The Paul McCartney Project

Ask Me Why

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Please Please Me / Ask Me Why 7" Single.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1963

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions






Related songs


A Picture Of You

Unreleased song

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Ask Me Why” is a song by English rock group the Beatles originally released in the United Kingdom as the B-side of their hit single “Please Please Me“. It was also included on their first UK album, Please Please Me.

Composition

Written in early 1962, “Ask Me Why” is principally a John Lennon composition, but was credited to Paul McCartney and John Lennon, as were all other Lennon–McCartney originals on the first pressings of Please Please Me album. Paul McCartney: “It was John’s original idea and we both sat down and wrote it together, just did a job on it. It was mostly John’s.” (Barry Miles. Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now). It was part of their live act prior to their recording contract, and was one of the songs performed at their first Parlophone recording session in EMI’s Abbey Road studio two on 6 June 1962. The song emulates in style that of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, by whom Lennon was influenced, and draws its opening guitar phrase from the Miracles’ “What’s So Good About Goodbye” (1961).

The song is in the key of E major, with some leaning to its relative minor of C#, and is in 4/4 time. Structurally, the song is complex and, as Alan Pollack states, contains three different variants of the verse. The song also contains “jazzy parallel sevenths” in most of the chords, and has a live ending.

Recording

Ask Me Why” was originally recorded at Abbey Road studios on 6 June 1962 with drummer Pete Best. None of the performances recorded that day were deemed suitable for release, and the two quarter-inch tape reels from that session were later destroyed by EMI.

It was recorded again, along with “Please Please Me“, on 26 November 1962 with Ringo Starr on drums. The Beatles also rehearsed “Tip of My Tongue“, another Lennon and McCartney song which was also being considered for the B-side of the “Please Please Me” single. However, George Martin felt that “Tip of My Tongue” still needed some work, and it was eventually given to Tommy Quickly to record.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 26 Nov 1962.
    UK: Parlophone R4983 single 1963.
    US: Vee Jay VJ 498 single 1963.
  • [b] mono 25 Feb 1963.
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1202 Please Please Me 1963.
    US: Vee Jay VJLP 1062 Introducing second issue 1963, Vee Jay VJ 581 single 1964.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46435 2 Please Please Me 1987, EMI single 1988.
  • [c] stereo 25 Feb 1963.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3042 Please Please Me 1963.
    US: Vee Jay VJSR 1062 Introducing second issue 1963.
  • [c1] stereo remixed from [b] 1965, by Capitol.
    US: Capitol ST 2309 The Early 1965.
  • [c2] mono made from [c] 1965, by Capitol.
    US: Capitol T 2309 The Early 1965.

There is no known difference between the two mono mixes. The Vee Jay single is early enough that it must be the older mix. I assume blindly that the later mix is the one used for all subsequent appearances including the CD single, but possibly the CD single uses the older mix.

Last updated on February 7, 2016

Lyrics

I love you
Cause you tell me things I want to know
And it's true
That it really only goes to show
That I know that I, I, I, I,
Should never never never be blue

Now you're mine
My happiness dear makes me cry
And in time
You'll understand the reason why
If I cry it's not because I'm sad
But you're the only love that I've ever had

I can't believe,
It's happened to me
I can't conceive of anymore misery
Ask me why, I'll say I love you
And I'm always thinking of you

I love you
Cause you tell me things I want to know
And it's true
That it really only goes to show
That I know that I, I, I, I
Should never never never be blue

Ask me why, I'll say I love you
And I'm always thinking of you

I can't believe, it's happened to me
I can't conceive of anymore misery
Ask me why, I'll say I love you
And I'm always thinking of you, you, you

Officially appears on


Please Please Me (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1963

2:24 • Studio versionB • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison :
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Norman Smith :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 26, 1962
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 30, 1962
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Please Please Me / Ask Me Why

7" Single • Released in 1963

2:25 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison :
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Norman Smith :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 26, 1962
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 30, 1962
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Please Please Me (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1963

2:24 • Studio versionC • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison :
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Norman Smith :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 26, 1962
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 30, 1962
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


All My Loving

EP • Released in 1964

2:29 • Studio versionB

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison :
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Norman Smith :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 26, 1962
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 30, 1962
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Early Beatles (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:28 • Studio versionC2 • Mono • Mono made from [C] by Capitol

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison :
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Norman Smith :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 26, 1962
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 30, 1962
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Early Beatles (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:28 • Studio versionC1 • Stereo • Stereo remixed from [C] by Capitol

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison :
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Norman Smith :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 26, 1962
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 30, 1962
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2

Official live • Released in 2013

1:54 • Radio showL1 • "Ask Me Why" became the first ever Lennon-McCartney song to be broadcast when it was featured during Here We Go in June 1962. The Beatles recorded the B-side of ‹Please Please Me› four times for BBC radio; this is their final performance.

John Lennon :
Vocals
Ian Grant :
Producer

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Sep 24, 1963


The Singles Collection

Official album • Released in 2019

Studio version

Bootlegs


Star Club - Hamburg, Germany - December 1962

Unofficial live

2:36 • Live


The BBC Archives Volume 1

Unofficial live

2:18 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 1

Unofficial live

2:15 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 1

Unofficial live

2:22 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 7

Unofficial album

1:56 • Radio show


Live performances

“Ask Me Why” has been played in 5 concerts.

Latest concerts where has been played


Pop Go The Beatles

Sep 24, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions


Pop Go The Beatles

Jul 16, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions


The Talent Spot

Jan 29, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions


Here We Go

Jan 25, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions


Teenager's Turn - Here We Go

Jun 15, 1962 • Part of BBC Sessions


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