The Paul McCartney Project

From Me To You

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the From Me To You / Thank You Girl 7" Single.
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:

From Me to You” is a song written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon and released by the Beatles as their third single in 1963. The single was the Beatles’ first number one in some of the United Kingdom charts, second in others, but failed to make an impact in the United States at the time of its initial release. However, a 1963 cover version released by Del Shannon resulted in the song becoming the first Lennon–McCartney tune to enter the American pop chart. It was one of the very last songs to be credited “McCartney–Lennon”; soon afterwards their songs began appearing credited to “Lennon–McCartney”.

Composition

Lennon and McCartney began writing “From Me to You” while on a coach heading to Shrewsbury as part of the Beatles’ tour with Helen Shapiro. The title was inspired by the name of the letters section of the New Musical Express, which they had been reading: “From You to Us“. McCartney noted that their early songs tended to include the words “I”, “me” or “you” in them, as a way of making them “very direct and personal“.

In his 1980 interview with Playboy, Lennon recalled writing the song: “We were writing it in a car I think, and I think the first line was mine. I mean I know it was mine. [Hums melody of first line.] And then after that we took it from there. It was far bluesier than that when we wrote it. The notes—today you could rearrange it pretty funky.

Before that interview, Lennon had stated, “We nearly didn’t record it because we thought it was too bluesy at first, but when we’d finished it and George Martin had scored it with harmonica, it was alright.

McCartney also talked about rearranging the song in 1964: “From Me to You”—it could be done as an old ragtime tune—especially the middle eight—and so we’re not writing the tunes in any particular idiom. In five years’ time we may arrange the tunes differently. But we’ll probably write the same old rubbish!

McCartney was not the only one on the bus who called it rubbish—singer Kenny Lynch, upon hearing the Beatles singing “ooh“, remarked “You can’t do that. You’ll sound like a bunch of fucking fairies!” Soon afterwards he stormed off, declaring the Beatles did not know anything about songwriting. Roger Greenway recounted the story: “John and Paul were sitting at the back of the coach and Kenny Lynch, who at this time fancied himself as a songwriter, sauntered up to the back of the coach and Kenny Lynch … decided he would help them write a song. After a period of about half-an-hour had elapsed and nothing seemed to be coming from the back, Kenny rushed to the front and shouted, ‘Well, that’s it. I am not going to write any more of that bloody rubbish with those idiots. They don’t know music from their backsides. That’s it! No more help from me!”

Regardless, the song was regarded by the Beatles as innovative and catchy enough to be released as a single. This was one Lennon–McCartney song that the duo truly co-wrote; McCartney described it as “very much co-written“.

Melody and lyrics

From Me to You” comprises five verses and two bridges. The form is Intro, V V B, V V B, V, Coda. The first half of the fourth verse is instrumental. The last half of each verse is a mini-refrain, while the lyrics of the bridges are identical. The verses each consist of a rather short eight measures played in C-major. In the bridge the song modulates to the subdominant (IV) key: F-major. The tonic-subdominant modulation is almost a cliché, but Lennon & McCartney avoids the cliché by going another route from I to IV than the standard I-I7-IV. At the bridge’s climax, the chord changes are accompanied by “woo!” Another characterising element in the bridge is the augmented chord – a Gaug – that ends the bridge and leads back to home key (C-major). Lennon plays prominent harmonica solos during the beginning, middle and end of the song, as he did with “Love Me Do“.

McCartney said of the song: “The thing I liked about “From Me to You” was it had a very complete middle. It went to a surprising place. The opening chord of the middle section of that song heralded a new batch for me. That was a pivotal song. Our songwriting lifted a little with that song.

The idea of singing the song’s opening lick—the “da da da da da dum dum da” part—was suggested by George Martin, the Beatles’ producer. The group thought it unusual but put their trust in Martin. “In a way, this made [the Beatles] aware of George’s enormous musical sense,” EMI producer Ron Richards later said.

In the song, the singer offers his love to the object of his affections—he has “everything that you want“. Although the song is based on first-person pronouns, it lacks a lead singer.

Recording and UK release

I asked them for another song as good as ‘Please Please Me,’” George Martin said, “and they brought me one — ‘From Me to You.’ . . . There seemed to be a bottomless well of songs.

The recording on 5 March 1963 at Abbey Road Studios went without a hitch and on 11 April Parlophone released “From Me to You” in the UK as a single, with “Thank You Girl” on the B-side, catalogue number R5015. Nine days later, it kicked off a twenty-one week run in the British charts, reaching number one on 4 May, a position it would retain for seven weeks.

From Me to You” featured Lennon playing harmonica in a Jimmy Reed-inspired blues style he had learned from Delbert McClinton, another American who was on the same bill with the Beatles in the early Sixties. “It’s chiseled in stone now that I taught Lennon how to play harmonica,” McClinton said. “John said, ‘Show me something.’ I was in a pretty unique position, because there just weren’t a lot of people playing harmonica in popular music.

From Me to You” was the first Beatles song to reach number one in Britain and is widely considered to be their first chart-topping song, for although “Please Please Me” reached the summit on almost every chart, it was only number two on Record Retailer’s chart, generally considered to be the most authoritative for the time. “From Me to You” would be the first of eleven consecutive British number one singles by the Beatles.

From Me to You” replaced Gerry and the Pacemakers’ “How Do You Do It“, a song that had been offered to the Beatles (and even recorded by them, though it remained officially unreleased until 1995) but ultimately rejected by them in favour of “Love Me Do“. Gerry & The Pacemakers, who also hailed from Liverpool, were very much rivals of the Beatles in their early days—Gerry and the Pacemakers attained the first number one (“How Do You Do It“) before the Beatles, and also claimed their second and third number ones before the Beatles did, slowly losing steam afterwards as Beatlemania launched and the Beatles dominated music worldwide in 1964.

A true indication of how successful the Beatles became thanks to “From Me to You” (though it would soon be overshadowed by “She Loves You” and “I Want to Hold Your Hand“) was expressed by McCartney: “The first time I thought we’d really made it, was when I was lying in bed one morning, and I heard a milkman whistling ‘From Me to You’. Actually, I’m sure that I once heard a bird whistling it as well. I swear I did!

First US release

When it released “Please Please Me” in the United States, Vee-Jay Records signed a licensing agreement giving it the right of first refusal on Beatles records for five years. Despite the failure of “Please Please Me” to catch on, Vee-Jay chose to release “From Me to You“; as a result, it was never turned down by Capitol, because it was never offered to them. “From Me to You” was released on Vee-Jay 522, with “Thank You Girl” on the B-side, on 27 May 1963. Even though Cash Box magazine called it a “Pick of the Week” when it was released, it initially failed even more miserably than its predecessor; through the end of June, “From Me to You” sold fewer than 4,000 copies and had failed to chart anywhere.

When Del Shannon released a cover version of “From Me to You” on Bigtop Records in June, Vee-Jay tried to stimulate more interest in the original, both by placing magazine ads and by sending out additional promotional copies of the 45 stamped with the words “The Original Hit“. But the biggest boost to the Beatles’ version came from Dick Biondi, who had played “Please Please Me” on WLS in Chicago. Biondi was fired by WLS in May and relocated to KRLA 1110 in Los Angeles in June. He was able to convince his new employer to add “From Me to You” to its playlist, and it entered KRLA’s “Tune-Dex” on 14 July, spending six weeks on the chart and peaking at 32 on 11 August.

Because of the airplay, and resulting sales, in Los Angeles, “From Me to You” made the “Bubbling Under” portion of the Billboard Hot 100 for three weeks, peaking at number 116 on 10 August, the same time the single peaked in Los Angeles. It was the first time the Beatles appeared on a national chart in the United States. The late attention in Los Angeles spurred sales of the 45; in the end, the original edition of “From Me to You” sold approximately 22,000 copies, roughly three times as many as “Please Please Me” had.

Second US release

Vee-Jay chose to couple “From Me to You” with “Please Please Me” when it re-released the single on 30 January 1964, shortly after film of the Beatles had appeared on The Jack Paar Program, a prime-time television show. Had Vee-Jay known how all-encompassing Beatlemania would become, it likely would have saved “From Me to You” for use as an A-side, the way it did with “Twist and Shout” and “Do You Want to Know a Secret“. But even as a B-side, “From Me to You” entered the Billboard charts on 7 March and peaked at number 41. The double-sided hit sold approximately 1.1 million copies in 1964.

Album availability

The song’s first appearance on an LP was on the Canadian album Twist and Shout in 1964. In 1966 it was issued in the UK on A Collection of Beatles Oldies. In 1973, it became available in the UK and, for the first time, the US, on the double LP 1962–1966. The first release on CD was in 1988 when it was included in the Past Masters compilation. It was later released on the 1962-1966 double CD and the single CD compilation 1.

Alternative mixes

The mono version, which was issued as a single in 1963, has appeared on the 1988 issue of Past Masters, the 1962–1966 CD reissues, the 1 compilation released in 2000, and Mono Masters in 2009. The stereo version was included on the 1966 compilation A Collection of Beatles Oldies, the original LP issues of 1962–1966 in 1973, and the 2009 reissue of Past Masters. The intro to the stereo version (recorded on two tracks) lacks the harmonica inserted into the mono mix. […]

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 14 Mar 1963. edited.
    UK: Parlophone R5015 single 1963, Parlophone PMC 7016 Collection of Oldies 1966.
    US: Vee Jay VJ 522 single 1963, Vee Jay VJ 581 single 1964, Vee Jay VJLP 1085 and VJSR 1085 The Beatles and Frank Ifield on Stage 1963.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 90044 2 Past Masters 1 1988, EMI single 1988, EMI CDP 7 97036 2 The Beatles 1962-1966 1993.
  • [b] stereo 14 Mar 1963. edited.
    Germany: Odeon SMO 83 991 (later 1C 062-04 207) Beatles Greatest 1965, Odeon STO 73 692 (later 1C 062-04 363) Beatles Beat 1966.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 7016 Collection of Oldies 1966, Apple PCSP 717 The Beatles 1962-1966 1973.
    Australia: Parlophone PCSO 7533 Greatest Hits 1 1966.
    US: Apple SKBO-3403 The Beatles 1962-1966 1973.

The new sound added while making “track 2”, the second generation– the vocal in the intro and all the harmonica– was mixed into both tracks, so it sounds centered when heard in stereo [b]. In fact the master tape of take 8, which is the second generation tape composed of the sound from take 7 plus live sound, appears virtually unmixed as [b].The mono mix [a] also has a harmonica added during the intro, which is quite interesting since the session tapes as heard on bootlegs do not reveal any such edit piece. From available evidence it appears that the mono mix’s intro must have been made by synchronizing two source tapes, not too hard since it is right at the beginning of the song and is quite short. No tape has the harmonica alone, so it would be a section of the instrumental verse that was used. Note slight “phasing” in the drum sound by the end of the intro, in [a], as the synchronization slips.

Capitol missed this song somehow so the Vee Jay issues were the only US release until 1973. Vee Jay did not have the stereo mix and used the mono version on the stereo LP VJSR 1085 (Thank You Girl is also mono there).

Last updated on May 26, 2016

Lyrics

Da-da da, da-da da da da
Da-da da, da-da da da da

If there's anything that you want
If there's anything I can do
Just call on me and I'll send it along
With love, from me to you

I got everything that you want
Like a heart that's oh so true
Just call on me and I'll send it along
With love, from me to you

I got arms that long to hold you
And keep you by my side
I got lips that long to kiss you
And keep you satisfied, ooh

If there's anything that you want
If there's anything I can do
Just call on me and I'll send it along
With love, from me to you

Call on me
To you
Just call on me and I'll send it along
With love, from me to you

I got arms that long to hold you
And keep you by my side
I got lips that long to kiss you
And keep you satisfied, ooh

If there's anything that you want
If there's anything I can do
Just call on me and I'll send it along
With love, from me to you
To you, to you, to you

Officially appears on


From Me To You / Thank You Girl

7" Single • Released in 1963

1:58 • Studio versionA • Mono

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

Session Recording:
Mar 05, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 14, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles' Hits

EP • Released in 1963

1:56 • Studio versionA • Mono

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

Session Recording:
Mar 05, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 14, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


A Collection of Beatles Oldies (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1966

1:54 • Studio versionA • Mono

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

Session Recording:
Mar 05, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 14, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


A Collection of Beatles Oldies (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1966

1:54 • Studio versionB • Stereo

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

Session Recording:
Mar 05, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 14, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Past Masters

Official album • Released in 1988

1:57 • Studio versionA

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

Session Recording:
Mar 05, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 14, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Anthology 1

Official album • Released in 1995

2:06 • LiveL1

Klas Burling:
Producer
Hans Westman:
Engineer

Concert From "Pop '63" in Stockholm, Sweden on Oct 24, 1963


1

Official album • Released in 2000

1:55 • Studio version


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

3:24 • Outtake • Takes 1 & 2

Session Recording:
Mar 05, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

2:17 • Outtake • Take 5

Session Recording:
Mar 05, 1963
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Bootleg Recordings 1963

Official album • Released in 2013

1:54 • Radio showL2

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


Bootlegs


Looking Through The Bent Backed Tulips

Unofficial live

1:57 • Live


The BBC Archives Volume 1

Unofficial live

1:54 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 2

Unofficial album

2:22 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 2

Unofficial album

1:57 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 2

Unofficial album

1:53 • Radio show


Videos

Live performances

“From Me To You” has been played in 102 concerts.

Latest concerts where “From Me To You” has been played


Glasgow • SSE Hydro

Dec 14, 2018 • Part of Freshen Up Tour


Liverpool • Echo Arena

Dec 12, 2018 • Part of Freshen Up Tour




Krakow • Tauron Arena

Dec 03, 2018 • Part of Freshen Up Tour



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