- Published on 1965
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 11 on “Rubber Soul“
- Track 22 on “1962 ‐ 1966 (Red Album)“
Beatles quotes about “In My Life”
JOHN 1980: “It was the first song I wrote that was consciously about my life. (Sings) ‘There are places I’ll remember/ All my life though some have changed…’ Before, we were just writing songs a la Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly — pop songs with no more thought to them than that. The words were almost irrelevant. ‘In My Life’ started out as a bus journey from my house at 250 Menlove Avenue to town, mentioning every place I could remember. I wrote it all down and it was ridiculous… it was the most boring sort of ‘What I Did On My Holiday’s Bus Trip’ song and it wasn’t working at all. But then I laid back and these lyrics started coming to me about the places I remember. Paul helped with the middle-eight. It was, I think, my first real major piece of work. Up till then it had all been sort of glib and throw-away. And that was the first time I consciously put my literary part of myself into the lyric.”
PAUL 1984: “I think I wrote the tune to that; that’s the one we slightly dispute. John either forgot or didn’t think I wrote the tune. I remember he had the words, like a poem… sort of about faces he remembered. I recall going off for half an hour and sitting with a Mellotron he had, writing the tune… which was Miracles inspired, as I remember. In fact, a lot of stuff was then.”
About “In My Life”
“In My Life” lyrics were written primarily by John Lennon, credited to Lennon–McCartney, who later disagreed over the extent of their contributions to the song. Lennon credited the harmony and bridge to McCartney, while McCartney claimed the entire musical structure. George Martin contributed the piano solo bridge, which was sped up to sound like a harpsichord.
According to Lennon, “In My Life” was his “first real major piece of work” because it was the first time he penned personal lyrics about his own life. The original version of the lyrics was based on a bus route he used to take in Liverpool, naming various sites seen along the way, including Penny Lane and Strawberry Field. Lennon discarded this lyrical idea in favour of a more generalized meditation on his past. He and McCartney later revisited those original references with their respective songs “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “Penny Lane“.
Despite not actually containing a harpsichord, “In My Life” inspired more pop music producers to use the instrument in their arrangements. In 2000, Mojo named “In My Life” the best song of all time. Rolling Stone ranked it number 23 on its 2004 list of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”, and number 98 on the 2021 revised list, as well as fifth on its list of the Beatles’ “100 Greatest Songs”.
- John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, rhythm guitar
- Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass
- George Harrison – harmony vocal, lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums, bells
- George Martin – piano, tambourine
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