I'll Follow The Sun

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Beatles For Sale (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1964
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other songs from the 1960 Braun Tape

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

I’ll Follow the Sun” is a song by the Beatles. It is a melancholy ballad written primarily and sung by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was released in 1964 on the Beatles for Sale album in the United Kingdom and on Beatles ’65 in the United States, but was written long before that year: a version recorded in 1960 can be found on the bootleg record You Might As Well Call Us the Quarrymen. The song is somewhat of a cult favourite; it was released as a mono extended play 45 in 1964 on Parlophone/EMI (and in 1995 as a B-side to Baby It’s You).

Lyrics

The song’s lyrics center around a man who feels he is unappreciated by a woman. The song is believed to be him giving her an ultimatum, and that, as the lyrics state, “One day, you’ll look to see I’ve gone.” There is an unwillingness on the part of the song’s narrator that adds a tenderness and tragedy to his leaving: “And now the time has come, and so, my love, I must go. And though I lose a friend, in the end you will know“…, as well as a reluctance on the man’s ability to finalize the breakup, by the repeated phrase……”but tomorrow may rain, so I’ll follow the sun.

Recording

One reason they didn’t use the song on their previous albums was because it wasn’t tough enough for their leather-jacketed early image. By the time they did record it for their fourth LP, the rhythm had changed from a rockabilly shuffle to a gentle cha-cha. Ringo Starr kept the beat by smacking his palms on his knees.

McCartney said of the song, “The next [single] had to always be different. We didn’t want to fall into the Supremes trap where they all sounded similar, so we were always keen on having varied instrumentation. Ringo couldn’t keep changing his drum kit, but he could change his snare, tap a cardboard box or slap his knees.

Paul McCartney, in The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn:

I wrote that in my front parlour in Forthlin Road. I was about 16. I’ll Follow The Sun was one of those very early ones. I seem to remember writing it just after I’d had the flu and I had that cigarette – I smoked when I was 16 – the cigarette that’s the ‘cotton wool’ one. You don’t smoke while you’re ill but after you get better you have a cigarette and it’s terrible, it tastes like cotton wool, horrible. I remember standing in the parlour, with my guitar, looking out through the lace curtains of the window, and writing that one. […] It wouldn’t have been considered good enough [to be performed by the group]. I wouldn’t have put it up. As I said before, we had this R&B image in Liverpool, a rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, hardish image with the leather. So I think that songs like I’ll Follow The Sun, ballads like that, got pushed back to later.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 21 Oct 1964
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1240 For Sale 1964.
    US: Capitol T 2228 Beatles ’65 1964.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46438 2 For Sale 1987.
  • [b] stereo 4 Nov 1964
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3062 For Sale 1964.
    US: Capitol ST 2228 Beatles ’65 1964.

The stereo mix [b] has more reverb than the mono.

McCartney performed the song live during The ‘US’ Tour; likewise at the Paris Olympia in 2007, in Kyev for the Independence Concert in 2008, in Quebec City at the free outdoor concert in 2008 (for the city’s 400th anniversary celebration), at Tel Aviv, Israel, in 2008, and during the Robin Hood Benefit concert in 2015.

Lyrics

One day
You'll look to see I've gone
For tomorrow may rain
So I'll follow the sun

Some day
You'll know I was the one
But tomorrow may rain
So I'll follow the sun

And now the time has come
And so my love I must go
And though I lose a friend
In the end you will know

Oh one day
You'll find that I have gone
But tomorrow may rain
So I'll follow the sun

Yet tomorrow may rain
So I'll follow the sun

And now the time has come
And so my love I must go
And though I lose a friend
In the end you will know

Oh one day
You'll find that I have gone
But tomorrow may rain
So I'll follow the sun

Officially appears on


Beatles For Sale (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

1:46 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Percussion
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Harmony vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 18, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Oct 21, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 65, Abbey Road


Beatles '65 (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

1:46 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Percussion
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Harmony vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 18, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Oct 21, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 65, Abbey Road


Beatles '65 (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

1:46 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Percussion
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Harmony vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 18, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 04, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Beatles For Sale (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

1:46 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Percussion
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Harmony vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 18, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Nov 04, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Beatles for Sale (No. 2)

EP • Released in 1965

1:53 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Percussion
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Harmony vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 18, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Oct 21, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 65, Abbey Road


Baby It's You

EP • Released in 1995

1:51 • Radio showL1

Concert From "Top Gear" in London, United Kingdom on Nov 26, 1964

Paul McCartney:
Bass guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
Bernie Andrews:
Producer

On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2

Official live • Released in 2013

1:51 • Radio showL1 • This early song of Paul's was at least four years old by the time it was revisited for Beatles For Sale. It was featured, along with three others from that album, during their second appearance on the late-night show Top Gear presented by Brian Matthew. This BBC recording was first issued in 1995 on the hit EP Baby It’s You.

Concert From "Top Gear" in London, United Kingdom on Nov 26, 1964

Paul McCartney:
Bass guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Rhythm guitar
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
Bernie Andrews:
Producer

Live performances

“I'll Follow The Sun” has been played in 53 concerts and 20 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “I'll Follow The Sun” has been played


Robin Hood Benefit

May 12, 2015 • USA • New York City • Jacob Javits Center


Friendship First Concert

Sep 25, 2008 • Israel • Tel Aviv • Ganey Yehoshua Park


400e Anniversaire De Quebec

Jul 20, 2008 • Canada • Quebec City • Plains Of Abraham


Independence Concert

Jun 14, 2008 • Ukraine • Kiev • Independence Square


Liverpool Sound

Jun 01, 2008 • United Kingdom • Liverpool • Anfield Stadium


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