Published on 1969
Track 1 on “Yellow Submarine”
What the Beatles said about “Yellow Submarine”
PAUL 1966: "It’s a happy place, that’s all. You know, it was just… We were trying to write a children’s song. That was the basic idea. And there’s nothing more to be read into it than there is in the lyrics of any children’s song."
JOHN 1972: "Paul wrote the catchy chorus. I helped with the blunderbuss bit."
JOHN 1980: "’Yellow Submarine’ is Paul’s baby. Donovan helped with the lyrics. I helped with the lyrics too. We virtually made the track come alive in the studio, but based on Paul’s inspiration. Paul’s idea. Paul’s title… written for Ringo."
PAUL 1984: "I wrote that in bed one night. As a kid’s story. And then we thought it would be good for Ringo to do."
PAUL circa-1994: "I was laying in bed in the Asher’s garret, and there’s a nice twilight zone just as you’re drifting into sleep and as you wake from it– I always find it quite a comfortable zone. I remember thinking that a children’s song would be quite a good idea… I was thinking of it as a song for Ringo, which it eventually turned out to be, so I wrote it as not too rangey in the vocal. I just made up a little tune in my head, then started making a story– sort of an ancient mariner, telling the young kids where he’d lived. It was pretty much my song as I recall… I think John helped out. The lyrics got more and more obscure as it goes on, but the chorus, melody and verses are mine."
GEORGE 1999: "Paul came up with the concept of ‘Yellow Submarine.’ All I know is just that every time we’d all get around the piano with guitars and start listening to it and arranging it into a record, we’d all fool about. As I said, John’s doing the voice that sounds like someone talking down a tube or ship’s funnel as they do in the merchant marine. (laughs) And on the final track there’s actually that very small party happening! As I seem to remember, there’s a few screams and what sounds like small crowd noises in the background."