Girl (Beatles song)

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Girl Beatles cover.jpg
Italian single cover, backed by "Nowhere Man"
Song by the Beatles
from the album Rubber Soul
Released 3 December 1965
Recorded 11 November 1965,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Folk
Length 2:33
Label Parlophone
Songwriter(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin

"Girl" is a song written by John Lennon[1][2] (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and performed by the Beatles on their 1965 album Rubber Soul. "Girl" was the last complete song recorded for that album.[3][4]


"Girl" is one of the most melancholic and complex of the Beatles' earlier love songs.[5] The song's instrumentalization has specific similarities to Greek music; similar to "And I Love Her" and "Michelle".[5] Lennon and George Harrison played acoustic guitars on the basic track and in addition, Harrison overdubbed a bouzouki, an instrument once given to producer George Martin.[6]

McCartney claimed that he contributed the lines "Was she told when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure" and "That a man must break his back to earn his day of leisure."[2] However, in a 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, John Lennon explained that he wrote these lines as a comment on Christianity which he was "opposed to at the time". Lennon said: "I was just talking about Christianity, in that - a thing like you have to be tortured to attain heaven. [...] - be tortured and then it'll be alright, which seems to be a bit true but not in their concept of it. But I didn't believe in that, that you have to be tortured to attain anything, it just so happens that you were."[7] McCartney also stated that the song's backing vocals were influenced by a recent work by the Beach Boys:

The Beach Boys had a song out where they'd done 'la la la' and we loved the innocence of that and wanted to copy it, but not use the same phrase".[8]

Lennon said that the fantasy girl in the song's lyric was an archetype he had been searching for his entire life ("There is no such thing as the girl — she was a dream") and finally found in Yoko Ono.[9] In an interview for Rolling Stone magazine on 5 December 1980, Lennon said his 1980 song "Woman":

Reminds me of a Beatles track, but I wasn't trying to make it sound like that. I did it as I did 'Girl' many years ago. So this is the grown-up version of 'Girl.'"[10]

In November 1977, Capitol Records scheduled the United States release of "Girl" backed with "You're Going to Lose That Girl" as a single (Capitol 4506) to accompany the release of Love Songs, a Beatles' compilation album that contains both of these songs. However, the single was cancelled before it was issued.

Cover versions[edit]


Personnel per Ian MacDonald, except as noted.[4]


  1. ^ Sheff 2000, p. 197.
  2. ^ a b Miles 1997, pp. 275–276.
  3. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 68.
  4. ^ a b MacDonald 2005, p. 181.
  5. ^ a b Unterberger 2009.
  6. ^ Ryan, Kevin (2006). Recording The Beatles. Houston, Texas: Curvebending Publishing. p. 404. ISBN 978-0-9785200-0-7. 
  7. ^
  8. ^ Cross 2005, p. 353.
  9. ^ "62 - 'Girl'". 100 Greatest Beatles Songs. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 18 June 2012. 
  10. ^ Cott 1980.
  11. ^ Roberts 2006, p. 479.


External links[edit]