Two Of Us

Written by Lennon - McCartney

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

Master album


Related interviews


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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.

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.

Last updated on October 7, 2021

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

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 versionA1 • 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 version


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


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


Let It Be (50th anniversary boxset)

Official album • Released in 2021

3:34 • Studio version • Medley with "Morning Camera". Take 4 (which includes a false start) of “Two Of Us” was recorded on January 24, 1969 -in stereo on the EMI Tape E90491-8T and available in mono on the NAGRA Roll 444 Slate 320-; seven seconds of this same take are located on the acetate known as “Glyn Johns compilation/mix # 1” (of four different ones) for the album ‘Get Back’ (# 3 from 1969 is the best known version and is included mostly in this official box on CD 4). Two different takes of “Two of Us” recorded on the same day are available on ‘Anthology 3’ (Take 1) as well as on Glyn Johns’ ‘Get Back’ album. The album ‘Let it Be’ uses a take recorded on January 31st.

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

Bootlegs




Wonderful Christmas Tracks

Unofficial live

3:20 • Live


Complete Acetate Collection 1961-1970

Unofficial album

3:26 • Studio version


Complete Acetate Collection 1961-1970

Unofficial album

3:57 • 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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