The Paul McCartney Project

Do You Want To Know A Secret

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Please Please Me (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1963
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Do You Want to Know a Secret?” is a song by English rock group the Beatles from the 1963 album Please Please Me, sung by George Harrison. In the United States, it was the first top ten song to feature Harrison as a lead singer, reaching No. 2 on the Billboard chart in 1964 as a single released by Vee-Jay, VJ 587. The song reached the No. 1 position on Billboard in 1981 and No. 2 in the United Kingdom in a cover version by Stars on 45 as part of a medley.

Composition

Do You Want to Know a Secret?“, written in autumn 1962, was primarily composed by John Lennon but credited to Lennon–McCartney.The song was inspired by “I’m Wishing“, a tune from Walt Disney’s 1937 animated film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs which Lennon’s mother, Julia Lennon, would sing to him as a child. The first two lines of the song in Disney’s movie (“Want to know a secret? Promise not to tell?“) come right after the opening lyrics (“You’ll never know how much I really love you… You’ll never know how much I really care…“). McCartney has said it was a “50–50 collaboration written to order“, i.e., for Harrison to sing, but Lennon, who always claimed the song as his own, explained in a 1980 interview that he had realized as soon as he had finished writing the song that it best suited Harrison.

Recording

In 1980, Lennon said that he gave “Do You Want to Know a Secret?” to Harrison to sing because “it only had three notes and he wasn’t the best singer in the world“, but added “he has improved a lot since then.” Harrison sang two songs on Please Please Me, this song by Lennon–McCartney and “Chains” by Goffin/King. “Don’t Bother Me” from With The Beatles, was the first Beatles song composed solely by Harrison.

The song was recorded during a ten-hour session on 11 February 1963 along with nine other songs for Please Please Me.

Single release

Do You Want to Know a Secret?” was released a year later as a single by Vee-Jay in the United States on 23 March 1964, reaching the number two spot behind another Beatles song, “Can’t Buy Me Love” in Billboard, reaching number three on the Cash Box chart, but reaching number one for two weeks in the chart published by the Teletheatre Research Institute. In the U.S., it was the most successful Beatles song on which Harrison sang lead vocal until “Something” peaked at #1 as part of a double-sided number one hit with “Come Together” in 1969.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 25 Feb 1963.
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1202 Please Please Me 1963.
    US: Vee Jay VJLP 1062 Introducing 1963, Vee Jay VJ 587 single 1964.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46435 2 Please Please Me 1987.
  • [b] stereo 25 Feb 1963.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3042 Please Please Me 1963.
    US: Vee Jay VJSR 1062 Introducing 1963.
  • [b1] stereo remixed from [b] 1965, by Capitol.
    US: Capitol ST 2309 The Early 1965.
  • [b2] mono made from [b] 1965, by Capitol.
    US: Capitol T 2309 The Early 1965.

Last updated on February 7, 2016

Lyrics

You'll never know how much I really love you
You'll never know how much I really care

Listen
Do you want to know a secret
Do you promise not to tell, whoa oh, oh

Closer
Let me whisper in your ear
Say the words you long to hear
I'm in love with you

Listen
Do you want to know a secret
Do you promise not to tell, whoa oh, oh

Closer
Let me whisper in your ear
Say the words you long to hear
I'm in love with you

I've known the secret for a week or two
Nobody knows, just we two

Listen
Do you want to know a secret
Do you promise not to tell, whoa oh, oh

Closer
Let me whisper in your ear
Say the words you long to hear
I'm in love with you

Officially appears on


Please Please Me (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1963

1:56 • Studio versionA • Mono

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

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Twist and Shout

EP • Released in 1963

2:00 • Studio versionA • Mono

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

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Please Please Me (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1963

1:56 • Studio versionB • Stereo

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

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


The Early Beatles (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:01 • Studio versionB2 • Mono • Mono made from [B] by Capitol

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

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


The Early Beatles (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1965

1:57 • Studio versionB1 • Stereo • Stereo remixed from [B], by Capitol

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

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 25, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

2:17 • Outtake • Take 7

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

1:50 • LiveL1

Concert From "Saturday Club" in London, United Kingdom on Jan 26, 1963


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

1:55 • LiveL2

Concert From "Here We Go" in Manchester, United Kingdom on Mar 12, 1963


On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2

Official live • Released in 2013

1:48 • Radio showL3 • This is the last of six radio performances of a song from The Beatles’ debut album "Please Please Me". At the time of the broadcast, "Do You Want To Know A Secret" was at the top of the British EP chart as one of the four tracks on "Twist And Shout". A version recorded by Billy J. Kramer with The Dakotas reached number one in several British music papers’ charts in June. In America, as the A-side of a Beatles single on the Vee-Jay label, "Do You Want To Know A Secret" peaked at number two behind Louis Armstrong’s "Hello, Dolly" in May 1964.

George Harrison:
Vocals
Terry Henebery:
Producer

Concert From "Pop Go The Beatles" in London, United Kingdom on Jul 30, 1963

Bootlegs


The BBC Archives Volume 1

Unofficial live

1:53 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 2

Unofficial album

1:49 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 2

Unofficial album

1:47 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 5

Unofficial album

1:48 • Radio show


Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 1 (1962-1963)

Unofficial album • Released in 1989

2:01 • Outtake • Take 8 (track 2)

Session Recording:
Feb 11, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Live performances

“Do You Want To Know A Secret” has been played in 49 concerts and 1 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “Do You Want To Know A Secret” has been played


Pop Go The Beatles

Jul 30, 1963 • Part of BBC Sessions







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