Things We Said Today

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"Things We Said Today"
Things we said today.jpg
Single by the Beatles
from the album A Hard Day's Night
A-side"A Hard Day's Night"
Released10 July 1964
Recorded2 June 1964
EMI Studios, London
Producer(s)George Martin
The Beatles UK singles chronology
"Can't Buy Me Love"
"Things We Said Today"
"I Feel Fine"
The Beatles US singles chronology
"Love Me Do"
"A Hard Day's Night"
"And I Love Her"

"Things We Said Today" is a song by English rock band the Beatles written by Paul McCartney[1] and credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was composed for the film A Hard Day's Night but was eventually not included. It does appear on the soundtrack album. It was also released as the B-side of the single "A Hard Day's Night" in the UK.


McCartney wrote the song in May 1964 while cruising the Caribbean aboard a yacht called Happy Days with his then-girlfriend Jane Asher.[2] Music critic Ian MacDonald said, "The sombre lyric—provoked by the frustrating interruptions of a relationship between two career people—matches the lowering gloom of the music."[1]

The song is one of three main compositions (along with "And I Love Her" and "Can't Buy Me Love") that Paul McCartney wrote for the film. Recorded in advance of film production for lip-synching reasons, "Things We Said Today" has a reverse nostalgia premise. McCartney said, "I wrote this on acoustic. It was a slightly nostalgic thing already, a future nostalgia. We’ll remember the things we said today, sometime in the future, so the song projects itself into the future."[3]

McCartney was particularly satisfied with his chord change, F major to B flat major—instead of the more obvious F minor—which first occurs beneath "…wishing you weren't so far away" in the song.[4] John Lennon accentuates the strident acoustic guitar strumming by triple hitting a low A note on a piano. The dynamic of the song moves from melancholy to rock and back with a minor to major key change during its middle eight section.

Recording and performing[edit]

The Beatles recorded "Things We Said Today" in three takes on 2 June 1964.[5] Take one was a false start, take two was the rhythm track, and take three was used for overdubs of the main vocal, tambourine, and piano.[5] According to author and Beatle historian Mark Lewisohn, the piano was supposed to be omitted from the mix but is audible owing to leakage onto other microphones during the recording of the overdubs,[5] but MacDonald was sceptical about that conclusion.[1]

The group also recorded "Things We Said Today" twice for BBC Radio, on 14 and 17 July 1964. The first, a performance for the Top Gear radio show, was featured on the Live at the BBC album in 1994. These performances took place around the same time as the theatrical release of the Beatles' film A Hard Day's Night, and on the 14 July performance the song was erroneously introduced as "one of their film songs." The song was not in the film, but was included on Side 2, the "non-soundtrack" side of the British A Hard Day's Night album.[6]

The Beatles included "Things We Said Today" as part of their live set during their 1964 tour of the United States and Canada. George Harrison sang harmony vocals alongside Paul McCartney during the performances.[6]


Personnel per Ian MacDonald[1]


Country Title[7]
UK "A Hard Day's Night"
  • Label: Parlophone R 5160
  • Released: 10 July 1964
  • Format: single
UK A Hard Day's Night
  • Label: Parlophone PMC 1230 (mono), PCS 3058 (stereo)
  • Released: 10 July 1964
  • Format: LP
UK Extracts from the Album A Hard Day's Night
  • Label: Parlophone GEP 8924 (mono)
  • Released: 6 November 1964
  • Format: EP
US Something New
  • Label: Capitol T-2108 (mono), ST-2108 (stereo)
  • Released: 20 July 1964
  • Format: LP


  1. ^ a b c d MacDonald 2005, pp. 35–36.
  2. ^ Miles 1997, pp. 121–122.
  3. ^ Badman 2000, p. 91.
  4. ^ Miles 1997, p. 122.
  5. ^ a b c Lewisohn 1988, p. 44.
  6. ^ a b The Beatles Bible 2008.
  7. ^ Lewisohn 1988, pp. 200–201.


  • Badman, Keith (2000). The Beatles Off The Record. London: Omnibus. ISBN 0-7119-7985-5.
  • Harry, Bill (2000). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Revised and Updated. London: Virgin Publishing. ISBN 0-7535-0481-2.
  • Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
  • 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 and Company. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.
  • "Things We Said Today". The Beatles Bible. 2008. Retrieved 20 October 2008.

External links[edit]