♪ Yesterday ♪

I played this one in October 2018 … I don’t remember why I played it then, but I know why I am playing it tonight.  Our world has done a 180° in the past year, and nothing is as it was a year ago.  It’s Christmas time, but it sure as hell doesn’t feel like it for most of us.  The world we thought we knew a year ago … well, perhaps we didn’t know it so well after all, but I think that all our troubles look as though they’re here to stay … for a while, anyway. 


According to Songfacts

This is the most covered pop song of all time, with over 3,000 versions Say WHAT??? recorded according to The Guinness Book Of World Records. For years, it was also the song with the most radio plays, but in 1999 BMI music publishing reported that You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ had passed it. Still, at any given time, some version of “Yesterday” is probably being broadcast somewhere.

Paul McCartney wrote this song and was the only Beatle to play on it. It was the first time a Beatle recorded without the others.

McCartney claimed that while The Beatles were touring in Paris, he tumbled out of bed and this tune was in his head. He thought he had heard it somewhere before, and played the melody to different people in the music industry to make sure he wasn’t stealing it. The working title was “Scrambled Eggs” until Paul could figure out lyrics.  Scrambled Eggs???  smh.

This song caused a rift between McCartney and Yoko Ono. When The Beatles Anthology album was released, McCartney asked that the writing credit on this read “McCartney/Lennon,” since he wrote it. Yoko refused, and it was listed as “Lennon/McCartney,” which is how they usually credited songs written by either Beatle.

Some of the artists who have covered this song include Boyz II Men, Ray Charles, En Vogue, Marianne Faithfull, Marvin Gaye, Tom Jones, Nana Mouskouri, Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra, The Supremes, The Toys, Andy Williams, and Tammy Wynette.  Tammy Wynette???  You’ve got to be kidding me!  

Okay … my curiosity piqued, I had to go listen to Tammy Wynette’s version.  For those who may not know of Wynette, she is heavy, heavy country … twang and all!  I survived a full 17 seconds before I felt ill and exited.  So now, here’s Paul …

Yesterday
The Beatles

Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be
There’s a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly

Why she had to go I don’t know she wouldn’t say
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday

Why she had to go I don’t know she wouldn’t say
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday

Yesterday, love was such an easy game to play
Now I need a place to hide away
Oh, I believe in yesterday
Mm mm mm mm mm mm mm

Songwriters: Michel Jean Pierre Colombier / John Winston Lennon / Paul James Mccartney
Yesterday lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

24 thoughts on “♪ Yesterday ♪

  1. Well, yeah. A well-crafted and poignant, powerful song sung by a decent voice will sound pretty damn good. I’ve heard many covers of Yesterday but I always return to Paul’s version. Not necessarily because it’s the greatest version but due to the strings attached to it from when I first heard it and who I was then. Kinda like Hallelujah, you know? Cohen’s version is the quintessential one for me. Or Bridge Over Troubled Waters (or Sounds of Silence) sung by anyone else…well, I’m just hammering without need, aren’t I? The point is made.

    Thanks for another pleasant musical jaunt. Cheers

    (But I know what you mean about Tammy’s version…)

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    • Yes, I fully agree with you … Paul owns this one, and while some of the other covers might be good … they don’t quite cut the mustard. Some songs are like that.

      Cheers to you, Michael, and a Happy Holiday!

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  2. I’ve enjoyed this song for a long time, but have not heard anyone else cover it… let alone 3000 times! Just as well, Paul is the only singer for me when it comes to Yesterday. ❤

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  3. Come on, Jill? Please tell me you don’t hate Kaw-Liga? Despite being a product of it’s time, and whatever I said the other day about my favourite songs as a child, this is the very song I could sing start to finish, 3 or 4 years old. And yes, I belted it out, wanting to be Hank Williams (Sr.)
    Yesterday was definitely a great song, arguably McCartney’s best ever. But I was always a George fan, and I will die a George fan. Yea, Beatles!

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    • I didn’t say I hated Kaw-Liga! I don’t remember it at the moment, but I’ll listen to it in a bit and get back to you. I think my favourite of McCartney’s is “Fool on the Hill”. George always seemed a bit too dark to me when I was young, but in later years I came to like him more.

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      • Kaw-Liga is pure Country & Western, which you said you didn’t like, but the story is so sad, even if a fantasy. Modern day C&W I have little use for, but the old stuff from the 50s and before I still appreciate. Mind you, being the 2nd youngest of 10, C&W was very popular in my house growing up, as long as my sperm donor was not listening to his favourites: Nelson Eddy and Jeanette MacDonald. That’s a YUCK!!!

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          • I unfortunately have no idea what kind of music my mother liked, but I doubt it was same shit as my father. I do remember her listening to the few radio story programs they played Saturday and Sunday nights, though. The name of her favourite escapes my addled brain, but it stared with the opening of a big metal book, a story was read, and then the book slammed shut at the end. Stories from the Doomsday Book? Something like that. Just a faint memory, but she may have liked Perry Como, and Gene Kelly. Now those are names from the annals of music history, lol.
            Meanwhile:
            Merry You-know-what, Happy Hannukah, Happy Kwanzaa, and Feliz Navidad, Winter Solstice in the Northern Hemisphere, Summer Solstice in the Southern Hemisphere (both a few days late) or whatever else anyone might be celebrating this time of year.

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            • Mostly, I’m just happy the holiday is ended … I’m exhausted from cooking, wrapping, cooking, decorating, cooking, cooking … oh, yes, and cleaning — washing dishes mostly. Today, I am taking a day off from it all, and trying to catch up on blogging stuff!

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  4. Jill, I think people react to the melancholy reflection. It is covered as it is a pretty simple song to sing and orchestrate. That may be part of its beauty. I recall John Lennon making “All you need is love” very simple as they recorded it live in front of a televised audience around the world. Keith

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    • Exactly! As I just said to Clive, I always liked the song, but it always made me feel melancholy. And today, as I listen to the words, they have an even deeper meaning. Sigh. I should just stick with upbeat songs for a while, I think.

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      • Jill, so true. It serves as a poignant moment in the recent movie of the same name. The lead actor says “a new guitar deserves a great song” and then plays it for people whom he does not know have never heard of it. Keith

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        • I had no idea that movie even existed! I just read the Wikipedia synopsis … interesting, but I’ll probably pass on that one. Hard to conceive of a society where nobody knows of the Beatles, isn’t it?

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          • Jill, true. The playing of “Yesterday” is one of the two poignant moments in the movie. The other one is when he meets one of the people that was in the band, but is still alive since the band never existed. It makes you choke up. Keith

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  5. An atypical Beatles song at the time it was released, reflecting the fact that it was all Paul. Closer to his early solo offerings than regular Beatles, I think. Still a beautiful song though: I just hope Disturbed don’t ever cover it!

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