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“I’m Just Happy to Dance with You”

What the Beatles said about “I’m Just Happy to Dance with You”

JOHN 1980: “‘I’m Happy Just To Dance With You,’ that was written for George to give him a piece of the action. I couldn’ta sung it.”

PAUL circa-1994: “We wrote ‘I’m Happy Just To Dance With You’ for George in the film. It was a bit of a formula song. We knew that in (the key of) E if you went to an A-flat-minor, you could always make a song with those chords… that change pretty much always excited you.”

Info about “I’m Just Happy to Dance with You”

“I’m Happy Just to Dance with You”was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and recorded for the film soundtrack to A Hard Day’s Night. Lead vocals are by George Harrison, whose performance in the film marked the first mass media depiction of Harrison singing lead. The song was written specifically for George Harrison to sing at a time when he lacked the confidence to compose his own material.

The song features a hectic style rhythm guitar in juxtaposition with Harrison’s placid vocal. Its composers give it an unexpected choice of chord at the crux of its chorus, augmenting the B7th on “I’m happy just to dance with you”. The song is also distinctive in that it begins not with a verse or chorus but with the last four bars of the bridge. According to musicologist Ian MacDonald, its guitar part derives its inspiration from the Rolling Stones’ cover of Buddy Holly’s song, Not Fade Away. Cash Box described it as “a stomp-a-rhythmic delight.

The Beatles recorded “I’m Happy Just to Dance with You” on a Sunday, the first time they had used Abbey Road Studios on a day other than a normal work day. United Artists released the song on the album A Hard Day’s Night on 26 June. It was also included on the album Something New, released by Capitol Records on 20 July. It hit #95 on the Billboard Top 100 chart on 1 August 1964, its only appearance on that chart. It is one of only two Lennon–McCartney songs sung by Harrison during the group’s career, the other song being “Do You Want to Know a Secret“.

The group also recorded a version for the BBC’s From Us to You radio show. The session took place on 17 July 1964 at the BBC Paris Studio in London, and was first broadcast on 3 August that year. An instrumental piano-only version is heard in the A Hard Day’s Night film, during rehearsals for a musical television broadcast.

Personnel

  • George Harrison – lead vocal, lead guitar
  • John Lennon – backing vocal, rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – backing vocal, bass
  • Ringo Starr – drums, African drum
  • George Martin – producer
  • Norman Smith – engineer

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