“I woke up with a lovely tune in my head. I thought, ‘That’s great, I wonder what that is?’ There was an upright piano next to me, to the right of the bed by the window. I got out of bed, sat at the piano, found G, found F sharp minor 7th – and that leads you through then to B to E minor, and finally back to E. It all leads forward logically. I liked the melody a lot but because I’d dreamed it I couldn’t believe I’d written it.
McCartney initially thought he was copying one of the jazz tunes he had learned from his father
The original version of the most widely covered song of all time was never released as a single in the UK. The Beatles were concerned that YESTERDAY would compromise their rock and roll image so it remained an album track on Help (1965). Crooner - and former bus conductor - Matt Monroe had no such inhibitions. He took YESTERDAY to the top of the British chart in the same year.
Fun Facts about YESTERDAY
The working title of YESTERDAY was 'Scrambled Eggs' It opened with the unpromising Scrambled eggs/Oh how I love your legs.
George Martin said he first heard a version in January 1964. He allayed McCartney's fears that he had inadvertently plagerised the melody.
McCartney experimented with the song for 18 months, finally recording it in June 1964.
Paul was still finishing writing the song during the recording of the film Help. This greatly annoyed director, Richard Lester, and fellow Beatle, George Harrison ('Who does he think he is? Beethoven?')
Paul McCartney was very uncomfortable about George Martin's inspired decision add a string quartet ('No vibrato, George. I don't want to sound like Mantovani!')
In 1986 YESTERDAY entered the Guinness Book of Records as the most recorded song of all time - there were 1600 versions then and an estimated 2000 now.
To his evident irritation, John Lennon was often credited with writing the song by fans.
I go to restaurants and the groups always play Yesterday. Yokoand I even signed a guy's violin in Spain after he played us Yesterday. He couldn't understand that I didn't write the song. But I guess he couldn't have gone from table to table playingI Am The Walrus.