The Beatles Songs: ‘Here There and Everywhere’ Reminds Paul McCartney of a Cole Porter Classic
For many Beatles fans, Paul McCartney may be one of the greatest songwriters of all time. His and John Lennon’s Beatles songs dominated the band’s catalog. Then McCartney continued writing songs for his subsequent bands. McCartney himself looks back on other songwriters, like Cole Porter, whose writing inspired “Here, There and Everywhere.”
McCartney was a guest on the Fresh Air podcast on Nov. 3. He was there to discuss his book, Paul McCartney: The Lyrics, a compendium of all his lyrics from the Beatles songs and beyond. It was also just before The Beatles: Get Back premiered on Disney+. Host Terry Gross followed up on something he wrote about “Here, There and Everywhere” and McCartney explained.
Paul McCartney admired the structure of this Cole Porter song
Fred Astaire sings “Cheek to Cheek” in the movie Top Hat. The Cole Porter diddy has since become a standard, most recently covered by Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga. McCartney said that song inspired his own “Here, There and Everywhere.”
“I think the structure of it, I like it,” McCartney said on Fresh Air. “It always reminds me in structure of a great Cole Porter song, ‘Cheek to Cheek’ which Fred Astaire sang. It starts off ‘Heaven, I’m in Heaven,’ it goes through it. Then in the middle it goes ‘I like to go out dancing…’ But it takes me back to Heaven. And it’s so neat the way it just wraps itself up that I always thought wow, that’s a great trick.”
Each verse of “Cheek to Cheek” begins with “Heaven, I’m in heaven” and ends with “When we’re out together dancing cheek to cheek,” but the middle two lines change. Then there’s a bridge before it returns to the verse again.
Oh, I love to climb a mountainCole Porter, “Cheek to Cheek”
And to reach the highest peak (me too!)
But it doesn’t thrill me half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek
Oh, I love to go out fishing
In a river or a creek
But I don’t enjoy it half as much
As dancing cheek to cheek
Dance with me
I want my arm about you
The charm about you
Will carry me through
To heaven, yes, I’m in heaven
How The Beatles song ‘Here, There and Everywhere’ pays homage to Cole Porter
McCartney explained how his Beatles song, “Here, There and Everywhere” pays homage to Porter’s structure.
“So ‘Here, There and Everywhere’ does that,” McCartney told Gross. “Here, first verse. Second verse, There. Third verse, Everywhere, leading me back to Here. That was what attracted me. And then I think that wouldn’t have been enough to make it my favorite song.”
The first verse goes, “Here, making each day of the year.” The second goes, “There, running my hands through her hair.” Finally, they sing, “I want her everywhere.”
That’s not the only reason this is Paul McCartney’s favorite Beatles song
McCartney said there’s more to “Here, There and Everywhere” than just the Porter homage. It wouldn’t be his favorite Beatles song with only that.
“But also I think it’s got a nice melody,” McCartney said. “So the combination of those always made it one of my big favorites and that’s a question you get asked a lot. What’s your favorite song? But that one, when I’m pushed, I will pull that one out of the bag and it is definitely amongst my favorites.”