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John Lennon revealed The Beatles’ “Love Me Do” was one of the first songs he wrote with Paul McCartney. He revealed Paul started writing the song when he was very young. Subsequently, John explained why singing “Love Me Do” was initially traumatic. Interestingly, the song became a hit in multiple decades.

The Beatles' John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr sitting on a bench
The Beatles’ John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr | Bettmann / Contributor

John Lennon said he and Paul McCartney took years to finish The Beatles’ ‘Love Me Do’

According to the book Lennon on Lennon: Conversations with John Lennon, John discussed “Love Me Do” in 1972. “‘Love Me Do’ is one of the first ones we wrote ourselves, you know,” he recalled. “Paul started writing that when he must have been about 15. We finished it up over the years and recorded it.”

John felt the song was daring. “It was the first one we’d sort of dared do of our own,” he said. “Because we were doing such great numbers of other people.”

John Lennon said The Beatles were more comfortable playing songs by Ray Charles and Little Richard

John was asked if The Beatles making a song of their own was a “big event.” “Yeah, yeah,” he said. “That started later in our life, around Liverpool and Hamburg, when we started introducing our own numbers. It was quite a traumatic thing because we were doing such great numbers, you know, of other people. Ray Charles and [Little] Richard and all them.”

John commented on this transition. “It was kind of a hard thing to come in and suddenly start singing ‘Love Me Do,'” he said. “We all thought our numbers were a bit wet, you know. But we gradually broke that down and decided to try ’em.”


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The way ‘Love Me Do’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Love Me Do” became a success. The song topped the Billboard Hot 100 for one week. “Love Me Do” spent a total of 14 weeks on the chart. “Love Me Do” appeared on The Beatles’ compilation album 1. The album was No. 1 for eight of its whopping 517 weeks on the Billboard 200.

According to The Official Charts Company, “Love Me Do” became a hit in the United Kingdom three times. In 1962, the song hit No. 17 and stayed on the chart for 18 weeks. In 1982, the song peaked at No. 4 and remained on the chart for seven weeks. “Love Me Do” became a hit for a final time in 1992. Then, it hit No. 53 for one week.

Meanwhile, 1 became a huge hit in the U.K. It was No. 1 for nine weeks. The compilation remained on the chart for 364 weeks in total.

“Love Me Do” was a huge hit — even if The Beatles didn’t initially want to play it.