June 23, 2024

This month I’m focusing on Rock Songs of the 60s.

Today our song is:  Birthday

It’s my birthday today, so I thought this would be fitting.

Wikipedia tells us this about the song:

The song was largely written during a recording session at EMI Studios on 18 September 1968 by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. McCartney: "We thought, 'Why not make something up?' So we got a riff going and arranged it around this riff. So that is 50–50 John and me, made up on the spot and recorded all in the same evening." During the session, the Beatles and the recording crew made a short trip around the corner to McCartney's house to watch the 1956 rock & roll movie The Girl Can't Help It which was being shown for the first time on British television.[5] After the movie they returned to record "Birthday".

George Martin was away so his assistant Chris Thomas produced the session. His memory is that the song was mostly McCartney's: "Paul was the first one in, and he was playing the 'Birthday' riff. Eventually the others arrived, by which time Paul had literally written the song, right there in the studio." Everyone in the studio sang in the chorus and it was 5 am by the time the final mono mix was completed.

Lennon said in his Playboy interview in 1980: "'Birthday' was written in the studio. Just made up on the spot. I think Paul wanted to write a song like 'Happy Birthday Baby', the old fifties hit. But it was sort of made up in the studio. It was a piece of garbage."

"Birthday" begins with an intro drum fill, then moves directly into a blues progression in A (in the form of a guitar riff doubled by the bass) with McCartney singing at the top of his chest voice with Lennon on a lower harmony. After this section, a drum break lasting eight measures brings the song into the middle section, which rests entirely on the dominant. A repeat of the blues progression/guitar riff instrumental section, augmented by piano brings the song into a bridge before returning to a repeat of the first vocal section, this time with the piano accompaniment.



  1. I'm FIRST *again*?

    Happy Birthday to you, MMQE!

    One could always count on John to say something negative and make an ass out of himself. I would have lasted no more than 3 minutes in a room with John Lennon before punching him in the nose.

    But, this is supposed to be a happy occasion!
    So let's not bicker and argue about who punched whom.

    ~ D-FensDogG

  2. Happy Birthday a little late, Mary! 🎉 I think the song was more Paul's style than John's.

  3. See? I get distracted for two minutes and you go and sneak in a birthday! I hope it was wonderful ;-)

  4. A belated Happy Birthday to you! It's your birthday week so enjoy each day. Another great song even if Lennon had something crawl up his butt.


Post a Comment

I love comments! Did you know that comments that are less than 8 words long are considered spam? So, don't hold back! Spill yer guts. Let me know you stopped by and let me know what you liked about the post, or what you didn't like. If you are a blogger, be sure to include a link to your blog, so that I can easily reciprocate.

Recent Posts

Recent Posts Widget