- Album This song officially appears on the Hello Little Girl 7" Single.
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“Hello Little Girl” is the first song ever written by John Lennon. According to Lennon, he drew on an old “Thirties or Forties song” that his mother sang to him. Written in 1957, it was used as one of the songs at the Beatles unsuccessful Decca audition in 1962. They recorded a home demo of it, with Stuart Sutcliffe on bass, which is available only on bootleg currently.
In 1963, the English Merseybeat band the Fourmost made a recording of the song in the Abbey Road Studios (produced by George Martin) and released it as their debut single. Two weeks later Gerry & The Pacemakers also recorded a version of the song, but the version by the Fourmost was selected for the issue and reached number 9 in the United Kingdom.
Albeit different from the previous version with Sutcliffe, the Beatles’ version of the song can be found on Anthology 1, with John Lennon as the lead singer.
The Fourmost’ version of this song is also on The Songs Lennon and McCartney Gave Away.
The song appears in the 2010 biopic Nowhere Boy in a scene showing Lennon singing it for McCartney while recording it on a small reel-to-reel tape recorder. The songwriting credits in the movie specify John Lennon only.
Paul McCartney in "Many Years From Now", by Barry Miles:
Unfortunately the words aren’t too wonderful. They’re a bit average, but the Fourmost were eager to have a hit and they were very good friends of ours. They were more of a comedy group, a really very funny cabaret act, and when it came to making a record and being serious on a TV show, they always laughed and giggled. They were always having such a laugh, it was very difficult for them. They just weren’t the kind of guys who were going to get a major hit. I tried a few times.
Here is what RollingStone says about the home recorded 1960 version with Stu:
Twee, but tuneful, this was an original the Beatles believed in enough to run it out at their failed Decca audition on January 1st, 1962. This version has more charm, if less polish. Took some balls to think you could write a song as a teenager back then, as that wasn’t something even adult players and singers did. So a touch, then, of swagger as well, an attitude that would serve the band well in just a couple years, when everyone was telling them how much they sucked. And mark those Lennon and Macca harmonies. They’re in place, and they aren’t going anywhere.
John and I were a song writing team and what song writing teams did in those days was write for everyone – unless you couldn’t come up with something or wanted to keep a song for yourself and it was a bit too good to give away. John and I would get together, ‘Oh we gotta write one for Billy J, OK’… and we just knocked them out. In our minds there was a very vague formula and we could do it quite easily.Paul McCartney – From a late eighties interview – From “Northern Songs: The True Story of the Beatles Song Publishing Empire”, by Rupert Perry
Last updated on November 8, 2021
Officially appears on
1:41 • Studio version
Unofficial album • Released in 1996
1:52 • Demo
Unofficial album • Released in 2002
1:57 • Demo
Unofficial album • Released in 2010
1:42 • Demo