the girl who thought she was it.’ Mainly the impetus for that used to come from John– I think John met quite a few girls who thought they were it… But this was just a tongue-in-cheek song about someone who was a day tripper, a sunday painter, a sunday driver, somebody who was committed only in part to the idea. Where we saw ourselves as full-time trippers, fully committed drivers, she was just a day tripper. That was a co-written effort– we were both making it all up but I would give John the main credit.”
About “Day Tripper”
“Day Tripper” was released as a double A-side single with “We Can Work It Out” on December 3, 1965, in the United Kingdom. In the United States, it was released as a single on December 6, 1965.
The song was written primarily by John Lennon with some contributions from Paul McCartney and was credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. Both songs were recorded during the sessions for the band’s Rubber Soul album. The single topped charts in Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway. In the United States, “Day Tripper” peaked at number five on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and “We Can W†ork It Out” held the top position. While “Day Tripper” was not originally included on a studio album, it later appeared on the “Past Masters Vol. 2” compilation album in 1988.
“Day Tripper” is a rock song based around an electric guitar riff and drawing on the influence of American soul music. It features a catchy riff and memorable melody that are characteristic of the Beatles’ sound. The song is known for its distinctive guitar riff, played by George Harrison, which is one of the most recognizable riffs in rock history, often credited as one of the earliest examples of a “power chord” in rock music, a technique that would become a hallmark of later rock and roll. The harmonies and arrangement are also classic examples of the Beatles’ style.
The Beatles included it in their concert set-list until their retirement from live performances in late August 1966. The single was the first example of a double A-side in Britain. Its success popularised the format and, in giving equal treatment to two songs, allowed recording artists to show their versatility. The band’s use of promotional films to market the single anticipated the modern music video.
In the UK, “Day Tripper” / “We Can Work It Out” was the seventh highest selling single of the 1960s. As of December 2018, it was the 54th best-selling single of all time in the UK – one of six Beatles singles included in the top sales rankings published by the Official Charts Company.
“Day Tripper” is regarded as one of the Beatles’ classic tracks and is often included in their greatest hits compilations. Its distinctive riff and catchy melody have made it an enduring favorite among fans and a widely recognized song in the rock genre. It remains an iconic Beatles song, celebrated for its musical innovation and its place in rock history.
Meaning of “Day Tripper”
“Day Tripper” by the Beatles has been the subject of some speculation regarding its meaning, as John Lennon and Paul McCartney were known for their skill in writing songs with both straightforward and ambiguous lyrics. The song’s lyrics are somewhat open to interpretation, but it’s often considered to be about a person who engages in casual relationships or one-night stands.
The term “day tripper” generally refers to someone who enjoys short, casual trips or outings. In the context of the song, it’s often taken to imply a person who is not interested in committed, long-term relationships, but rather seeks short-lived, temporary connections.
The lyrics describe someone who is confident and enjoys the attention they receive, but they also suggest that this person might not be interested in deeper emotional connections. Lines like “She’s a big teaser” and “She’s a day tripper, a one-way ticket yeah” hint at this playful, non-committal attitude.
Overall, “Day Tripper” can be seen as a reflection on the lifestyle of a person who is content with brief, superficial encounters and may not be seeking serious, long-lasting relationships.
- John Lennon – double-tracked lead vocal, rhythm/lead guitar
- Paul McCartney – double-tracked lead vocal, bass guitar
- George Harrison – lead guitar, harmony vocal
- Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine
How to play “Day Tripper” on guitar
“Day Tripper” features a distinctive guitar riff that’s instantly recognizable. Played by George Harrison, it’s a catchy and iconic part of the song. The riff is characterized by its energetic, bluesy feel and is a great example of Harrison’s guitar style, with its memorable hooks and rhythmic drive. It’s one of those classic riffs that many guitarists enjoy learning due to its fun and engaging nature.
The following video features a guitar lesson with tab of “Day Tripper”:
How to play “Day Tripper” on bass
“Day Tripper” has a fantastic bassline played by Paul McCartney. It’s a driving and melodic bassline that complements the guitar riff and adds depth to the song’s groove. McCartney’s bassline in “Day Tripper” is quite prominent, featuring a catchy and rhythmic pattern that intertwines with the guitar parts, creating a solid foundation for the song.
The following video features a bass cover with tab of the song:
“Day Tripper” karaoke
For those who want to try singing “Day Tripper” the following video features a good karaoke version of the song: