I'll Follow the Sun

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"I'll Follow the Sun"
I'll Follow the Sun.jpg
The Norwegian single, backed with "I Don't Want to Spoil the Party"
Song by the Beatles
from the album Beatles for Sale
Released 4 December 1964
Recorded 18 October 1964,
EMI Studios, London
Genre Folk rock,[1] country[2]
Length 1:49
Label EMI, Parlophone, Capitol
Songwriter(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin
Audio sample
For the 1961-1962 ABC television series, see Follow the Sun (TV series).

"I'll Follow the Sun" is a song by the Beatles. It is a melancholy ballad written primarily and sung by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney.[3] It was released in 1964 on the Beatles for Sale album in the United Kingdom and on Beatles '65 in the United States, but was written long before that year: a version recorded in 1960 can be found on the bootleg record You Might As Well Call Us the Quarrymen. The song was released as a mono extended play 45 in 1964 on Parlophone/EMI (and in 1995 as a B-side to Baby It's You). In July and August 1965, the song peaked at number 4 on Sweden's Kvällstoppen Chart.[4]


The song's lyrics center on a man who feels he is unappreciated by a woman. The song is believed to be him giving her an ultimatum, and that, as the lyrics state, "One day, you'll look to see I've gone." There is an unwillingness on the part of the song's narrator that adds a tenderness and tragedy to his leaving—"And now the time has come, and so, my love, I must go. And though I lose a friend, in the end you will know..."—as well as a reluctance on the man's ability to finalize the breakup, indicated by the repeated phrase "but tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun."


One reason they didn't use the song on their previous albums was because it wasn't tough enough for their leather-jacketed early image. By the time they did record it for their fourth LP, the rhythm had changed from a rockabilly shuffle to a gentle cha-cha. Ringo Starr kept the beat by smacking his palms on his knees.

McCartney said of the song, "The next [single] had to always be different. We didn't want to fall into the Supremes trap where they all sounded similar, so we were always keen on having varied instrumentation. Ringo couldn't keep changing his drum kit, but he could change his snare, tap a cardboard box or slap his knees."[5]


Personnel per Ian MacDonald[6]

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ Alan W. Pollack's Notes on "I'll Follow The Sun"
  2. ^ I'll Follow the Sun at AllMusic
  3. ^ Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying. St Martin's Griffin. p. 174. ISBN 978-0312254643. 
  4. ^ "Swedish Charts 1962–March 1966/Kvällstoppen – Listresultaten vecka för vecka > Juli 1965" (PDF) (in Swedish). hitsallertijden.nl. Retrieved 27 June 2018. 
  5. ^ "100 Greatest Beatles Songs: 79 - 'I'll Follow the Sun'". Rolling Stone. ISSN 0035-791X. Retrieved 3 May 2016. 
  6. ^ MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). p. 138. ISBN 1-84413-828-3. 
  7. ^ "Chet Atkins Picks on the Beatles - Chet Atkins". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 
  8. ^ "Come Together: America Salutes the Beatles - Various Artists". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 
  9. ^ "Imagine That [Soundtrack] - Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017. 

External links[edit]