Ticket to Ride

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For other uses, see Ticket to Ride (disambiguation).
"Ticket to Ride"
US picture sleeve
Single by The Beatles
from the album Help!
B-side "Yes It Is"
Released 9 April 1965 (UK)
19 April 1965 (US)
Format 7"
Recorded 15 February 1965,
EMI Studios, London, England
Length 3:10
Label Parlophone (UK), Capitol (US)
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin
Certification Gold (RIAA)[3]
The Beatles UK singles chronology
"I Feel Fine"
"Ticket to Ride"
The Beatles US singles chronology
"Eight Days a Week"
"Ticket to Ride"
Music sample

"Ticket to Ride" is a song by the Beatles from their 1965 album, Help!. It was recorded 15 February 1965 and released two months later. It was also used in the 1965 film Help!, The Beatles' second film, and was included on the film's soundtrack. In 2004, this song was ranked number 394 on Rolling Stone‍ '​s list of "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time".


The song was written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney). Lennon said that McCartney's contribution was limited to "the way Ringo played the drums".[4] McCartney said that was an incomplete description, and that "we sat down and wrote it together... give him 60 percent of it... we sat down together and worked on that for a full three-hour songwriting session."[5] The song is written in the key of A major.

The song features a coda with a different tempo that extends the song's length past three minutes.[6] Lennon said this double-time section (with the lyric "My baby don't care") was one of his "favourite bits" in the song.[7]

Meaning of "ticket to ride"[edit]

While the song lyrics describe a girl "riding out of the life of the narrator",[8] the inspiration of the title phrase is unclear. McCartney said it was "a British Railways ticket to the town of Ryde on the Isle of Wight",[5] and Lennon said it described cards indicating a clean bill of health carried by Hamburg prostitutes in the 1960s.[8] The Beatles played in Hamburg early in their musical career, and "ride/riding" was slang for having sex.


"Ticket to Ride" was released as a single on 9 April 1965 in the United Kingdom and 19 April in the United States with "Yes It Is" as its B-side,[9] topping the Hot 100 for a week in the US and the UK Singles Chart for three weeks in the UK. The American single's label declared that the song was from the United Artists release Eight Arms to Hold You. This was the original title of the Beatles' second movie; the title changed to Help! after the single was initially released.[10] The song was also included on the Help! album released on 6 August in the UK and on 13 August in the US.

The song was the third of six number one singles in a row on the American charts, a record at the time, along with "I Feel Fine", "Eight Days a Week", "Help!", "Yesterday", and "We Can Work It Out".[11]

When the song hit number 1 in the US, the Beatles became the fourth consecutive English group to hold down the top spot, after Freddie and the Dreamers, Wayne Fontana and the Mindbenders, and Herman's Hermits. Thus, the Beatles broke a combined six-week run at the top for Mancunian groups.

Music video[edit]

The Beatles filmed a music video, directed by Joe McGrath. This promotional video can be seen on The Beatles Anthology documentary.[citation needed]

Critical response[edit]

Music critics Richie Unterberger of AllMusic and Ian MacDonald both describe "Ticket to Ride" as an important milestone in the evolution of the musical style of the Beatles. Unterberger said, "the rhythm parts on 'Ticket to Ride' were harder and heavier than they had been on any previous Beatles outing, particularly in Ringo Starr's stormy stutters and rolls."[12] MacDonald described it as "psychologically deeper than anything the Beatles had recorded before ... extraordinary for its time — massive with chiming electric guitars, weighty rhythm, and rumbling floor tom-toms." He speculated that the song's heavy sound may have been influenced by Lennon's first encounter with LSD, the date of which is not precisely known. MacDonald also notes that the track uses the Indian basis of drone which might have influenced the Kinks' "See My Friends".[13]

Chart performance[edit]

Chart (1965) Peak
Austria (Ö3 Austria Top 40)[14] 8
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders)[15] 10
Canada (Canadian Singles Chart) 1
Germany (Official German Charts)[16] 2
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 1
Norway (VG-lista)[17] 1
United Kingdom (UK Singles Chart) 1
US Billboard Hot 100 1


Personnel per MacDonald[18]
Preceded by
"The Minute You're Gone" by Cliff Richard
UK number-one single
22 April 1965 (three weeks)
Succeeded by
"King of the Road" by Roger Miller
Preceded by
"Mrs. Brown, You've Got a Lovely Daughter" by Herman's Hermits
Billboard Hot 100 number one single
22 May 1965
(one week)
Succeeded by
"Help Me, Rhonda" by The Beach Boys

The Carpenters' version[edit]

"Ticket to Ride"
Single by The Carpenters
from the album Offering/Ticket to Ride
B-side "Your Wonderful Parade"
Released 5 November 1969
Format 7" single
Recorded 1969
Genre Pop
Length 3:37
Label A&M 1183
Writer(s) Lennon–McCartney
Producer(s) Jack Daugherty
The Carpenters singles chronology
"Looking for Love*"
"Ticket to Ride"
"(They Long to Be) Close to You"

In the summer of 1969 "Ticket to Ride" was remade by the Carpenters for their debut album Offering: Richard Carpenter would recall "I happened to hear [the song] being played as an oldie one day in early 1969, and upon hearing it this particular time, decided the tune would make a nice ballad."[19] As arranged by Richard Carpenter the song became the plaint of a castoff lover, with the opening line: "I think I'm gonna be sad", being sung repeatedly as the track fades. Issued as a single - without the album track's introductory twelve measures - "Ticket to Ride" became the Carpenter's first chart single, reaching #54 on the Hot 100 in Billboard magazine in May 1970, also reaching #19 on Billboard's Adult Contemporary chart.:[20] the single's charting led to its parent album being re-entitled Ticket to Ride. The first Carpenters' retrospective: The Singles: 1969-1973 issued in 1973, featured an amended version of "Ticket to Ride" with a new lead vocal by Karen Carpenter: other amendments were a new drum track by Karen to replace her drumming on the original track, and the addition of guitar work by Carpenters' regular sideman Tony Peluso (who had not been attached to the group in 1969).

Chart (1969) Peak
US Billboard Hot 100 54
US Billboard Adult Contemporary 19


Other versions[edit]

"Ticket to Ride" has also been recorded by the Bee Gees (album Inception/Nostalgia/ 1970), Cathy Berberian (album Revolution/ 1967), Alma Cogan (album Alma/ 1967), Hüsker Dü (multi-artist album NME's Big Four/ 1986), Echo & the Bunnymen (single "Make Me Shine"/ 2001), the Esquires (fi) as "Matkalippu" Finnish (1965), the 5th Dimension (album The Magic Garden/ 1967), Gwen Guthrie (album Ticket to Ride/ 1982), the New Seekers as "Georgie sic Girl/ Ticket to Ride" (medley with "Georgy Girl") (album We'd Like to Teach the World to Sing/ 1972), Princeton Katzenjammers (album Take One/ 1977), the Punkles (album The Punkles/ 1998), Los Shakers Spanish (album Break It All/ 1966), Sly and Robbie as "Free Ticket to Ride" instrumental (first three lines of chorus are sung) (album Syncopation/ 1982), Billy Strange instrumental (album English Hits Of '65/ 1965), Vanilla Fudge (album Vanilla Fudge/ 1967), and Mary Wells (album Love Songs to the Beatles/ 1965). The 1987 EP Master=Dik by Sonic Youth features the track "Under the Influence of the Jesus and Mary Chain: Ticket to Ride" whose lyrics include modified lines from "Ticket to Ride" specifically "I gotta ticket to ride" and "And I don't f***ing care". Atomic Kitten covered "Ticket to Ride" live in 2007. in 1993 Kids Incorporated sang "Ticket to Ride" in the Season 9 episode "The Boy Next Door".


  1. ^ McKinney, Devin (2003). Magic Circles: The Beatles in Dream and History. Harvard University Press. pp. 398–. ISBN 978-0-674-01202-8. 
  2. ^ Icons of Rock. ABC-CLIO. pp. 170–. ISBN 978-0-313-33845-8. 
  3. ^ "RIAA Gold & Platinum Searchable Database - The Beatles Gold Singles". Retrieved 20 July 2009. 
  4. ^ Sheff 2000, p. 196.
  5. ^ a b Miles 1997, p. 193.
  6. ^ Everett, Walter. The Foundations of Rock: From "Blue Suede Shoes" to "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes". p. 154. 
  7. ^ Sheff 2000, p. 198.
  8. ^ a b Turner 2005, p. 80.
  9. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 200.
  10. ^ Harry 2000, p. 1074.
  11. ^ Wallgren 1982, pp. 38–45.
  12. ^ Unterberger 2007.
  13. ^ MacDonald 2005, pp. 142–144.
  14. ^ "Austriancharts.at – The Beatles – Ticket to Ride" (in German). Ö3 Austria Top 40. Retrieved 21 August 2013.
  15. ^ "Ultratop.be – The Beatles – Ticket to Ride" (in Dutch). Ultratop 50. Retrieved 26 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Officialcharts.de – The Beatles – Ticket to Ride". GfK Entertainment. Retrieved 26 September 2013.
  17. ^ "Norwegiancharts.com – The Beatles – Ticket to Ride". VG-lista. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
  18. ^ a b MacDonald 2005, p. 142.
  19. ^ http://www.richardandkarencarpenter.com/SN_TicketToRide.htm
  20. ^ Carpenters version chart history, Billboard.com. Retrieved 19 March 2012


External links[edit]