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With a Little Help from My Friends

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"With a Little Help from My Friends"
Song by The Beatles
Album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Released 1 June 1967
Recorded 29-30 March 1967
Genre Pop Rock
Length 2:44
Label Parlophone, Capitol, EMI
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band track listing

Side one

  1. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band"
  2. "With a Little Help from My Friends"
  3. "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds"
  4. "Getting Better"
  5. "Fixing a Hole"
  6. "She's Leaving Home"
  7. "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite"

Side two

  1. "Within You Without You"
  2. "When I'm Sixty-Four"
  3. "Lovely Rita"
  4. "Good Morning Good Morning"
  5. "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)"
  6. "A Day in the Life"
Paul had the line about 'a little help from my friends.' He had some kind of structure for it, and we wrote it pretty well fifty-fifty from his original idea.

—John Lennon, 1970

This was written out at John's house in Weybridge for Ringo... I think that was probably the best of our songs that we wrote for Ringo actually. I remember giggling with John as we wrote the lines, 'What do you see when you turn out the light/ I can't tell you but I know it's mine.' It could have been him playing with his willie under the covers, or it could have been taken on a deeper level. This is what it meant but it was a nice way to say it — a very non-specific way to say it. I always liked that.

—Paul McCartney, 1994

It was Paul's idea. I think I helped with some of the words. In fact, I did. Hunter Davies was there when we did it and mentioned it in the book. 'What do you see when you turn out the light, I can't tell you but I know it's mine,' That was mine.

—John Lennon, 1980

Even now, I just saw Mel Torme on TV the other day saying that 'Lucy' was written to promote drugs and so was 'A Little Help from My Friends' and none of them were at all — 'A Litte Help from My Friends' only says get high in it, it's really about a little help from my friends, it's a sincere message.

—John Lennon

They knew it would be for the kids, a sing-along type of song. They thought the album was missing this sort of thing and I sat with them as they tried to get all the rhymes right.

—Hunter Davies, the Beatles authorized biographer, 1968

The original line was, 'What would you do if I sang out of tune, would you stand up and throw a tomato at me,' and I would not sing that line. I hated that line, so I refused to sing it. Besides changing that line, it took a lot of coaxing from Paul to get me to sing that last note. I just felt that it was very high.'

—Ringo Starr

John and Paul always wrote a song for Ringo on every album. 'With a Little Help from My Friends' proved to be that song. Paul wrote that and wrote it beautifully simple with just five notes. Terribly simple and terribly effective.

—George Martin

Have a listen:

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