Misery (Lennon/McCartney)

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Misery (Lennon/McCartney)

‘Misery’ was written while The Beatles were on tour with Helen Shapiro, and its origin can even be traced to a specific date and place – their performance at King’s Hall, Stoke-on-Trent, January 26, 1963. The song was offered to Shapiro but rejected by her manager Norrie Paramor. After being recorded by the Beatles it was also recorded and released by Kenny Lynch, becoming the first released Beatles cover.


“It was our first stab at a ballad and had a little spoken preface. It was co-written. I don’t think either of us dominated on that one, it was just a job, you could have called us hacks, hacking out a song for someone.” – Paul McCartney, from Many Years From Now

“It was kind of a John song more than a Paul song, but it was written together.” – John Lennon, from All We Are Saying

“(Kenny Lynch) was another lad with an eye for an opportunity, and he had a minor hit with it. He used to do it on tour with us… not amazingly well.” – Paul McCartney on Kenny Lynch, who in covering the song, became the first singer to cover a Lennon-McCartney composition

“(Helen Shapiro) turned it down. It may not have been that successful for her because it’s a rather downbeat song. It was quite pessimistic.” – Paul McCartney, on Helen Shapiro’s manager Norrie Paramor rejecting the song for her to sing

BBC Performances

See THERE WILL BE A SHOW TONIGHT: The BBC Performances for complete information on BBC performances and recordings

  • Teenager’s Turn (Here We Go) – recorded March 6, 1963, broadcast March 12, 1963 and released on On Air: Live At The BBC Volume 2 (2013)
  • Saturday Club – recorded March 16, 1963, broadcast March 16, 1963
  • On The Scene – recorded March 21, 1963, broadcast March 28, 1963
  • Easy Beat – recorded April 3, 1963, broadcast April 7, 1963
  • Side By Side – recorded April 1, 1963, broadcast April 22, 1963
  • Pop Go The Beatles – recorded May 25, 1963, broadcast June 4, 1963
  • Pop Go The Beatles – recorded September 3, 1963, broadcast September 17, 1963


  • John Lennon – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
  • Paul McCartney – lead vocals, bass
  • George Harrison – lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums
  • George Martin – piano

Release history

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