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Song by The Beatles
Album Please Please Me
Released 22 March 1963] (mono)
26 April 1963 (stereo)
Recorded 11 February 1963
Genre Pop rock
Length 1:47
Label Parlophone
Writer McCartney/Lennon
Producer George Martin
Please Please Me track listing
We were asked by Norrie Paramour (of EMI's Columbia label) to write a song for Helen Shapiro, for her to record in Nashville. We've called it 'Misery,' but it isn't as slow as it sounds. It moves along at quite a pace and we think Helen will make a pretty good job of it. We've also done a number for Duffy Power which he isn't going to record.

—Paul McCartney, 1963

John and I were a songwriting team, and what songwriting teams did in those days was wrote for everyone. 'Misery' was for Helen Shapiro, and she turned it down. It may not have been that successful for her because it's rather a downbeat song... 'the world is treating me bad, misery.' It was quite pessimistic. And in the end Kenny Lynch did it. Kenny used to come out on tour with us, and he used to sing it. That was one of his minor hits.

—Paul McCartney, 1988

I got on great with them and John was like a brother to me. Very protective. He and Paul certainly offered 'Misery' to me first, through Norrie, but I didn't know anything about it until I met them on the first day of the tour. [...] Apparently he'd turned it down even though I hadn't heard it.

—Helen Shapiro, A Hard Day's Write by Steve Turner, p.20, 1994

It was kind of a John song, more than a Paul song ... but it was written together.

—John Lennon, 1980

The slightly solemn plagal introduction turns out to be an irony: for it ushers in a G major tune, sung by John and Paul, which is regular in metre and closer to the music-hall than to folk song or blues. The tune — beginning with a falling sixth, then rising up the scale, with an upward pentatonic twist and melisma on bad — is guileless, tender yet at the same time perky.

—Wilfrid Mellers, Twilight of the Gods: The Music of the Beatles, p.36 , 1973

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