Paul McCartney Thought the Lyrics for The Beatles’ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ Were ‘Corny’ — ‘The Words Aren’t That Good’

According to bass guitar player/vocalist Paul McCartney, the first version of “Don’t Let Me Down” featured some lyrics that “aren’t that good.” The Beatles reworked this hit song, as seen during the Disney+ original documentary series The Beatles: Get Back.

The Beatles created the ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ lyrics, as seen during ‘The Beatles: Get Back’

Paul McCartney of The Beatles at the opening of 'Midnight Cowboy'
Paul McCartney of The Beatles at the opening of ‘Midnight Cowboy’ | Andrew Maclear/Redferns via Getty Images

The Beatles are award-winning, legendary songwriters, creating hits “Here Comes the Sun,“ “In My Life,” and “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” Even years after their split, The Beatles appeared on a documentary special released exclusively on Disney+.

The Beatles: Get Back offered never before seen footage of John Lennon, McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr as they rehearsed for their live rooftop performance at the Apple Corps headquarters in central London. That performance included songs “Get Back,” “Dig a Pony,” and “Don’t Let Me Down,” all of which were new songs at the time.

The Beatles’ ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ lyrics were not ‘that good,’ according to Paul McCartney

The band wanted to debut new songs with this final live show. With the deadline quickly approaching, some members returned to already written and scrapped originals. They eventually landed on “Don’t Let Me Down” as a to-be-performed song. Still, these members struggled to create lyrics that weren’t “corny.”

“Start off with the corny one,” McCartney said during the rehearsal. “Because the words aren’t that good.”

“I think the words should be corny because there’s no clever words in it,” Lennon retorted. They decided to change the beat/drum pattern of the track.

“It sounds like the same old s***,” Harrison said. Lennon responded, saying, “well, I like the same old s*** if it’s just clear, you know?”

The group eventually changed some of the lyrics. They swapped “it’s a love that has no past” with “it’s a love that’s going to last.” They decided to repeat, “it’s a love that lasts forever,” after a few more trial runs, they landed on the final version of “Don’t Let Me Down.” 

The live version of ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ from ‘The Beatles: Get Back’ is now available on most major streaming platforms

As seen in The Beatles: Get Back, the band added a piano line to this track, featuring Billy Preston in the rehearsal process. The final performance also featured a keyboard, rounding out the group’s original song.

Even decades later, “Don’t Let Me Down” remains a well-known track by The Beatles. The 2009 remastered version of this song has over 105 million Spotify plays, while the Get Back (Rooftop Performance) recording has over a million Spotify plays.

This performance was significant to fans, marking one of the last times The Beatles performed as a group. They later released Abbey Road and Let It Be, earning Grammy nominations for both albums.

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