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Paul McCartney said the B-side of The Beatles’ song “Let It Be” was a joke. Paul was a huge fan of this joke song. Notably, the tune wasn’t included on a Beatles album for years.

Paul McCartney said 1 Beatles song might have contained a ‘signal’ for Yoko Ono

In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul discussed the origin of The Beatles’ “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number).” “John had arrived one night with this song which was basically a mantra: ‘You know my name, look up the number. You know my name, look up the number,'” he said. “And I never knew who he was aiming that at, it might have been an early signal to Yoko.”

John never imagined the song as anything more lyrical. “It was John’s original idea and that was the complete lyric,” he said. “He brought it in originally as a 15-minute chant when he was in space-cadet mode and we said, ‘Well, what are we going to do with this then?’ and he said, ‘It’s just like a mantra.’ So we said, ‘OK, let’s just do it.'”

Paul didn’t pretend “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” had The Beatles’ most sophisticated lyrics. “Even though it was 15 minutes long, it didn’t have much substance, it just droned on,” he said. “So we put it to one side.”

Why Paul McCartney loved this little song so much

Paul said the band found some value in the silly novelty song. “Then it became a standing joke, a running gag that whenever we’d go to try another song, if we were feeling in a silly mood, we’d say, ‘Well, let’s do another version of ‘You Know My Name (Look Up the Number),'” he said. The band found the tune easy to perform because its lyrics were so simple.

In retrospect, Paul cited “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” as one of his favorite Fab Four songs because the group had so much fun recording it. The tune ultimately became the B-side of “Let It Be,” a much more serious and meaningful track. What a strange pairing!


1 Song From The Beatles’ ‘Sgt. Pepper’ Changed the English Language

The Beatles’ ‘You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)’ was left off of ‘Let It Be’

While “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” was the B-side of “Let It Be,” it didn’t appear on the album Let It Be. Considering Let It Be includes joke songs like “Maggie Mae” and “Dig a Pony,” it’s a glaring omission. After all, “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” is a lot better than “Maggie Mae,” or even the horribly sentimental ballad “The Long and Winding Road.”

“You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” eventually appeared on the album Rarities. The American version of that record reached No. 21 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 15 weeks.

“You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)” is a gag but it’s one of the best musical gags out there.