- Published on 1962 – 1965
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 8 on “Please Please me“
- Track 1 on “1962 ‐ 1966 (Red Album)“
- Track 1 on “Past Masters Volume 1“
JOHN 1963: “It came to the charts in two days. And everybody thought it was a ‘fiddle’ because our manager’s stores send in these… what is it… record returns. And everybody down south thought, ‘Aha! He’s just fiddling the charts.’ But he wasn’t.”
JOHN 1972: “Paul wrote the main structure of this when he was sixteen, or even earlier. I think I had something to do with the middle.”
RINGO 1976: “The first record, ‘Love Me Do,’ for me that was more important than anything else. That first piece of plastic. You can’t believe how great that was. It was so wonderful. We were on a record!”
JOHN 1980: “‘Love Me Do’ is Paul’s song. He had the song around in Hamburg even, way, way before we were songwriters.”
PAUL 1982: “In Hamburg we clicked… At the Cavern we clicked.. but if you want to know when we ‘knew’ we’d arrived, it was getting in the charts with ‘Love Me Do.’ That was the one. It gave us somewhere to go.”
PAUL 1984: “‘Love Me Do’ …the first song we recorded, like, for real. First serious audition. I was very nervous, I remember. John was supposed to sing the lead, but they changed their minds and asked me to sing lead at the last minute, because they wanted John to play harmonica. Until then, we hadn’t rehearsed with a harmonica; George Martin started arranging it on the spot. It was very nerve-wracking.”
PAUL 1988: “‘Love Me Do’ was us trying to do the blues. It came out whiter because it always does. We’re white, and we were just young Liverpool musicians. We didn’t have the finesse to be able to actually sound black. But ‘Love Me Do’ was probably the first bluesy thing we tried to do.”
PAUL circa-1994: “George Martin said, ‘Can anyone play a harmonica? It would be rather nice. Couldn’t think of some sort of bluesy thing, could you John?’ John played a chromatic harmonica… I actually had one too but he’d been clever– he learned to play it. John expected to be in jail one day and he’d be the guy who played the harmonica. The lyric crossed over the harmonica solo, so I suddenly got thrown the big open line, ‘Love me do,’ where everything stopped. Until that session John had always done it. I didn’t even know how to sing it… I can still hear the nervousness in my voice.”
About “Love Me Do”
“Love Me Do” was the official debut single by the Beatles. The song was backed by “P.S. I Love You“. Originally released on 5 October 1962, the single peaked at number 17 in the United Kingdom. In the United States, this song became a number one hit after it was released in 1964, and it reached the top of the charts. When it was re-released by EMI in 1982 as part of their 20th anniversary celebrations of the Beatles, it re-entered the UK charts and peaked at number 4.
This song was written several years before it was recorded, and during the time before the Beatles even existed. The single features John Lennon’s prominent harmonica playing and duet vocals by him and Paul McCartney. This song has been recorded by the Beatles in three different versions, featuring a different drummer for each of the recorded versions. In June 1962, Pete Best was the drummer on the first attempt at recording, although this version of the song was not officially released until 1995 on Anthology 1 as part of a compilation.
A second version was recorded, three months later, with the replacement for Best, Ringo Starr, and this version was the one used for the original Parlophone single. On December 12 1964, the Beatles released a third version of the song with Andy White, a session drummer, replacing Starr as the drummer on their Please Please me album. This third version was also contained on U.S. LPs introducing… The Beatles and The Beatles in the early days.
Meaning of “Love Me Do”
“Love Me Do” is a heartfelt plea for love and affection. The narrator expresses a desire to be loved and cared for, a sentiment that resonates universally. This theme taps into the universal longing for emotional connection.
The lyrics convey a sense of simplicity in love. It’s not about grand gestures or elaborate expressions; rather, it’s a plea for genuine, everyday affection. This theme reflects the idea that sometimes, the most powerful expressions of love are the simplest.
The lyrics suggest a reciprocal dynamic in love. The narrator doesn’t just want to receive love; they want it to be a mutual exchange. This theme emphasizes the importance of balanced and mutually fulfilling relationships.
The song captures the innocence and excitement of early romance. It portrays the thrill of discovering love and the eagerness to experience it for the first time. This theme resonates with anyone who has experienced the initial stages of a romantic relationship.
“Love Me Do” exudes the youthful optimism of the early 1960s. It encapsulates the spirit of a generation that was eager to break free from conventions and embrace new experiences, including love and romance.
On the version released on Please Please me, The Beatles’ Hits, the US single, and compilation albums including 1962–1966 (“The Red Album”) and 1:
- Paul McCartney – vocals, bass
- John Lennon – vocals, harmonica
- George Harrison – acoustic guitar
- Ringo Starr – tambourine
- Andy White – drums