The Paul McCartney Project

Don't Pass Me By

Written by Ringo Starr

Album This song officially appears on the The Beatles (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1968
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Don’t Pass Me By” is a song by the Beatles from the double album The Beatles (also known as the White Album). Lead vocals were performed by Ringo Starr. It was Starr’s first solo composition.

The song debuted at No. 1 in Denmark in April 1969. It stayed in the Top 10 for a month.

Origin

Starr first played his song for the other Beatles soon after he joined the group in August 1962. Its earliest public mention seems to have been in a BBC chatter session introducing “And I Love Her” on the radio show Top Gear in 1964. In the conversation, Starr was asked if he had written a song and Paul McCartney mocked him soon afterwards, singing the first line “Don’t pass me by, don’t make me cry, don’t make me blue, baby.

Recording

The song was recorded in four separate sessions in 1968: 5 and 6 June, and 5 and 12 July. Despite references to it in 1964 as “Don’t Pass Me By“, it was called “Ringo’s Tune (Untitled)” on 5 June session tape label and “This Is Some Friendly” on 6 June label. By 12 July, the title was restored.

During a lead vocal track recorded on 6 June, Starr audibly counted out eight beats, and it can be heard in the released song starting at 2:30 of the 1987 CD version. The monaural mix is faster than the stereo mix, and features a different arrangement of violin in the fade-out.

George Martin arranged an orchestral interlude as an introduction, but this was rejected. It would eventually be used as an incidental cue for the Beatles’ animated film Yellow Submarine. In 1996, the introduction was released as the track “A Beginning” on The Beatles Anthology 3 CD.

The line, “I’m sorry that I doubted you, I was so unfair, You were in a car crash and you lost your hair“, is cited by proponents of the “Paul is Dead” urban legend as a clue to McCartney’s fate; the line “you lost your hair” is claimed to be a reference to “When I’m Sixty-Four” (which was written by McCartney). However, the expression “to lose one’s hair” was a fairly common English idiom, and simply means “to become anxious or upset” (see, for instance, Elizabeth Bowen’s novel The Death of the Heart, 1938).

FromĀ The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 11 Oct 1968. edited.
    UK: Apple PMC 7067 white album 1968.
    US: Capitol SHAL-12060 Rarities 1980.
  • [b] stereo 11 Oct 1968. edited.
    UK: Apple PCS 7067 white album 1968.
    US: Apple SWBO 101 white album 1968.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46443 2 white album 1987.
  • [c] stereo 1996.
    CD: Apple CDP 8 34451 2 Anthology 3 1996.

Mono [a] runs faster, and it has more fiddle throughout the song, and different fiddle at the end. The fiddle at the end of stereo [b] seems to a repeat of a bit of the chorus. The edit added the intro.

Stereo [c] has only work from 5 and 6 June without the fiddle or intro added in July. It’s at the speed of the stereo mix [b].

Last updated on August 20, 2016

Lyrics

I listen for your footsteps coming up the drive
Listen for your footsteps but they don't arrive
Waiting for your knock, dear, on my old front door
I don't hear it, does it mean you don't love me anymore?

I hear the clock a ticking on the mantel shelf
See the hands a moving but I'm by myself
I wonder where you are tonight and why I'm by myself
I don't see you, does it mean you don't love me anymore?

Don't pass me by, don't make me cry, don't make me blue
'Cause you know darling I love only you
You never know it hurt me so, how I hate to see you go
Don't pass my by, don't make me cry

I'm sorry that I doubted you, I was so unfair
You were in a car crash and you lost your hair
You said that you would be late about an hour or two
I said that's all right, I'm waiting here, just waiting to hear from you

Don't pass me by, don't make me cry, don't make me blue
'Cause you know darling I love only you
You'll never know it hurt me so, how I hate to see you go
Don't pass my by, don't make me cry

One two three four five six seven eight

Don't pass me by, don't make me cry, don't make me blue
'Cause you know darling I love only you
You never know it hurt me so, how I hate to see you go
Don't pass my by, don't make me cry

Officially appears on


The Beatles (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1968

3:51 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Piano
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Piano, Sleigh bell, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
Jack Fallon:
Violin

Session Recording:
Jun 05, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
6 Jun, 12,22 Jul 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 11, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1968

3:51 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Piano
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Piano, Sleigh bell, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
Jack Fallon:
Violin

Session Recording:
Jun 05, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
6 Jun, 12,22 Jul 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 11, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Anthology 3

Official album • Released in 1996

2:42 • OuttakeC • Stereo • Takes 3 and 5. This recording of Don't Pass Me By - Ringo's first song composition - is a variation of the White Album basic master, before the distinctive country fiddle part was added. It combines the instrumentation from Take 3 with a vocal that Ringo overdubbed the following day on to Take 5 (which was in itself a reduction mix or "bounce" of the third take).

Session Recording:
Jun 05, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Jun 06, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

3:51 • Studio versionR2018 • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Piano
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Piano, Sleigh bell, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
Jack Fallon:
Violin

Session Recording:
Jun 05, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
6 Jun, 12,22 Jul 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 11, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

0:18 • Studio version • Take3 Video Mix stereo


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

0:17 • Studio version • Take 3 DVD Mix Stereo


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

2:41 • Studio version • RS From takes 3 & 5 Stereo


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

0:18 • Studio version • Unknown Take Mono


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

4:23 • Studio version • RM4 From Take 7 Mono


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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Amy Gdala Godiva 1 months ago

The re-release of the white album shows that Paul played drums on this track.


The PaulMcCartney Project 1 months ago

Thanks @amy ! I need time to digest everything that in the white album boxset !