You've Got to Hide Your Love Away
|"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"|
Cover of the song's sheet music
|Song by the Beatles|
|from the album Help!|
|Released||6 August 1965 (mono and stereo)|
|Recorded||18 February 1965,|
EMI Studios, London
"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
|"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"|
|Single by The Silkie|
|from the album You've Got to Hide Your Love Away|
|The Silkie singles chronology|
Composition and recording
Lennon said of the song, "That's me in my Dylan period again. I am like a chameleon, influenced by whatever is going on. If Elvis can do it, I can do it. If the Everly Brothers can do it, me and Paul can. Same with Dylan." The song is an early example of John self-reflecting in his writing, which had begun with songs such as "I'm a Loser" in the summer of 1964. Lennon wrote the song at home wanting another song for the film Help!. The song "is just basically John doing Dylan", Paul McCartney confirmed. The song is similar to a folkish strophic form and uses a Dylanesque acoustic guitar figure in compound time, chiefly acoustic accompaniment, no backing voices and light percussion from brushed snare, tambourine and maraca. A flute, however, replaces the harmonica that Dylan typically used.
The song lyrics are ambiguous. They may tell of an unrequited love and hidden feelings. John could also have been referring to the fact that as a Beatle he was expected to keep the fact he was married a secret. He could also have been writing about his inability to express his true 'loving' self in public and his feelings of isolation and paranoia related to fame. Some, such as singer Tom Robinson, have suggested that it was written for their manager Brian Epstein, who had to hide his homosexuality from the public. Lennon himself however never discussed the inspiration for the lyrics. When the song was first written, Lennon used "two-foot tall" to rhyme with the "wall" in the first verse, but mistakenly said "two-foot small" when he sang the line to McCartney, and decided to keep it this way. Pete Shotton, Lennon's former bandmate from The Quarrymen, was present when the song was being composed, and he suggested adding "Hey" to the start of the line in refrain.
The basic rhythm track was recorded first, followed by George Harrison's guitar and some extra percussion. John Scott recorded a tenor flute in the spaces in Lennon's vocal track and an additional alto flute part, an octave higher than the first, on the last available track of the four-track machine.
Performance in the film
In the film Help!, at the opening of the song, the head of the cult, Clang (Leo McKern), appears from underneath a manhole cover in the middle of Ailsa Avenue, London, where parts of the film were shot. He stays there for the whole song, which the Beatles play in Lennon's quarters of the Beatles' shared flat. The flute part of the song is performed by George's in-house gardener (who also trims his grass carpet with chattery teeth). They are watched by Ahme (Eleanor Bron), and at the end of the song, Harrison passes out after Ahme produces a giant needle for Starr, who is wearing the ring the cult is seeking.
Other studio tracks
In a montage the first two takes (both broken down) are followed by a completed alternative version (Take 5), included on Anthology 2. Lennon counts off the song then stops to readjust his guitar pickup ("I'm just going to raise this so that it's nearer to the bass strings than the top string"). This is followed by the sound of a glass shattering on the floor, prompting John to teasingly sing: "Paul's broken a glass, broken a glass. Paul's broken a glass. A glass, a glass he's broke today". (In the background, Ringo plays the snare drum with wire brush drumsticks, keeping time with John's cadence). John also addresses Paul as "Macca," a nickname in England for someone who has "Mc" in their last name: "Oh, you ready, Macca?"
- John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, 12-string acoustic guitar
- Paul McCartney – bass
- George Harrison – classical acoustic guitar
- Ringo Starr – brushed snare drum, tambourine, maracas
- John Scott – tenor and alto flutes
- Eddie Vedder for the 2001 film I Am Sam.
- The Beach Boys covered the song in 1965 on their album Beach Boys' Party! with a lead vocal by their drummer Dennis Wilson. Beach Boys' Party! album reached number 6 on the US Billboard 200 and number 3 in the UK.
- Jan & Dean on their album Filet of Soul from 1966.
- French singer Eddie Mitchell recorded a French cover version of the song entitled TU FERAIS MIEUX DE L'OUBLIER.
- The Silkie, a band that had been signed by Brian Epstein, recorded their version a few months after the Beatles. Lennon produced the session, while McCartney contributed guitar and Harrison tambourine. Their version peaked at #10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 and peaked at #28 on the UK Singles Chart.
- Enuff Z'nuff on the Japanese release of 1985.
- Oasis, as a bonus track on the deluxe edition reissue of their album (What's the Story) Morning Glory? (Remastered) from 2014.
- The Kentucky Headhunters covered the song in 1994 on their album The Best of The Kentucky Headhunters: Still Pickin'
- Waylon Jennings covered the song in 1967 on their album Love of the Common People
- The cast of Glee cast on their 2013 album Glee Sings the Beatles.
- Joe Cocker, notable for many Beatles covers, covered the song for his album Night Calls.
- Percy Faith and his orchestra covered it on the 1965 album Themes for the 'It' Crowd.
- Elvis Costello covered the song as the B-side of his 1994 single "You Tripped at Every Step."
- The Pozo-Seco Singers covered this on their 1968 album Shades of Time.
- The Grass Roots covered this on their 1966 album Where Were You When I Needed You.
- The Beau Brummels on their 1966 album Beau Brummels '66
- Everett, Walter (2001). The Beatles as Musicians: The Quarry Men Through Rubber Soul. pp. 287-88. ISBN 9780195141047
- Dowling, William J. (1989). Beatlesongs. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc. p. 554. ISBN 0-671-68229-6.
- Stevens, John (October 2002). The Songs of John Lennon: The Beatles Years. Berklee Press Publications. pp. 112–120. ISBN 978-0634017957.
- Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (15 June 2012). Rock 'n' Roll Myths: The True Stories Behind the Most Infamous Legends. Voyageur Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-0760342305.
- Womack, Kenneth (30 June 2014). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four: Everything Fab Four. Greenwood. p. 263. ISBN 9780313391729.
- Spitz, Bob (2005). The Beatles: The Biography. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-80352-9.
- "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away | The Beatles Bible". www.beatlesbible.com. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
- "The Silkie Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 498. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
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