And so my " Every Little Thing - The Stories Behind the Songs of The Beatles Project" begins now.
Album: "Please Please Me" - Track 1
Recorded: 11th February 1963
Released: 22nd March 1963 (UK), 22nd July 1963 (US)
Writing Credits: McCartney-Lennon
Producer: Sir George Martin
Paul McCartney - lead vocals, bass guitar, hand claps
John Lennon - backing vocals, rhythm guitar, hand claps
George Harrison - lead guitar, hand claps
Ringo Starr - drums, hand claps
The song's composition is believed to have begun in September of 1962. One night, on the drive back to his home, 20 Forthlin Road in Allerton Liverpool, Paul McCartney deduced that the band needed to have more songs that their adoring teenaged female fans could relate to. He was fancied by the idea of writing a song about a girl of 17 and came up with the first two lines: "She was just seventeen/Never been a beauty queen". The next day McCartney presented the idea to John Lennon, whom decided to change the second line to "You know what I mean" instead, as not only did it sound better, but it could also be interpreted how ever the listener liked, whether it be a line filler or a sexual connotation referring to the female persona being above the legal age of sexual consent in England at the time, 16.
Some believe that the song was actually inspired by Iris Caldwell, the sister of Rory Storm (from Rory Storm and the Hurricanes), who McCartney dated briefly in the December of 1961. At the time of their meeting she was only 17 and was seen by McCartney as she wore fishnet stockings and danced the twist at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton as a professional dancer.
|Iris Caldwell, who is believed to be Paul McCartney's|
inspiration for the song "I Saw Her Standing There"
"It was never that serious. We never pretended to be true to each other. I went out with lots of people. I was working away in different theatres at the time but if I was back home then we would go out. There were never any promises made or love declared"
- Says Iris Caldwell about her relationship with McCartney
Caldwell also claimed that McCartney had intended to give the song to Rory Storm to record for his band, but Beatles manager Brian Epstein refused this.
In an interview with Beat Instrumental, McCartney later explained that the bass riff of the song was actually taken from "I'm Talking About You", a song by Chuck Berry in 1961. McCartney said "I played exactly the same notes as he did and it fitted our number perfectly".
"I'm Talking About You" - Chuck Berry
There is a photograph in existence of the famous duo writing the song, taken by McCartney's younger brother Mike at 20 Forthlin Road. On the floor in front of McCartney and Lennon is a Liverpool Institute exercise book with the lyrics of the song in the making writing up on it. McCartney is pictured playing his first guitar, a Zenith acoustic, in which he composed the song on.
|Paul McCartney and John Lennon in the living room of the|
McCartney home at 20 Forthlin Road, Allerton Liverpool, 1962.
Photographed by Mike McCartney
By the final months of 1962, "I Saw Her Standing There" had been incorporated into The Beatles' stage act at The Cavern in Liverpool, though under the title of "Seventeen" and sometimes last over ten minutes with multiple guitar solos. When recording The Beatles' debut studio album, "Please Please Me", producer Sir George Martin changed the name and decided that it would be the opening track as he believed that it set the scene of The Beatles' traditional musical environment of The Cavern. This is why the "1-2-3-4!" intro (which was taken from Take Nine) was kept, to make the listener feel as if they had been transported to The Cavern to witness a live performance of these four Liverpudlian lads.
Nine Takes were recorded of "I Saw Her Standing There" during the single 15 hour recording session of "Please Please Me". Take One is what is heard on the released album. Later on throughout the day each Beatle overdubbed hand claps on the track.
"I Saw Her Standing There" - Please Please Me (1963)
"I Saw Her Standing There" (Live) - The Beatles Anthology 1 (1995)
Turner, S. (2005). "The Beatles: The Stories Behind The Songs (A Hard Day's Write)". Carlton Books Limited. SevenOaks.
Anon. (n.d.). "I Saw Here Standing There". Retrieved from http://www.beatlesbible.com/songs/i-saw-her-standing-there/
Rolling Stone (2011). "I Saw Her Standing There". "The Beatles: 100 Greatest Songs"
Mike McCartney image retrieved from http://www.songfacts.com/songimage.php?id=2
Iris Caldwell image retrieved from http://www.mirror.co.uk/lifestyle/going-out/music/the-beatles-teenager-who-inspired-paul-1362890