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  • Paul McCartney said Ringo Starr inspired the title of The Beatles’ movie A Hard Day’s Night.
  • The title of the film was chosen for a specific reason.
  • The film’s title song became a huge hit.
The Beatles' Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison in a row
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, John Lennon, and George Harrison | John Pratt/Keystone/Getty Images

Ringo Starr said something after a concert that blew Paul McCartney and John Lennon away. Subsequently, his words inspired The Beatles’ movie A Hard Day’s Night and its title song. The song became a chart phenomenon.

What Ringo Starr once said after a concert

In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul discussed Ringo. “Ringo would do these little malapropisms, he would say things slightly wrong, like people do, but his were always wonderful, very lyrical, very Lewis Carroll, lovely,” Paul said. “They were sort of magic even though he was just getting it wrong.”

Ringo made a fateful remark after a concert. “And he said after a concert, ‘Phew, it’s been a hard day’s night,'” Paul recalled. “John and I went, ‘What? What did you just say?’ He said, ‘I’m bloody knackered, man, it’s beena hard day’s night.'”

How Paul McCartney, John Lennon, and The Beatles’ director reacted to the title of ‘A Hard Day’s Night’

Paul and John had a strong reaction to the phrase. “Hard day’s night! F****** brilliant! How does he think of ’em? Woehayy!” they said. “So that came up in this brainstorming session, something Ringo said, ‘It was a hard day’s night.'” For context, the brainstorming session was about the title of The Beatles’ first movie.

Richard Lester directed A Hard Day’s Night. According to the 1994 book The Man Who Framed the Beatles: A Biography of Richard Lester, Lester discussed what he thought about the title of The Beatles’ film A Hard Day’s Night. “You’re never going to improve on it,” he said. “It’s very provocative. It means nothing and has nothing to do with the film. But it sounds like a Beatles title.”


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How ‘A Hard Day’s Night’ performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

“A Hard Day’s Night” became a chart juggernaut in the United States. For two weeks, the song topped the Billboard Hot 100. It lasted 13 weeks on the chart in total. “A Hard Day’s Night” appeared on the soundtrack album of the same name. The album was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for 14 weeks, staying on the chart for 56 weeks altogether.

According to The Official Charts Company, “A Hard Day’s Night” became a huge hit in the United Kingdom as well. For three weeks, the song was No. 1 in the U.K. It lasted on the chart for 13 total weeks. For 21 weeks, the album A Hard Day’s Night was No. 1. It remained on the chart for 39 weeks.

“A Hard Day’s Night” became a cultural touchstone. Bleachers, Sheryl Crowe, and Peter Sellers each covered it. The Residents incorporated its riff into their melody “Beyond the Valley of a Day in the Life.” “A Hard Day’s Night” became one of The Beatles’ most famous songs and it wouldn’t be the same without Ringo.