"Frere Jacques" in background of "Paperback Writer"

I just found out this morning that John and George are singing “Frere Jacques” as background vocals on “Paperback Writer.” You can hear it at 1:20.

I don’t claim to be the foremost expert on Beatles lyrics, but I was surprised I’d never heard this before. I did know about “tit” being repeated on “Girl,” which I think is hilarious.

One thing I love about The Beatles is knowing there will always be something like this to discover.

…and the Star Trek episode “The Way to Eden” has Spock playing the “Paperback Writer” baseline on the Vulcan Harp.

You’re supposed to be able to hear “fucking hell” at 2:57 in “Hey Jude”, perhaps due to some kind of cock-up during the recording. To me it’s buried so deep in the mix that I couldn’t be sure what is there. It could be anything that has some vague “uh-ih-ell” sound to it. But this is the Beatles we’re talking about, so elaborate theories are mandatory.

I read about that in Geoff Emerick’s book about recording the Beatles, and listened closely on earphones, and - yes - it is clearly ‘fucking hell’. But I wouldn’t have heard it if I hadn’t read about it.

Now you’re ready for the beep at the exact halfway mark of Tomorrow Never Knows.

And if you have just a bit of musical training, you will be endlessly fascinated by this online essay series.

How can anyone not notice that? It drives me up the wall.

Once you’ve heard it, you can’t NOT hear it. I haven’t listened in a while, but ISTR the whole exclamation is “Got the wrong chord - fucking 'ell” or something similar.

I was surprised to discover that John Lennon repeats the phrase “Shoot me” throughout Come Together. Much like the two scenes in A Hard Day’s Night where the Beatles’s manager threatens to “murder Lennon” if he continues to misbehave, it’s eerie in retrospect.

You can hear it earlier, at 1:02.

What’s really spooky in retrospect is Lennon’s death scene in How I Won the War; he’s shot in the gut (but it’s obscured by an explosion, IIRC), and then he looks up at the camera, his hands covered in blood, and says, “I knew this would happen. Didn’t you?”


That is absolutely amazing. And I’m glad someone else appreciates what a kickass song “All My Loving” is. I’ve never seen anything so comprehensive in dissecting the musical elements of a song.

Here’s a fun site, if you like Beatles song anomalies. Could waste hours (and alas, I have done so in the past).