Day Tripper

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"Day Tripper"
"We Can Work It Out" and "Day Tripper" (Beatles single - cover art).jpg
US picture sleeve
Single by the Beatles
A-side "We Can Work It Out"
Released 3 December 1965
Format 7"
Recorded 16 October 1965
EMI Studios, London
Length 2:50
Label Parlophone (UK)
Capitol (US)
Songwriter(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin
The Beatles UK singles chronology
"Day Tripper" / "We Can Work It Out"
"Paperback Writer"
"Day Tripper"/
"We Can Work It Out"
"Paperback Writer"
The Beatles US singles chronology
(1965) Yesterday1965
"Day Tripper"/
"We Can Work It Out"
(1965) Day TripperWe Can Work It Out1965
"Nowhere Man"
(1966) Nowhere Man1966

"Day Tripper" is a song by the Beatles that was released as a double A-side single with "We Can Work It Out" in December 1965.[3] Written primarily by John Lennon, it was credited to the Lennon–McCartney partnership. Both songs were recorded during the sessions for the band's Rubber Soul album. The single topped charts in Britain, Ireland, the Netherlands and Norway. In the United States, "Day Tripper" peaked at number 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart while "We Can Work It Out" held the top position.[4][3] The track is a rock song based around an electric guitar riff and was included in the Beatles' concert set list until their retirement from live performances in late August 1966.


Main guitar riff

Under the pressure of needing a new single for the Christmas market,[5] John Lennon wrote much of the music and most of the lyrics, while Paul McCartney worked on the verses.

"Day Tripper" was a typical play on words by Lennon:

Day trippers are people who go on a day trip, right? Usually on a ferryboat or something. But [the song] was kind of ... you're just a weekend hippie. Get it?[6]

In the same interview, Lennon said:

That's mine. Including the lick, the guitar break and the whole bit.[6]

In his 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, however, Lennon used "Day Tripper" as one example of their collaboration, where one partner had the main idea but the other took up the cause and completed it.[7] For his part, McCartney claimed it was very much a collaboration based on Lennon's original idea.[8]

In Many Years From Now, McCartney said that "Day Tripper" was about drugs, and "a tongue-in-cheek song about someone who was ... committed only in part to the idea."[8] The line "she's a big teaser" is a double entendre for "she's a prick teaser."[8]

According to music critic Ian MacDonald, the song:

…starts as a twelve-bar blues in E, which makes a feint at turning into a twelve-bar in the relative minor (i.e. the chorus) before doubling back to the expected B—another joke from a group which had clearly decided that wit was to be their new gimmick.[9]

In 1966 McCartney told Melody Maker that "Day Tripper" and "Drive My Car" (recorded three days prior) were "funny songs, songs with jokes in."


The song was recorded on 16 October 1965. The Beatles recorded the basic rhythm track for "If I Needed Someone" after completing "Day Tripper".[5]

The released master contains one of the most noticeable mistakes of any Beatles song, a "drop-out" at 1:50 in which the lead guitar and tambourine momentarily disappear. There are also two more minor drop-outs at 1:56 and 2:32.[10] Bootleg releases of an early mix (which present an extended breakdown as opposed to a polished fadeout) feature a technical glitch on the session tape itself, with characteristics of an accidental recording over the original take as the recorder comes up to speed. This was later fixed on the 2000 compilation 1 and on the remastered Past Masters.

In 1966, "Day Tripper" was featured on the US album Yesterday and Today and the British A Collection of Beatles Oldies compilation. It was later included on the 1962–1966 compilation (aka "The Red Album"), released in 1973.

Music video[edit]

The Beatles filmed three different music videos, directed by Joe McGrath, on 23 November 1965. These videos, along with a batch of other mimed performances (including the song's flip-side, "We Can Work It Out"), were meant to be sent to various television music and variety shows, to air on those programs in lieu of personal studio appearances. The Beatles' decision to send out independently produced videos to promote their music on television was, in practice, an embryonic form of the modern music video - George Harrison would later remark jokingly that the Beatles had "invented MTV." One of the November 1965 promotional videos was included in the Beatles' 2015 video compilation 1, and two were included in the three-disc versions of the compilation, titled 1+.[11]

Other recordings[edit]

Jimi Hendrix recorded two versions, one with the Experience on BBC Sessions and an earlier version with Curtis Knight.[12] The song was also recorded by Otis Redding, Nancy Sinatra, Mae West, Herbie Mann, Lulu, Anne Murray, James Taylor, Type O Negative, Whitesnake, Sergio Mendes and Brazil '66, Sandy Nelson, Mongo Santamaría, The Hollyridge Strings, Marty Gold, Billy Preston, Ian Hunter, Randy California, Geno Washington, Jose Feliciano, Cheap Trick, Booker T. & The M.G.'s, Ramsey Lewis, Yellow Magic Orchestra, and ELO.[13] Eric Clapton plays the riff during the song "What'd I Say" on the 1966 album Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton. Paul McCartney has performed the song live in concert in 2009.


According to Ian MacDonald:[9]


Weekly charts

Chart (1965–66) Peak
Belgian Walloon Singles[14] 12
Dutch MegaChart Singles[15] 1
Irish Singles Chart[16] 1
Norwegian VG-lista Singles[17] 1
UK Singles Chart[18] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[19] 5
US Cash Box Top 100[20] 10


  1. ^ "The Beatles 'Day Tripper'". AllMusic. Retrieved November 23, 2014. 
  2. ^ Terence J. O'Grady (1 May 1983). The Beatles: A Musical Evolution. Twayne Publishers. p. 78. ISBN 978-0-8057-9453-3. 
  3. ^ a b Wallgren 1982, p. 45.
  4. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 – Week of January 22, 1966". 
  5. ^ a b Lewisohn 1988, p. 64.
  6. ^ a b Sheff 2000, p. 177.
  7. ^ Wenner 2000.
  8. ^ a b c Miles 1997, pp. 209–210.
  9. ^ a b MacDonald 2005, pp. 167–168.
  10. ^ What Goes On 2010.
  11. ^ Rowe, Matt (18 September 2015). "The Beatles 1 To Be Reissued With New Audio Remixes... And Videos". The Morton Report. Retrieved 9 January 2016. 
  12. ^ Jimi Hendrix & Curtis Knight - Day Tripper/Love, Love.
  13. ^ Day Tripper. Second Hand Songs.
  14. ^ "The Beatles – Day Tripper". Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  15. ^ "The Beatles – We Can Work It Out / Day Tripper". Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  16. ^ "Search in Search for Title: 'Day Tripper'". Retrieved 8 June 2017. 
  17. ^ "The Beatles – Day Tripper". Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  18. ^ "Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  19. ^ "The Beatles – Chart history (The Hot 100)". Retrieved 10 June 2017. 
  20. ^ "Cash Box 100 1/29/66". Retrieved 10 June 2017. 


Preceded by
"The Carnival Is Over" by The Seekers
UK number one single
16 December 1965 (five weeks)
Succeeded by
"Keep on Running" by The Spencer Davis Group