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Song by The Beatles
Album Rubber Soul
Released 3 December 1965
Recorded 11 November 1965,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Folk rock
Length 2:33
Label Parlophone
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Rubber Soul track listing
That's me. Writing about this dream girl again — the one that hadn't come yet. It was Yoko.

—John Lennon, The Playboy Interviews, p.166, 1980

It was John's original idea, but it was very much co-written. I remember writing 'the pain and pleasure,' and 'a man must break his back.' it was all very working-on-the-chain-gang. My main memory is that John wanted to hear the breathing, wanted it to be very intimate, so George Martin put a special compressor on the voice, then John dubbed it.

It was amusing to see if we could get a naughty word on the record, 'fish and finger pie', 'prick teaser', 'tit tit tit tit'. The Beach Boys had a song out where they'd done 'la la la la' and we loved the innocence of that and wanted to copy it but not use the same phrase. So we were looking around for another phrase — 'dit dit dit dit,' which we decided to change it in our waggishness to 'tit tit tit tit.' And it gave us a laugh. It was good to get some light relief in the middle of this real big career that we were forging. If we could put in something that was a little bit subversive then we would. George Martin would say, 'Was that "dit-dit" or "tit-tit" you were singing?' 'Oh! "dit-dit" George, but it does sound a bit like that, doesn't it?' Then we'd get in the car and break down laughing. So I credit that as being towards John but I put quite a bit in. It wasn't one that he came in with fully finished at all.

—Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now by Barry Miles, p.275-76, 1994

'Girl' is real. There is no such thing as the girl, she was a dream, but the words are all right. It wasn't just a song, and it was about that girl — that turned out to be Yoko, in the end — the one that a lot of us were looking for.

It's about 'Was she taught when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure, did she understand it?' Sort of philosophy quotes I was thinking about when I wrote it. I was trying to say something or other about Christianity, which I was opposed to at the time because I was brought up in the Church.

I was pretty heavy on the Church in both books, but it was never picked iup, although it was obviously there. I was talking about Christianity, in that you have to be tortured and then it'll be all right, which seems to be true, but not in their concept of it. I didn't believe in that: that you have to be tortured to attain anything; it just so happens that you are.

—John Lennon, 'Lennon Remembers' interview in Rolling Stone, 1971

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