Don't Pass Me By

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"Don't Pass Me By"
Song by the Beatles from the album The Beatles
Released22 November 1968
Recorded5 June 1968
GenreCountry rock
Length3:46 (mono version)
3:51 (stereo version)
LabelApple
WriterRichard Starkey
ProducerGeorge Martin
The Beatles track listing
 
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"Don't Pass Me By"
Song by the Beatles from the album The Beatles
Released22 November 1968
Recorded5 June 1968
GenreCountry rock
Length3:46 (mono version)
3:51 (stereo version)
LabelApple
WriterRichard Starkey
ProducerGeorge Martin
The Beatles track listing

"Don't Pass Me By" is a song by the Beatles from the double album The Beatles (also known as the White Album). Lead vocals were performed by Ringo Starr. It was Starr's first solo composition.[1]

The song debuted at #1 in Denmark in April 1969.[2] It stayed within the Top 10 for a month.

Origin[edit]

Its earliest mention seems to be in a BBC chatter session introducing "And I Love Her" on the radio show Top Gear in 1964. In the conversation, Starr was asked if he had written a song and Paul McCartney mocked him soon afterward, singing the first line "Don't pass me by, don't make me cry, don't make me blue."[citation needed] The song employs a three-chord blues structure.

Recording[edit]

The song was recorded in three separate sessions in 1968: 5 and 6 June, 5 and 12 July. Despite references to the song in 1964 as "Don't Pass Me By",[3] it was called "Ringo's Tune (Untitled)" on the 5 June session tape label and "This Is Some Friendly" on the 6 June label. By 12 July, the title was restored.[1]

During a lead vocal track recorded on 6 June, Starr audibly counted out eight beats,[1] and it can be heard in the released song starting at 2:30 of the 1987 CD version. The monaural mix is faster than the stereo mix, and features a different arrangement of violin in the fade-out.

George Martin arranged an orchestral interlude as an introduction, but this was rejected.[3] It would eventually be used as an incidental cue for the Beatles' animated film Yellow Submarine. In 1996, the introduction was released as the track "A Beginning" on The Beatles Anthology 3 CD.[3][4]

The line, "I'm sorry that I doubted you, I was so unfair, You were in a car crash and you lost your hair", is cited by proponents of the "Paul is Dead" urban legend[who?] as a clue to McCartney's fate; the line "you lost your hair" is claimed to be a reference to "When I'm Sixty-Four" (which was written by McCartney). However, the expression "to lose one's hair" was a fairly common English idiom, and simply means "to become anxious or upset". (See, for instance, Elizabeth Bowen's novel, The Death of the Heart, 1938).

Personnel[edit]

The pianos were both recorded into a Leslie 147 speaker.

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[3] and supported by Mark Lewisohn[1]

Cover versions[edit]

The song has been covered by alt-country band The Gourds, by the Southern rock band The Georgia Satellites on their 1988 album, Open All Night, and by The Punkles on their 2004 album, Pistol.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. pp. 137, 142, 144. ISBN 0-517-57066-1. 
  2. ^ http://danskehitlister.dk/?hitlist_id=1&y=1969&hitlist_item_id=1546
  3. ^ a b c d MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised Edition ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). p. 286. ISBN 1-84413-828-3. 
  4. ^ Lewisohn, Mark (1996). Anthology 3 (booklet). London: Apple Records. p. 4. 34451.

External links[edit]