Things We Said Today
|"Things We Said Today"|
|Single by the Beatles|
|from the album A Hard Day's Night|
|A-side||"A Hard Day's Night"|
|Released||10 July 1964 (stereo)|
|Recorded||2 June 1964
EMI Studios, London
|the Beatles singles chronology|
"Things We Said Today" is a song by English rock band the Beatles written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was composed for the film A Hard Day's Night and appears on the soundtrack album. It was also released as the B-side of the "A Hard Day's Night" single in the UK.
McCartney wrote the song in May 1964 while cruising the Caribbean aboard a yacht called Happy Days with his then-girlfriend Jane Asher. Music critic Ian MacDonald said, "The sombre lyric—provoked by the frustrating interruptions of a relationship between two career people—matches the lowering gloom of the music."
The song is one of three main compositions (along with "And I Love Her" and "Can't Buy Me Love") that Paul McCartney wrote for the film. Recorded in advance of film production for lip-synching reasons, "Things We Said Today" has a reverse nostalgia premise. McCartney said, "I wrote this on acoustic. It was a slightly nostalgic thing already, a future nostalgia. We’ll remember the things we said today, sometime in the future, so the song projects itself into the future."
McCartney was particularly satisfied with his chord change, F major to B flat major—instead of the more obvious F minor—which first occurs beneath "…wishing you weren't so far away" in the song. John Lennon accentuates the strident acoustic guitar strumming by triple hitting a low A note on a piano. The tempo of the song moves from ballad to rock and back with a minor to major key change during its middle eight section.
Recording and performing
The Beatles recorded "Things We Said Today" in three takes on 2 June 1964. Take one was a false start, take two was the rhythm track, and take three was used for overdubs of the main vocal, tambourine, and piano. According to author and Beatle historian Mark Lewisohn, the piano was supposed to be omitted from the mix but is audible owing to leakage onto other microphones during the recording of the overdubs, but MacDonald was sceptical about that conclusion.
The group also recorded "Things We Said Today" twice for BBC radio, on 14 and 17 July 1964. The first, a performance for the Top Gear radio show, was featured on the Live at the BBC album in 1994. These performances took place around the same time as the theatrical release of the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night, and on the 14 July performance the song was erroneously introduced as "one of their film songs." The song was not in the film, but was included on Side 2, the "non-soundtrack" side of the British A Hard Day's Night LP. 
The Beatles included "Things We Said Today" as part of their live set during their 1964 tour of the United States and Canada. George Harrison sang harmony vocals alongside Paul McCartney during the performances.
- Paul McCartney – double-tracked vocal, bass
- John Lennon – acoustic rhythm guitar, piano
- George Harrison – lead guitar, harmony vocals
- Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine
|UK||"A Hard Day's Night"
|UK||A Hard Day's Night
|UK||Extracts from the Album A Hard Day's Night
- In 1964, Dick Rivers released a cover (as "Ces Mots Qu'On Oublie Un Jour") for his album Je ne suis plus rien sans toi.
- In 1966, Chet Atkins released an instrumental cover on his album Chet Atkins Picks on the Beatles.
- In 1975, String Driven Thing included the song on their album Keep Yer 'And on It.
- In 1977, Mary McCaslin included the song on her album Old Friends. It also appeared on her 1992 album, Things We Said Today.
- In 1978, Jackie DeShannon had the only US chart single of this song. The release hit the Billboard "Easy Listening" survey.
- In 1989/1990, McCartney included the song as part of his world tour.
- In 1996, jazz guitarist Larry Carlton covered the song on his album The Gift, featuring his wife Michele Pillar Carlton on vocals.
- In 1997, Dwight Yoakam released the song for his covers album Under the Covers.
- The Rutles' song "Lonely-Phobia" is a pastiche of this song.
- Since 1989 Kevin Hewick has often featured "Things We Said Today" in the cover versions section of his longer live sets.
- In 2014, Bob Dylan's cover of the song is set to appear on The Art of McCartney compilation.
- Badman, Keith (2000). The Beatles Off The Record. London: Omnibus. ISBN 0-7119-7985-5.
- Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Revised and Updated. London: Virgin Publishing. ISBN 0-7535-0481-2.
- Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
- Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.
- "Things We Said Today". The Beatles Bible. 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008.