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.


“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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