- Published on 1963
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 7 on “Please Please Me“
JOHN 1963: “Our recording manager (George Martin) thought our arrangement was fussy, so we tried to make it simpler. We were getting tired though, and just couldn’t seem to get it right. In the following weeks we went over it again and again. We changed the tempo a little, we altered the words slightly, and we went over the idea of featuring the harmonica just as we’d done on ‘Love Me Do.’ By the time the session came around we were so happy with the result, we couldn’t get it recorded fast enough.”
JOHN 1980: “‘Please Please Me’ is my song completely. It was my attempt at writing a Roy Orbison song, would you believe it? I wrote it in the bedroom in my house at Menlove Avenue, which was my auntie’s place. I heard Roy Orbison doing ‘Only The Lonely’ or something. That’s where that came from. And also I was always intrigued by the words of ‘Please Lend Your Ears To My Pleas,’ a Bing Crosby song. I was always intrigued by the double use of the word ‘please.’ So it was a combination of Bing Crosby and Roy Orbison.”
PAUL 1988: “It’s very Roy Orbison when you slow it down. George Martin up-tempo’d it. He thought it was too much of a dirge, and probably too like Orbison. So he cleverly speeded us up… and we put in the little scaled riff at the beginning, which was very catchy.”
About “Please Please Me”
The Beatles released “Please Please Me” as their second single in the United Kingdom, and their first single in the United States. It is also the title track of their first LP, which was recorded in order to capitalize on the success of their single.
While the song is in many ways considered to be a John Lennon composition (credited to the Lennon–McCartney), its final form was heavily influenced by the producer George Martin as well.
A bluesy, slow tempo song was the first thing that Lennon envisioned when he composed “Please Please Me”. In the original version of the song, there were no vocal harmonies, no response, neither was there an introduction accompanied by a scaled harmonica.
Meaning of “Please Please Me”
The title, “Please Please Me,” is a direct plea for emotional and physical intimacy. The narrator expresses a fervent desire for their partner to reciprocate their affections. This theme speaks to the universal experience of longing for intimacy and connection.
The lyrics emphasize the idea of mutual gratification. The narrator wants to please their partner in the same way they are being pleased. This reciprocal dynamic underscores the importance of giving and receiving in a balanced and fulfilling relationship.
The song addresses the emotional vulnerability that comes with desiring someone deeply. The narrator is candid about their feelings, embracing their emotional openness and expressing their longing for intimacy. This theme taps into the universal human experience of risking vulnerability for the sake of love.
“Please Please Me” carries a sensual undertone, suggesting a physical dimension to the romantic relationship. It portrays a sense of ardor and physical attraction, adding a layer of passion to the song’s emotional depth.
Reflecting the spirit of the early 1960s and the emergence of the British Invasion, “Please Please Me” embodies the youthful exuberance and optimism of the era. It captures the carefree nature of early romance and the excitement of discovering intense feelings for the first time.
While rooted in the cultural and musical context of the 1960s, “Please Please Me” continues to resonate with audiences across generations. Its universal themes of love, desire, and vulnerability remain relatable, making it a timeless classic.
- John Lennon – lead vocals, rhythm guitar, harmonica
- Paul McCartney – bass, harmony vocals
- George Harrison – lead guitar, backing vocals
- Ringo Starr – drums