The Beatles' music: quotes and info

“The Word”

  • Published on 1965
  • Author: Lennon/McCartney
  • Track 6 on “Rubber Soul

Beatles quotes about “The Word”

JOHN 1980: “‘The Word’ was written together (with Paul), but it’s mainly mine. You read the words, it’s all about gettin’ smart. It’s the marijuana period. It’s love. It’s a love and peace thing. The word is ‘love,’ right?”

PAUL circa-1994: “We smoked a bit of pot, then we wrote out a multi-colored lyric sheet, the first time we’d ever done that. We normally didn’t smoke when we were working.”

About “The Word”

The song was co-written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Musically, the song is founded on a driving funk beat, with few chord changes and a simple melody in the key of D major.

In his review for the 50th anniversary of Rubber Soul, Jacob Albano of Classic Rock Review writes that “The Word” is the first song on its parent album not to be “absolutely excellent,” calling the harmonies “a bit too forced.” However, Albano still considered the song “entertaining”, and complimented the “piano backdrop” and Starr’s drum performance.

In 2018, the music staff of Time Out London ranked “The Word” at number 33 on their list of the best Beatles songs.


  • John Lennon – lead vocal, rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – falsetto and double-tracked backing vocals, bass, piano
  • George Harrison – double-tracked backing vocal, lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums, maracas
  • George Martin – harmonium

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