The title was inspired by Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim's "Somewhere" from West Side Story, which contained the line: "There's a place for us." McCartney owned the album of the soundtrack at the time of writing "There's a Place" and acknowledges its influence. The "place" in question was "the mind", making its subject matter slightly more cerebral than Britain's kissing and cuddling songs and America's surf music from that period. Lennon is quoted as saying: "'There's a Place' was my attempt at a sort of Motown, black thing. It says: 'In my mind there's no sorrow...' It's all in your mind." Paul McCartney: "In our case the place was in the mind, rather than round the back of the stairs for a kiss and a cuddle. This was the difference with what we were writing: we were getting a bit more cerebral. We both sang it. I took the high harmony, John took the lower harmony or melody. This was a nice thing because we didn't actually have to decide where the melody was till later when they boringly had to write it down for sheet music." (Barry Miles. Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now).
Composed at McCartney's Forthlin Road home, it was part of the group's stage repertoire in 1963. With its major seventhharmonica intro (later reprised) and searing two-part vocal harmonies in fifths (Lennon low, McCartney high), it stands out as an early Beatles milestone track. The song was recorded on 11 February 1963 in ten takes during the first of three sessions for Please Please Me.
The song was officially credited to "McCartney–Lennon", as were all other Lennon–McCartney compositions on the original UK release of Please Please Me.