The Beatles’ “Yesterday” Was Born Out Of Dream!
And it was first called "Scrambled Eggs".
It’s really hard for songwriters to draw inspiration for a song. Many go on for months, without writing a single lyric. But, imagine that you’re so talented that you start composing melodies in dreams? That’s exactly what happened to Paul McCartney in The Beatles. His song ‘Yesterday‘, which is one of the greatest songs of all time, was born out of a dream!
How a dream gave birth to Yesterday’s melody
The Beatles’ Yesterday holds a number of records to its name. Imagine if your song is the most recorded and covered song in history according to Guinness Book of World Records, with more than 2200 covers by 2009. But, what if it all came to you in a dream? That’s exactly what happened to Paul McCartney with Yesterday.
Paul composed the entire melody of Yesterday while dreaming in his girlfriend Jane Ashington’s house. As soon as he woke up, he immediately ran to the piano, played, and recorded the chords of the song before he forgot it. But, that didn’t mean he immediately put lyrics to the song and recorded it with The Beatles. He took his time. A tot of time.
First, he was paranoid by the idea that he stole someone else’s composition subconsciously. To make sure that he didn’t commit plagiarism, he ran to all of his friends singing and playing the tunes, asking them how could he just dream something like this? And they all said they never heard it before, including the other Beatles. But, they were all sure that he wrote it. After all, he was Paul McCartney!
So, after waiting a couple of weeks, as none of The Beatles or his friends came forwarding claiming the song, Paul McCartney claimed it for himself! And so, the world was ready to hear the song Yesterday.
Yesterday was first written down as “Scrambled Eggs”
Now, the dream only gave Paul the melody. But, he had to put some words to it to be able to sing it, write? So he jokingly wrote it as “Scrambled Eggs”. And he kept on tinkering with the song, even though The Beatles were neck-deep in their schedules. Here’s how the song was like before it became Yesterday:
Scrambled eggs,Oh my darling now I love your legsNot as much as I love scrambled eggsOh I believe in scrambled eggsWhy she had to go I don’t know,She wouldn’t sayI said something wrong,Now I long for scrambled eggs
It’s really insane how Yesterday was made out of these lyrics, but we have to know that this was just his way of putting some sense into these tunes. Paul knew he was onto something, but the rest of The Beatles were done with Scrambled Eggs.
The Beatles were fed up with Scrambled Eggs and Paul
Paul was taking so long in working with Yesterday, or Scrambled eggs as it was called back then, that The Beatles were getting fed up with the song. George Harrison famously said:
Blimey! He’s always talking about that song. You would think he was Beethoven or somebody.
But, unlike the rest of The Beatles, Paul knew he was onto something. After weeks and weeks of pondering, he stumbled upon the word “Yesterday“. This happened after he played with the words Marily, Funnily, Suddenly… and then joined it with Yesterday!
And that is how Paul McCartney finally penned the lyrics of Yesterday. It took him a few more weeks to make the song seamless, but he finally did it! And he didn’t get much help from the rest of The Beatles too. But that wasn’t just because they were kind of annoyed with it. The truth is that they just didn’t know how to make the song any better. Ringo Starr couldn’t fit in any drums with it, and it just needed a simple guitar touch from John Lennon. And so, Yesterday became a true Lennon-McCartney classic.