Birthday (Lennon/McCartney)

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Birthday (Lennon/McCartney)

Quotes

“‘Birthday’ was written in the studio. Just made up on the spot. I think Paul wanted to write a song like ‘Happy Birthday Baby’, the old fifties hit. But it was sort of made up in the studio. It was a piece of garbage.” – John

“We thought, ‘Why not make something up?’ So we got a riff going and arranged it around this riff. We said, ‘We’ll go to there for a few bars, then we’ll do this for a few bars.’ We added some lyrics, then we got the friends who were there to join in on the chorus. So that is 50-50 John and me, made up on the spot and recorded all on the same evening. I don’t recall it being anybody’s birthday in particular but it might have been, but the other reason for doing it is that, if you have a song that refers to Christmas or a birthday, it adds to the life of the song, if it’s a good song, because people will pull it out on birthday shows, so I think there was a little bit of that at the back of our minds.” – Paul

Family guest musicians

Mal Evans contributed to the handclapping parts, while background vocals were performed by Yoko Ono and Pattie Harrison.

Recording dates

  • September 18, 1968 (complete track, overdubs, mono mixing)
  • October 14, 1968 (stereo mixing)

Personnel

  • Paul McCartney – lead vocal, lead guitar, piano, handclaps
  • John Lennon – lead and backing vocals, lead guitar, handclaps
  • George Harrison – six-string bass, handclaps
  • Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, handclaps
  • Pattie Harrison – backing vocal, handclaps
  • Yoko Ono – backing vocal, handclaps
  • Mal Evans – handclaps

Release history