The Paul McCartney Project

Girl

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Rubber Soul (UK Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1965
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Girl” is a song written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon/McCartney) and performed by the Beatles on their 1965 album Rubber Soul. “Girl” was the last complete song recorded for that album.

History

Girl” was probably one of the most melancholic and complex of the Beatles’ earlier love songs. The song’s instrumentalization has specific similarities to Greek music; similar to “And I Love Her” and “Michelle“. Lennon and George Harrison played acoustic guitars on the basic track and in addition, Harrison overdubbed the acoustic 12-string.

McCartney claimed that he contributed the lines “Was she told when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure” and “That a man must break his back to earn his day of leisure.” However, in a 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, John Lennon explained that he wrote these lines as a comment on Christianity which he was “opposed to at the time“. Lennon said: “I was just talking about Christianity, in that – a thing like you have to be tortured to attain heaven. […] – be tortured and then it’ll be alright, which seems to be a bit true but not in their concept of it. But I didn’t believe in that, that you have to be tortured to attain anything, it just so happens that you were.” McCartney also stated that the song’s backing vocals were influenced by a recent work by the Beach Boys: “The Beach Boys had a song out where they’d done ‘la la la’ and we loved the innocence of that and wanted to copy it, but not use the same phrase”.

Lennon said that the fantasy girl in the song’s lyric was an archetype he had been searching for his entire life (“There is no such thing as the girl — she was a dream“) and finally found in Yoko Ono. In an interview for Rolling Stone magazine on 5 December 1980, Lennon said his 1980 song “Woman“: “Reminds me of a Beatles track, but I wasn’t trying to make it sound like that. I did it as I did ‘Girl’ many years ago. So this is the grown-up version of ‘Girl.’

In November 1977, Capitol Records scheduled the United States release of “Girl” backed with “You’re Going to Lose That Girl” as a single (Capitol 4506) to accompany the release of Love Songs, a Beatles’ compilation album that contains both of these songs. However, the single was cancelled before it was issued.

Paul McCartney, in Many Years From Now, by Barry Miles:

In the song Girl that John wrote, there’s a Zorba-like thing at the end that I wrote which came from that holiday. I was very impressed with another culture’s approach because it was slightly different from what we did. We just did it on acoustic guitars instead of bouzoukis. […]

My main memory is that John wanted to hear the breathing, wanted it to be very intimate, so George Martin put a special compressor on the voice, then John dubbed it. […]

It was always amusing to see if we could get a naughty word on the record: ‘fish and finger pie’, ‘prick teaser’, ‘tit tit tit tit’. The Beach Boys had a song out where they’d done ‘la la la la’ and we loved the innocence of that and wanted to copy it, but not use the same phrase. So we were looking around for another phrase, so it was ‘dit dit dit dit’, which we decided to change in our waggishness to ‘tit tit tit tit’, which is virtually indistinguishable from ‘dit dit dit dit’. And it gave us a laugh.

It was to get some light relief in the middle of this real big career that we were forging. If we could put in something that was a little bit subversive then we would. George Martin might say, ‘Was that “dit dit” or “tit tit” you were singing?’ ‘Oh, “dit dit”, George, but it does sound a bit like that, doesn’t it?’ Then we’d get in the car and break down laughing.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 15 Nov 1965.
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1267 Rubber Soul 1965.
    US: Capitol T 2442 Rubber Soul 1965.
  • [b] stereo 15 Nov 1965.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3075 Rubber Soul 1965, Apple PCSP 717 The Beatles 1962-1966 1973.
    US: Capitol ST 2442 Rubber Soul 1965, Apple SKBO-3403 The Beatles 1962-1966 1973.
  • [c] stereo 1977.
    UK: Parlophone PCSP 721 Love Songs 1977.
    US: Capitol SKBL11711 Love Songs 1977.
  • [d] stereo 1987.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46440 2 Rubber Soul 1987, EMI CDP 7 97036 2 The Beatles 1962-1966 1993.

[c] has the vocal track in the center of the mix.

Last updated on March 25, 2016

Lyrics

Is there anybody going to listen to my story
All about the girl who came to stay?
She's the kind of girl
You want so much it makes you sorry
Still you don't regret a single day
Ah, girl, girl, girl

When I think of all the times
I tried so hard to leave her
She will turn to me and start to cry
And she promises the earth to me
And I believe her
After all this time I don't know why
Ah, girl, girl, girl

She's the kind of girl who puts you down
When friends are there
You feel a fool
When you say she's looking good
She acts as if it's understood
She's cool, ooo, ooo, ooo
Girl, girl, girl

Was she told when she was young
That pain would lead to pleasure?
Did she understand it when they said
That a man must break his back
To earn his day of leisure?
Will she still believe it when he's dead?
Ah, girl, girl, girl
Ah, girl, girl, girl

Officially appears on


Rubber Soul (UK Mono)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:30 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Acoustic 12-string guitar, Backing vocals, Lead acoustic guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 11, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 65, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Rubber Soul (US Mono)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:32 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Acoustic 12-string guitar, Backing vocals, Lead acoustic guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 11, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 65, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Rubber Soul (US Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:31 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Acoustic 12-string guitar, Backing vocals, Lead acoustic guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 11, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 65, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Rubber Soul (UK Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1965

2:30 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Acoustic 12-string guitar, Backing vocals, Lead acoustic guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 11, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 65, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 15, 1965
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Love

Official album • Released in 2006

2:43 • Studio version • This track includes sitar from "Within You Without You", guitar from "And I Love Her" and drums from "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!".

George Martin:
Producer
Giles Martin:
Producer
Paul Hicks:
Remix engineer
Sam Okell:
Remix engineer assistant
Chris Bolster:
Remix engineer assistant
Mirek Stiles:
Remix engineer assistant

Session Mixing:
Circa 2004-2006
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


Complete Rooftop Concert 1969

Unofficial live • Released in 2008

0:10 • Live • A Pretty Is Like A Melody

Concert From "The rooftop concert" in London, United Kingdom on Jan 30, 1969


Help! - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2011

2:25 • Alternate take • You\'re Gonna Lose That (Production Acetate Mono)


Help! - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2011

2:33 • Alternate take • You\'re Gonna Lose That (Rm From Take 3 Original Film Mix Mono)


Help! - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2011

2:19 • Alternate take • You\'re Gonna Lose That (Rs From Take 3 Version 1 Anthology Dvd Stereo)


Rubber Soul - Studio Sessions - Back To Basics

Unofficial album • Released in 2012

0:17 • Alternate take • (Take 1 Partial) (mono)


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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