- Published on 1963
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 9 on “Please Please Me“
JOHN 1980: “That’s Paul’s song. He was trying to write a ‘Soldier Boy’ like the Shirelles. He wrote that in Germany, or when we were going to and from Hamburg. I might have contributed something. I can’t remember anything in particular. It was mainly his song.”
PAUL circa-1994: “A theme song based on a letter… It was pretty much mine. I don’t think John had much of a hand in it. There are certain themes that are easier than others to hang a song on, and a letter is one of them… It’s not based in reality, nor did I write it to my girlfriend from Hamburg, which some people think.”
About “P.S. I Love You”
“P.S. I Love You” was composed principally by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney), and produced by Ron Richards. The song was released in the UK on 5 October 1962 as the B-side of their debut single “Love Me Do” and is also included on their debut album Please Please Me (1963). It was later included on the American release Introducing… The Beatles (1964), its reissue The Early Beatles (1965), and the Beatles compilation album Love Songs (1977).
The version featured on the single and album was recorded in ten takes on 11 September 1962 at EMI’s Abbey Road Studios, London. Producer George Martin had booked session drummer Andy White as a replacement for Pete Best, whom he considered not technically good enough for recording purposes; Martin had been unaware that the other Beatles had already replaced Pete Best with Ringo Starr, who attended the session and plays maracas on the song. White was a freelance show band and session drummer, and gave the recording a lightweight cha cha treatment.
Martin was not present at the session; in his absence, it was run by Ron Richards. Richards told the group that the song could not be the A-side of their single because of an earlier song with the same title: “I was originally a music publishing man, a plugger, so I knew someone had done a record with that title. I said to Paul, ‘You can have it as B-side, but not an A-side.’”
With Starr playing drums, the Beatles recorded the song at the BBC on 25 October 1962, 27 November 1962 and 17 June 1963 for subsequent broadcast on the BBC radio programmes Here We Go, Talent Spot and Pop Go the Beatles, respectively. The 17 June 1963 recording was officially published on the On Air – Live at the BBC Volume 2 album (2013).
Meaning of “P.S. I Love You”
The song reflects universal themes of love, longing, and heartfelt communication. The “P.S.” (Post Script) in the title signifies an afterthought or an addition to a letter. In the context of the song, it symbolizes the narrator’s desire to keep the connection alive and the yearning to communicate their love beyond the initial message.
The lyrics suggest a sense of physical distance or separation between the narrator and their beloved. This theme resonates with anyone who has experienced a long-distance relationship or a period of absence from a loved one. The song revolves around the act of writing a letter to express affection. This theme highlights the power of written words to convey deep emotions. It reflects an era when letter-writing was a prominent means of long-distance communication.
Writing a letter can be an intimate and personal way to communicate one’s feelings. The narrator chooses this method to articulate their love, underscoring the importance of meaningful and heartfelt expressions of affection. By writing a love letter, the narrator opens themselves up emotionally. This theme emphasizes the courage and vulnerability required to express one’s feelings, especially when it comes to matters of the heart.
The act of writing love letters, although somewhat nostalgic in today’s digital age, remains a timeless expression of love. This theme highlights the enduring nature of sincere and heartfelt communication in relationships. The song’s themes of love, communication, and vulnerability are universal and resonate with people of all ages and backgrounds. This has contributed to the enduring popularity and appeal of “P.S. I Love You.”
In summary, “P.S. I Love You” by The Beatles is a poignant reflection on love and communication. It celebrates the power of written words to express deep emotions and underscores the enduring significance of heartfelt expressions of affection. The song’s themes of connection and vulnerability continue to touch the hearts of listeners around the world.
Paul McCartney – Lead vocals, bass
John Lennon – acoustic rhythm guitar, backing vocals
George Harrison – acoustic guitar, backing vocals
Ringo Starr – maracas
Andy White – drums