UNITED KINGDOM: Released as a single December 3, 1965, backed with "We Can Work It Out." Both were hits, but "Day Tripper" was considered the stronger of the two. Five days after release, it entered the chart at No. 1, where it stayed for five weeks. The Long and Winding Road: An Intimate Guide to the Beatles
UNITED STATES: Released as a single December 6, 1965, backed with "We Can Work It Out," which got more airplay. "Day Tripper" was in the Top 40 for eight weeks beginning on December 25, 1965, and peaked at No. 5. The Long and Winding Road: An Intimate Guide to the Beatles and Billboard
The monthly Beatles Book revealed in its January 1966 issue that the Beatles preferred "We Can Work It Out" as the A side, but others preferred "Day Tripper."
AUTHORSHIP Lennon (.6) and McCartney (.4)
Lennon and McCartney said in a 1966 interview that "Day Tripper" was a "forced" composition, needed quickly for a new single. The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions: The Official Story of the Abbey Road Years 1962-1970
Co-written in October 1965 at Kenwood.
McCARTNEY: "This was getting towards the psychedelic period when we were interested in winking to our friends and comrades in arms, putting in references that we knew our friends would get but that the Great British Public might not. So 'she's a big teaser' was 'she's a prick teaser'. The mums and dads didn't get it but the kids did. 'Day Tripper' was to do with tripping. Acid was coming in on the scene, and often we'd do these songs about 'the girl who thought she was it'. Mainly the impetus for that used to come from John; I think John met quite a few girls who thought they were it and he was a bit up in arms about that kind of thing. 'She Said' was another one. But this was just a tongue-in-cheek song about someone who was a day tripper, a Sunday painter, Sunday driver, somebody who was committed only in part to the idea. Whereas we saw ourselves as full-time trippers, fully committed drivers, she was just a day tripper. That was a co-written effort; we were both there making it all up but I would give John the main credit. Probably the idea came from John because he sang the lead, but it was a close thing. We both put a lot of work in on it. I remember with the prick teasers we thought, 'That'd be fun to put in'. That was one of the great things about collaborating, you could nudge-nudge, wink-wink a bit, whereas if you're sitting on your own, you might not put it in. You know, 'I'd love to turn you on', we literally looked at each other like, 'Oh, dare we do this?' It was a good moment, there was always good eye contact when we put those things in." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now
LENNON: "Me [I wrote it], but I think Paul helped with the verse." Hit Parader (April 1972)
LENNON: "That's mine, including the lick, the guitar break, and the whole bit. It's just a rock 'n' roll song. Day trippers are people who go on a day trip, right? Usually on a ferryboat or something. But it was kind of - you know, 'you're just a weekend hippie.' Get it?" September 1980, All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono
October 16, 1965, at Abbey Road
McCARTNEY: bass, lead vocal
LENNON: rhythm guitar, tambourine, lead vocal
HARRISON: lead guitar
This song was part of the Beatles' live repertoire in 1965 and 1966. The Complete Beatles Chronicle