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
Released4 December 1964
Recorded18 October 1964
StudioEMI Studios, London
Producer(s)George Martin
Audio sample
"I'll Follow the Sun"
For the 1961–1962 ABC television series, see Follow the Sun (TV series).

"I'll Follow the Sun" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles. It is a 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]


When asked about the lyrics, McCartney would say: "I wrote that in my front parlour in Forthlin Road. I was about 16. I'll Follow The Sun was one of those very early ones. I seem to remember writing it just after I'd had the flu and I had that cigarette. I remember standing in the parlour, with my guitar, looking out through the lace curtains of the window, and writing that one."

The first few bars of the melody closely parallel those of a number from the 1928 musical and 1937 film of the same name, Who Knows. While some orchestrations are quite close to the McCartney song, it’s unlikely the composer intentionally lifted the melody, but it’s an interesting musical coincidence nonetheless.


A rough home recording of the song exists on bootleg, believed to date from around Spring 1960.

By the time the band recorded the song for their fourth LP in late 1964, 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.

Eight complete takes are said to have been recorded, with the final version featuring an electric guitar instead of the planned acoustic.

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]


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. ^ "Chet Atkins Picks on the Beatles - Chet Atkins". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  7. ^ "Come Together: America Salutes the Beatles - Various Artists". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
  8. ^ "Imagine That [Soundtrack] - Original Soundtrack". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017.

External links[edit]