Two Of Us

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Let It Be (Limited Edition) LP.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1970

Master release


Related interviews


The "Driving Rain" interview

November 2001 • From paulmccartney.com

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Two of Us” is a 1969 song written by Paul McCartney and credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. The song was recorded by the Beatles on 31 January 1969.

“Two of Us” was originally released as the opening track on Let It Be (1970) and a remix of that recording was later included on Let It Be… Naked (2003). An outtake of the song, recorded on 24 January 1969, was released on Anthology 3 (1996).

The song’s title was used for the 2000 TV movie Two of Us, which depicts a fictionalized version of a 1976 reunion between McCartney and Lennon.

History

The song was originally titled “On Our Way Home”. Ian MacDonald claimed the lyrics (e.g.: “you and I have memories/longer than the road that stretches out ahead” or “you and me chasing paper/getting nowhere”) sounded like McCartney was probably addressing Lennon and contractual troubles. “You Never Give Me Your Money“, a different composition by McCartney from the previously released album, but recorded after Let It Be, Abbey Road, also refers to The Beatles’ contract with Allen Klein as “funny paper”.

An early performance of the song, in a guitar-driven rock style, can be seen in the Let It Be film. Unsatisfied with this style, which McCartney described as “chunky”, the band reworked the song around acoustic guitars. The Beatles performed a finished version of the song live at Apple Studios on 31 January 1969; this performance was included in both the Let It Be film and album. The clip was also broadcast on The Ed Sullivan Show on 1 March 1970 as the final appearance by the Beatles on the program.

In between several takes of the song on 24 January 1969, the band spontaneously started playing a hammed-up version of traditional Liverpudlian song “Maggie Mae“. The 38-second song would also end up on the Let It Be album, but is omitted in Let It Be… Naked. A version of Two of Us on the same day is released on Anthology 3.

In May 1969, McCartney produced a recording of the song using this title by the group Mortimer, a New York City trio that briefly recorded for Apple, but this recording was never released.

On the Let It Be album, producer Phil Spector added, as a spoken introduction to the song, a remark by Lennon, who says: “‘I Dig A Pygmy’ by Charles Hawtrey and the Deaf-Aids! Phase one, in which Doris gets her oats!” This intro was removed in the Let It Be… Naked version. […]

Paul McCartney in "Conversations With McCartney", by Paul Du Noyer:

All my songs, I often do that, so they can be taken more than one way. Even though I was married and in love with Linda, I’ve never written a song, [improvises] ‘Me and Linda, going out driving…’ It’s awkward, I don’t think it works. So I’d be happier to go ‘two of us,’ and it becomes a bit of a mystery: ‘Which two did you mean?’

Linda used to drive out of London and liked to try and get lost. I remember we went out west one day until we hit countryside, the buildings went away, we’d park up and go into the woods and fields. I’ve got photos that Linda took of me sitting on the car with my guitar, doing that song. So it was that idea of two of us going nowhere. I don’t know what ‘spending someone’s hard-earned pay’ is, it’s just a line, doesn’t particularly mean anything to me. Or ‘burning matches, lifting latches’, there weren’t any matches or latches. It was just, ‘two of us doing stuff’, you could call that song.

Because John and I sang it, obviously then the interpretation would be, ‘Oh, those are the two of us’. It was basically about me and Linda. But when I sang it with John, it becomes about me and John.

I like that. […] I love that reinterpretation that songs do. It’s magical.

As a kid, I loved getting lost. I would say to my father, ‘Let’s get lost.’ But you could never seem to be able to get really lost. All signs would eventually lead back to New York or wherever we were staying. When I moved to England to be with Paul, we would put Martha, Paul’s sheepdog, in the back of the car and drive out of London. And as soon as we were on the open road, I’d say, ‘Let’s get lost,’ and we’d keep driving without looking at any signs. Hence the line in the song, ‘Two of us going nowhere’. Paul wrote that on one of those days out.

Linda McCartney – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

[a] stereo 25 Mar 1970 (intro, 27 Mar 1970).
UK: Apple PXS 1 and PCS 7096 Let It Be 1970.
US: Apple AR 34001 Let It Be 1970.
CD: EMI CDP 7 46447 2 Let It Be 1987.

“I dig a pygmy. . .Doris gets her oats”, recorded Jan 22 [21?], was edited onto the start on Jan 27.

From beatlesebooks.com
From Twitter – PaulMcCartneyTheLyrics #Beatles 1968 “There’s a photograph of me in the Aston Martin, sitting with the driver’s door open and my feet out. I’ve got my guitar. That’s me writing ‘Two of Us’.”

Last updated on January 4, 2022

The book "The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present", published in 2021, covers Paul McCartney's early Liverpool days, the Beatles, Wings, and solo careers, by pairing the lyrics of 154 of his songs with first-person commentaries of the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now.

"Two Of Us" is one of the 154 songs covered.

Lyrics

Two of us riding nowhere
Spending someone's
Hard earned pay
You and me Sunday driving
Not arriving
On our way back home
We're on our way home
We're on our way home
We're going home

Two of us sending postcards
Writing letters
On my wall
You and me burning matches
Lifting latches
On our way back home
We're on our way home
We're on our way home
We're going home

You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead

Two of us wearing raincoats
Standing so low
In the sun
You and me chasing paper
Getting nowhere
On our way back home
We're on our way home
We're on our way home
We're going home

You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead

Two of us wearing raincoats
Standing so low
In the sun
You and me chasing paper
Getting nowhere
On our way back home
We're on our way home
We're on our way home
We're going home

Officially appears on


Let It Be (Limited Edition)

LP • Released in 1970

3:37 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Vocals, Whistling
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Acoustic guitar, Vocals, Whistling
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Phil Spector :
Producer
Glyn Johns :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Jan 31, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Session Overdubs:
Jan 21, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Session Mixing:
Mar 25, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Room 4, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 27, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Room 4, Abbey Road


Let It Be

LP • Released in 1970

3:37 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Vocals, Whistling
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Acoustic guitar, Vocals, Whistling
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Phil Spector :
Producer
Glyn Johns :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Jan 31, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Session Overdubs:
Jan 21, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Session Mixing:
Mar 25, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Room 4, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 27, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Room 4, Abbey Road


Anthology 3

Official album • Released in 1996

3:27 • OuttakeB • Stereo • Written by Paul and sung as a duet with John, Two Of Us captures the essence of the Get Back sessions: performed live - and carrying on despite intermittent feedback - the Beatles were both routining and recording at the same time, honing each song with constant re-playing. Here, the proximity of the two men at the microphone prompted Paul's "Take it, Phil" encouragement to John, a reference to the Everly Brothers who performed in a similar manner.

Glyn Johns :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Jan 24, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


Let It Be... Naked

Official album • Released in 2003

3:21 • Studio versionC • A remix of the original album version recorded on 31 January 1969; framing dialogue removed; minor error in Lennon's acoustic guitar performance digitally corrected.


Let It Be... Naked

Official album • Released in 2003

0:22 • Studio versionD • From the "Fly On The Wall" bonus disc


Let It Be (Stereo - 2009 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2009

3:37 • Studio versionA2009 • Stereo • 2009 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Vocals, Whistling
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Acoustic guitar, Vocals, Whistling
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Phil Spector :
Producer
Glyn Johns :
Recording engineer
Guy Massey :
Remastering
Steve Rooke :
Remastering
Sam Okell :
Remastering
Allan Rouse :
Project co-ordinator

Session Recording:
Jan 31, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Session Overdubs:
Jan 21, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Session Mixing:
Mar 25, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Room 4, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 27, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Room 4, Abbey Road


Anthology 3 (2016 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2016

3:27 • OuttakeB2016 • Stereo • Written by Paul and sung as a duet with John, Two Of Us captures the essence of the Get Back sessions: performed live - and carrying on despite intermittent feedback - the Beatles were both routining and recording at the same time, honing each song with constant re-playing. Here, the proximity of the two men at the microphone prompted Paul's "Take it, Phil" encouragement to John, a reference to the Everly Brothers who performed in a similar manner.

Glyn Johns :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Jan 24, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


On Our Way Home

Official album • Released in 2017

3:06 • Studio versionE • This song was given to Mortimer by Paul McCartney, and was recorded by The Beatles as "Two Of Us".

Peter Asher :
Producer
Barry Sheffield :
Recording engineer
Tom Smith :
Guitar, Vocals
Tony Van Benschoten :
Bass, Guitar, Vocals
Guy Masson :
Drums, Percussion, Vocals

Session Recording:
Late April 1969
Studio :
Trident Studios, London, UK


Let It Be (50th anniversary boxset)

Official album • Released in 2021

3:37 • Studio versionA • Stereo • 2021 mix

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Vocals, Whistling
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Acoustic guitar, Vocals, Whistling
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Phil Spector :
Producer
Glyn Johns :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Jan 31, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Session Overdubs:
Jan 21, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Session Mixing:
Mar 25, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Room 4, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 27, 1970
Studio :
EMI Studios, Room 4, Abbey Road


Let It Be (50th anniversary boxset)

Official album • Released in 2021

3:29 • Studio version • January 24, 1969, Take 6 (EMI Tape E90491-8T or NAGRA Roll 448 A and 1048 B). Take 5 is a false start and is available only on Johns compilation # 1, although Lennon’s dialogue at the beginning “I forget things” from that incomplete take was used and mixed by Glyn over the beginning of Take 6 for his compilations # 3 (1969) and # 4 (1970), which show no differences.

Session Recording:
Jan 24, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


Bootlegs


O.P.D.

Unofficial album • Released in 1969

4:11 • Studio version • From Glyn Johns' 2nd "Get Back" compilation

Session Recording:
Jan 24, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Session Mixing:
March - May 1969
Studio :
Olympic Sound Studios, London

Session Mixing:
May 09, 1969
Studio :
Olympic Sound Studios, London




Wonderful Christmas Tracks

Unofficial live

3:20 • Live


Complete Acetate Collection 1961-1970

Unofficial album

3:26 • Studio version


Live performances

“Two Of Us” has been played in 23 concerts and 11 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where Two Of Us has been played







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William 2 months ago

'“I dig a pygmy. . .Doris gets her oats”, recorded Jan 22 [21?], was edited onto the start on Jan 27'. I was under the impression that Lennon's intro was edited onto the start on Mar 27, during the mixing session.


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