- Published on 1963
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 5 on “1962 ‐ 1966 (Red Album)“
- Track 6 on “Past Masters Volume 1“
PAUL 1964: “Let’s see, we were told we had to get down to it. So we found this house when we were walking along one day. We knew we had to really get this song going, so we got down in the basement of this disused house and there was an old piano. It wasn’t really disused, it was rooms to let. We found this old piano and started banging away. There was a little old organ too. So we were having this informal jam and we started banging away. Suddenly a little bit came to us, the catch line. So we started working on it from there. We got our pens and paper out and just wrote down the lyrics. Eventually, we had some sort of a song, so we played it for our recording manager and he seemed to like it. We recorded it the next day.”
JOHN 1980: “We wrote alot of stuff together, one on one, eyeball to eyeball. Like in ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand,’ I remember when we got the chord that made the song. We were in Jane Asher’s house, downstairs in the cellar playing on the piano at the same time. And we had, ‘Oh you-u-u/ got that something…’ And Paul hits this chord, and I turn to him and say, ‘That’s it!’ I said, ‘Do that again!’ In those days, we really used to absolutely write like that– both playing into each other’s noses.”
PAUL circa-1994: “‘Eyeball to eyeball’ is a very good description of it. That’s exactly how it was. ‘I Want To Hold Your Hand’ was very co-written.”
About “I Want To Hold Your Hand”
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, and recorded on 17 October 1963. It was the first Beatles record to be made using four-track equipment. The song’s fresh sound, catchy melody, and harmonies were unlike anything heard before in the mainstream music of the time. It marked a turning point in popular music and set the stage for the cultural revolution of the sixties.
With advance orders exceeding one million copies in the United Kingdom, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” would have gone straight to the top of the British record charts on its release date (29 November 1963) had it not been blocked by the group’s first million-seller “She Loves You“, their previous UK single, which was regaining in popularity following intense media coverage of the group. In total, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” remained in the UK top 50 for 21 weeks, dislodging its predecessor in two weeks.
The song was Beatles’ breakthrough in the US: “I Want to Hold Your Hand” played a significant role in propelling the Beatles to international stardom. It was the song that effectively launched the “British Invasion” in the United States. “I Want to Hold Your Hand” was the group’s first American number-one hit, entering the Billboard Hot 100 chart at number 45 on 18 January 1964.
On 1 February, it topped the Hot 100, where it stayed for seven weeks before being replaced by “She Loves You“. For 15 weeks, it remained on the Billboard chart. In 2018, Billboard magazine named “I Want to Hold Your Hand” the 48th biggest hit of all time on the Billboard Hot 100. It sold more than 12 million copies worldwide. After “She Loves You“, it was the second most popular single of the 1960s in the UK. The Beatles also recorded a German lyrics version of the song titled “Komm Gib Mir Deine Hand”
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” is a pivotal song in the Beatles’ career, as well as in the broader history of popular music. Its infectious melody and heartfelt lyrics continue to resonate with audiences around the world.
Meaning of “I Want to Hold Your Hand”
“I Want to Hold Your Hand” is a love song that expresses a deep desire for physical closeness and emotional connection. The lyrics convey a straightforward and earnest declaration of affection and longing. The singer is expressing a strong desire to be close to the person he loves, to feel her touch, and to share an intimate moment of connection.
The phrase “I want to hold your hand” is symbolic of the desire for intimacy and the comfort that physical contact can provide. It represents a simple yet powerful expression of love and affection.
The song’s meaning is one of yearning, longing, and a profound desire for closeness with a loved one. It captures the universal and timeless sentiment of wanting to be physically and emotionally connected with someone special.
- John Lennon – vocal, rhythm guitar, handclaps
- Paul McCartney – vocal, bass guitar, handclaps
- George Harrison – lead guitar, handclaps
- Ringo Starr – drums, handclaps