Saturday, January 16, 2010

"Don't Pass Me By"

"Don't Pass Me By" is a song by the Beatles from the double album The Beatles (also known as the White Album). It was Ringo Starr's first solo composition, and he sang lead vocals.


Its earliest mention seems to be in a BBC chatter session introducing "And I Love Her" on the Top Gear program in 1964. In the conversation, Starr is asked if he wrote a song and Paul McCartney proceeded to mock it soon after, singing the first line "Don't pass me by, don't make me cry, don't make me blue", but stopping after that. But, the song is unmistakably "Don't Pass Me By" with very slightly different lyrics. The song employs a three-chord blues structure.


The song was recorded in three separate sessions in 1968: 5 and 6 June, 5 and 12 July. Despite references to the song in 1964 as "Don't Pass Me By," it was called "Ringo's Tune (Untitled)" on the 5 June session tape label and "This Is Some Friendly" on the 6 June label. By 12 July, the title was restored.

During a lead vocal track recorded on 6 June, Starr audibly counted out 8 beats, and it can be heard in the released song starting at 2:30 of the 1987 CD version.

George Martin arranged an orchestral interlude as an introduction, but this was rejected. In 1996, the introduction was released as the track "A Beginning" on The Beatles Anthology 3 CD.

The line "I'm sorry that I doubted you, I was so unfair, You were in a car crash and you lost your hair" is cited by proponents of the Paul is dead urban legend as a clue to Paul's fate; the line "you lost your hair" is claimed to be a reference to "When I'm Sixty-Four", which was written by Paul McCartney.


* Ringo Starr – lead vocal, drums, piano, sleigh bell
* Paul McCartney – piano, bass
* Jack Fallon – violin

Cover versions

The song has been covered by alt-country band The Gourds and by the Southern rock band, The Georgia Satellites on their 1988 album, Open All Night and by The Punkles on their 2004 album, Pistol. The Rutles's songs "Easy Listening" and (to a lesser extent) "Livin' In Hope" are based on this song.

Album: The Beatles
Released: 22 November 1968
Recorded: 5 June 1968
Genre: Country rock
Length: 3:50
Label: Apple Records
Writer: Starkey
Producer: George Martin


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