The Beatles' music: quotes and info

“We Can Work It Out”

Beatles quotes about “We Can Work It Out”

JOHN 1980: “Paul did the first half, I did the middle-eight. But you’ve got Paul writing, ‘We can work it out/ We can work it out’ real optimistic, you know. And me, impatient, ‘Life is very short and there’s no time/ for fussing and fighting, my friend.'”

PAUL circa-1994: “I wrote it as more of an up-tempo thing, country and western. I had the basic idea, the title, had a couple of verses… then I took it to John to finish it off and we wrote the middle together, which is nice– ‘Life is very short/ And there’s no time for fussing and fighting my friend.’ Then it was George Harrison’s idea to put the middle into waltz time, like a german waltz… The lyrics might have been personal. It is often a good way to talk to someone or to work your thoughts out. It saves you going to a psychiatrist, you allow yourself to say what you might not say in person.”

About “We Can Work It Out”

"We Can Work It Out" / "Day Tripper" single cover
“We Can Work It Out” / “Day Tripper” single cover

A collaborative effort between Paul McCartney and John Lennon resulted in “We Can Work It Out.”. The song was released in December 1965 as a double A-side single with “Day Tripper“. The song also appeared on Yesterday and Today in 1966. In Britain, this was the first time both tracks on a single were promoted as joint A-sides. This song was recorded during Rubber Soul‘s sessions. In Britain (where it won the Ivor Novello Award for the top-selling A-side of 1965), America, Australia, Canada, and Ireland, the single reached number one. It was the seventh best-selling single in the UK in the 1960s.

As a comparatively rare collaboration between Lennon and McCartney, “We Can Work It Out” recalls the level of collaboration the two had shared when writing the group’s hit singles from 1963. There are a few notable exceptions to this rule, including “A Day in the Life“, “Baby, You’re a Rich Man” and “I’ve Got a Feeling“.


  • Paul McCartney – double-tracked lead vocal, bass guitar
  • John Lennon – harmony vocal, acoustic guitar, harmonium
  • George Harrison – tambourine
  • Ringo Starr – drums