Cover of the song's sheet music
|Song by the Beatles|
|from the album With the Beatles|
|Released||22 November 1963 (mono)|
30 November 1963 (stereo)
|Recorded||11–12 September and 3 October 1963|
|Studio||EMI Studios, London|
|Genre||Rock and roll|
"Little Child" is a song by the English rock group the Beatles from their 1963 UK album With the Beatles. It was written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney for Ringo Starr, but Starr was instead given "I Wanna Be Your Man" as his album song.
McCartney describes "Little Child" as being a "work song", or an "album filler". He admits to taking the melody of the line "I'm so sad and lonely" from the song "Whistle My Love" by British balladeer and actor Elton Hayes. The phrase "sad and lonely" also appears in the Lennon-McCartney number "Bad To Me" originally recorded by Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas as well as "Act Naturally", which the Beatles covered (with Starr singing) for the album Help!.
The song was recorded in three different sessions, with the first on 11 September 1963, where the Beatles recorded two takes. They later came back to it the next day, where they recorded 16 takes, including overdubs of piano from McCartney, and harmonica from Lennon which he plays nonstop throughout the song. They later returned to it on 3 October, where they recorded three more takes. In the stereo mix, the harmonica pans from left to right for the solo. Then it pans back from right to left after the solo. The song's solo follows a "twelve-bar blues format that does not appear in the rest of the [song]."
Music critic Richie Unterberger of Allmusic said of the song: "It might have been one of the less sophisticated and impressive tracks on the record, but it was still pretty good", and "'Little Child' might not be a work of genius, but it's sheer rock 'n' roll fun".
- John Lennon – vocal, rhythm guitar, harmonica
- Paul McCartney – vocal, piano, bass
- George Harrison – guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums, additional drums
MacDonald said that the vocals were "credited to Lennon and McCartney, but more like the former double-tracked", though it is possible that McCartney sings a lower harmony to Lennon's lead during the verses, plus McCartney can be heard at the end singing "oh yeah" on his own, so the original credit is probably correct.
Wreckless Eric covered the song with James Nicholls for Mojo's CD We're With The Beatles in 2013. The song was also covered by the fictional band, Snow Pink, on a 1982 episode of CHiPs, titled Battle Of The Bands.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 96.
- Miles 1997, p. 153.
- "The Beatles – Bad to Me Lyrics – SongMeanings". SongMeanings.
- ""Little Child" by The Beatles. The in-depth story behind the songs of the Beatles. Recording History. Songwriting History. Song Structure and Style". Beatles Music History. The in-depth story behind the songs of the Beatles. Recording History. Songwriting History. Song Structure and Style. 1963-09-11. Retrieved 2018-09-02.
- The Beatles Bible 2009.
- Everett, Walter. The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver through the Anthology. Oxford UP, US, 1999, p. 16.
- Unterberger 2009.
- "We're With The Beatles – Track Listing | Mojo Cover CDs – The Definitive List". Mojo Cover CDs. Archived from the original on 2 February 2014. Retrieved 27 January 2014. Cite uses deprecated parameter
- "Little Child". The Beatles Bible. 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
- Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt & Company. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.
- Unterberger, Richie (2009). "Review of "Little Child"". Allmusic. Retrieved 14 December 2009.