Tell Me Why (Beatles song)

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"Tell Me Why"
If I Fell-Tell Me Why cover.jpg
Cover to Parlophone single for export release
Song by the Beatles
from the album A Hard Day's Night
Released10 July 1964
Recorded27 February 1964,
EMI Studios, London
GenreRock and roll
Producer(s)George Martin

"Tell Me Why" is a song by English rock band the Beatles from their album A Hard Day's Night. In North America, it was released on both the American version of A Hard Day's Night and the album Something New. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was written by John Lennon in either Paris or New York City[1][2] and recorded in eight takes on 27 February 1964.[3]


Paul McCartney said:

Lennon described the song as resembling "a black New York girl-group song".[5] Its basic structure of simple doo-wop chord changes and block harmonies over a walking bass line "creates an illusion of sincerity through its sheer attack."[2]

The song is in the key of D major. John, Paul, and George sing a three-part harmony. On the chorus, John's lead vocal part sits higher than George's, and more unusual in this case, Paul's harmonies.


"Tell Me Why" was performed in the Beatles' debut feature film, A Hard Day's Night. The song was part of the 'studio performance' sequence, which was filmed at the Scala Theatre, London, on 31 March 1964. This marks the only time the song was ever performed in front of a live audience, which consisted of 350 paid actors, one of which was a thirteen-year old Phil Collins.[6] The song was mimed by the Beatles and the words were lip-synced on stage.[7]



Lennon's vocal is double-tracked in the stereo version, but single-tracked in the mono mix.

Personnel per MacDonald[2]



  1. ^ Harry 2000, p. 1067.
  2. ^ a b c MacDonald 2005, p. 110.
  3. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 40.
  4. ^ Miles 1997, p. 164.
  5. ^ Spitz 2005, p. 489.
  6. ^ ""TELL ME WHY" (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) HISTORY". Beatles eBooks.
  7. ^ ""TELL ME WHY" (John Lennon - Paul McCartney) HISTORY". Beatles eBooks.
  8. ^ Calkin 2002.
  9. ^ a b Spizer 2011, p. 115–116.
  10. ^
  11. ^ "Item Display - RPM - Library and Archives Canada". 1982-11-06. Retrieved 2018-03-19.


External links[edit]