Ask Me Why

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"Ask Me Why"
The Beatles - Please Please Me-Ask Me Why.jpg
1963 Parlophone "Please Please Me" single
Single by the Beatles
A-side "Please Please Me"
Released 11 January 1963 (UK)
25 February 1963 (US)
Recorded 26 November 1962
Genre Pop
Length 2:24
Songwriter(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"Love Me Do"
(1962) Love Me Do1962
"Please Please Me"
(1963) Please Please Me1963
"From Me to You"
(1963) From Me to You1963

"Ask Me Why" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles originally released in the United Kingdom as the B-side of their hit single "Please Please Me". It was also included on their first UK album, Please Please Me.


Written in early 1962, "Ask Me Why" is principally a John Lennon composition,[1] but was credited to Paul McCartney and John Lennon, as were all other Lennon–McCartney originals on the first pressings of Please Please Me album. Paul McCartney said, "It was John's original idea and we both sat down and wrote it together, just did a job on it. It was mostly John's."[2][3] It was part of their live act prior to their recording contract, and was one of the songs performed at their first Parlophone recording session in EMI's Abbey Road studio two on 6 June 1962.[4][5][6] The song emulates the style of Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, by whom Lennon was influenced, and draws its opening guitar phrase from the Miracles' "What's So Good About Goodbye" (1961).[7]


The song is in the key of E major, with some leaning to its relative minor of C#, and is in 4/4 time. Structurally, the song is complex and, as Alan Pollack states, contains three different variants of the verse.[8] The song also contains "jazzy parallel sevenths" in most of the chords, and has a live ending.[citation needed]


"Ask Me Why" was originally recorded at Abbey Road studios on 6 June 1962 with drummer Pete Best. As the session was a 'commercial test', none of the performances recorded that day were deemed suitable for release, and the two quarter-inch tape reels from that session were thought to be destroyed by EMI. However two songs survived. 'Besame Mucho' and 'Love Me Do' were later discovered on acetate discs.[9][10][11]

It was recorded again, along with "Please Please Me", on 26 November 1962 with Ringo Starr on drums. The Beatles also rehearsed "Tip of My Tongue", another Lennon and McCartney song which was also being considered for the B-side of the "Please Please Me" single.[7] However, George Martin felt that "Tip of My Tongue" still needed some work, and it was eventually given to Tommy Quickly to record.[12]

Other releases[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

The song was covered by the Smithereens on their album 2008 B-Sides The Beatles.[13]


Engineered by Norman Smith

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[7][3]


  1. ^ Miles 1998, p. 92.
  2. ^ Barry Miles. Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now
  3. ^ a b Ask Me Why | The Beatles Bible
  4. ^ Miles 1992, p. 92.
  5. ^ Harry 1992, p. 50.
  6. ^ Lewisohn 2013, pp. 1222-1230.
  7. ^ a b c MacDonald 2005, p. 64–65.
  8. ^ Pollack 2001.
  9. ^ Lewisohn 1988, pp. 17.
  10. ^ Lewisohn 2013, pp. 1222-1230, 1232.
  11. ^
  12. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 23.
  13. ^ Deming, Mark. B-Sides the Beatles at AllMusic. Retrieved 27 December 2016.