Fact: The original lyrics of the Beatles song, “I Saw Her Standing There”, were changed during the final stages of its composition.
Yes, lyrics are often changed by the composer, producer and singer in mid-production – and John Lennon and Paul McCartney are no exceptions. The famous duo of the equally famous Beatles – Lennon once said that they were more popular than Jesus, thus, earning both affirmation from fans and condemnation from others – collaborated on many of their band’s songs.
“I Saw Her Standing There”, which was the Beatles’ opening track in their debut album, Please, Please Me, has the following original and published lyrics:
Original lyric: “She was just 17. Never been a beauty queen.”
Published lyric: “She was just 17. You know what I mean.”
McCartney wrote the original lyric but when Lennon heard it, he screamed with laughter – and we can understand why. Lennon asked McCartney if the latter was joking and so they came up with the published lyric.
Just imagine what the world of rock and roll would have been had McCartney stuck to his guns! Lennon then recalled that McCartney was just doing his usual good job in producing a potboiler, as George Martin called it, and then he helped with a couple of lines in the lyrics.
Why the choice of words? Well, because the listeners do not know what the Beatles mean either!
Who says that the lyrics of classic rock and roll songs have to make sense all the time anyway? The Beatles certainly don’t say it.