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“Hello, Goodbye”

Listen to “Hello, Goodbye”

Beatles quotes about “Hello, Goodbye”

JOHN 1980: “That’s another McCartney. An attempt to write a single. It wasn’t a great piece. The best bit was at the end, which we all ad-libbed in the studio, where I played the piano. Like ‘Ticket To Ride,’ where we just threw something in at the end.”

PAUL circa-1994: “‘Hello Goodbye’ was one of my songs. There are Geminian influences here I think– the twins. It’s such a deep theme of the universe, duality– man woman, black white, high low, right wrong, up down, hello goodbye– that it was a very easy song to write. It’s just a song of duality, with me advocating the more positive. You say goodbye, I say hello. You say stop, I say go. I was advocating the more positive side of the duality, and I still do to this day.”

"Hello, Goodbye" / "I Am The Walrus" single cover
“Hello, Goodbye” / “I Am The Walrus” single cover

About “Hello, Goodbye”

Hello, Goodbye” was written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was issued in November 1967 as a non-album single, the group’s first since the death of their manager, Brian Epstein. It was backed by John Lennon’s “I Am the Walrus“. It topped charts in the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, Australia, and several other countries.

Paul McCartney has said that the lyrics are about duality. The song was composed after McCartney asked Beatles aide Alistair Taylor about songwriting and asked him to say the opposite of what he said. During the recording of the track in October 1967, the Beatles improvised a musical coda. Lennon pushed for “I Am the Walrus” to be the single’s A-side but reluctantly accepted that “Hello, Goodbye” was more commercially successful. Three promotional films were produced by the Beatles for the song, one of which was shown on The Ed Sullivan Show. The clips were not aired in Britain due to laws preventing lip-syncing.

Music critics have historically responded differently to “Hello, Goodbye“. Some praise the song for its classic pop qualities, while others find it unoriginal and unimportant. The track appeared on the expanded US release of the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack EP and later on compilation albums such as 1967–1970 and 1. “Hello, Goodbye” has been performed by McCartney on numerous occasions, most notably during his 2002 Driving World Tour. The song has also been recorded by James Last, Bud Shank, Allen Toussaint, the Cure, and the cast of Glee.

Meaning of “Hello, Goodbye”

The lyrics of “Hello, Goodbye” are deceptively simple, revolving around the repeated phrases “hello” and “goodbye.” The song has been interpreted in various ways. Some view it as a playful exploration of opposites and contrasts, while others see it as a reflection on the complexities and contradictions of relationships. The repeated use of “hello” and “goodbye” might symbolize the ebb and flow of interactions between people, as well as the ever-changing nature of human connections.

Overall, “Hello, Goodbye” is known for its catchy melody, upbeat tempo, and sing-along quality. It’s considered one of The Beatles’ more accessible and commercially successful songs, reflecting their ability to create music that appeals to a wide audience.


The Beatles

  • Paul McCartney – double-tracked lead vocal, backing vocal, piano, bass, bongos, conga
  • John Lennon – backing vocal, lead guitar, Hammond organ
  • George Harrison – backing vocal, lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums, maracas, tambourine, backing vocal (over coda)

Additional musicians and production

  • Kenneth Essex – viola
  • Leo Birnbaum – viola
  • George Martin – producer
  • Geoff Emerick – sound engineer
  • Ken Scott – sound engineer

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