Earliest Lennon and McCartney songs?


John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote a large number of songs in their teens - up to 200 according to some estimates. Many disappeared without trace - a Wimpole Street spring clean by Jane Asher put paid to a pile written on scrap paper. 

Others, like Lennon's 'Hello Little Girl' featured in their live act but were then given to other artists to cover. These were generally off-cuts not deemed quite up to scratch, though arguably some like  'World Without Love' and 'Love of the Loved' deserved a seat at the top table. 

Songs revived and recorded

By Beatles For Sale Lennon & McCartney were exhausted and running out of new material. At this point Paul revisited 'I'll Follow the Sun' which he had written in the year following his mother's death.

“I wrote that in my front parlour in Forthlin Road,” McCartney told Mark Lewishon. “I remember standing in the parlour, with my guitar, looking out through the lace curtains of the window, and writing that one.”

During their early years, The Beatles were trying to establish an upbeat, high energy sound. Though both wrote ballads, these did not feature prominently in their live sets. 

Granny gets her break

John also tended to veto what he later called 'Paul's granny songs'.  This was a vague category broadly associated with family singalongs around the McCartney piano. 

By 1967 the balance of power with the group was shifting. Paul now felt confident enough to propose When I'm 64 one of his earliest compositions and self-evidently a 'granny song' according to his partner


One feature of Let it Be that is underplayed is its general air of nostalgia. This is evident in eponymous single and The Long and Winding Road but also in the interludes between tracks.  Their is also their  old stage favourite The One After 909 and the traditional sea shanty Maggie Mae (not to be confused with the Rod Stewart song of the same name. 

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