Little Child

“Little Child” is an early Fab Four song from their 1994 album, “With The Beatles”. John Lennon sings lead vocal while Paul McCartney sings the lower harmony. However, Paul McCartney says this song was just an “album filler”.

In Detail

Album

Release Date: 22nd November, 1963 (mono), 30th November, 1963 (stereo)
Recorded: 11th & 12th September then 3rd October, 1963
Studio: Abbey Road Studios
Genre: Rock and roll
Track Duration: 1:48
Record Label: Parlophone
Songwriters: Lennon-McCartney
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Little Child is an early Beatles' song from their album, With The Beatles from 1963
With The Beatles Album (1963)

Performers

John Lennon: vocal, rhythm guitar, harmonica
Paul McCartney: vocal, piano, bass
George Harrison: guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, additional drums

Track Source

With The Beatles

Little Child

Written as a joint effort between Paul McCartney and John Lennon, “Little Child” was originally for Ringo Starr to sing.

“Little Child was another effort of Paul and I to write a song for somebody. It was probably Ringo.”

John Lennon
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

“Little Child was a work job. Certain songs were inspirational and you just followed that. Certain other songs were, ‘Right, come on, two hours, song for Ringo for the album’.”

Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

However, Ringo Starr didn’t actually sing “Little Child”. Instead, John Lennon took it on while Starr got to do “I Wanna Be Your Man” as his song for the “With The Beatles” album.

Inspiration

Elton Hayes was a British balladeer and actor who also sang “Whistle My Love”***. It becomes clear where part of the inspiration for the song came from during an interview:

“‘I’m so sad and lonely’, that little bit came from a line: ‘Whistle, my love, and I will come to thee, I’ll always find you’. It’s actually not the same tune, but in my mind it was a quote from Elton Hayes.”

Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

The Beatles would use the phrase “sad and lonely” in their song, “Bad To Me” as well as “Act Naturally“. Be that as it may, The Beatles never sang “Little Child” at any of their gigs. This is a shame because the song is so good and a fine example of a fun rock and roll track, especially since there is a nice little harmonica solo from John Lennon.

*** “Whistle My Love” also featured in the 1952 Walt Disney film, “The Story of Robin Hood & His Merrie Men”

Recording Studio

The Beatles began recording “Little Child” on the 11th September, 1963, in the EMI Studios, London, during the 2.30pm-6.00pm session. They only recorded two takes that day but they recorded a further 16 takes the next day. Much overdubbing occurred with harmonica and piano pieces.

For such a simple song, they spent such a long time getting it right. In fact, they returned to the song again and recorded a further 3 takes on the 3rd of October. For a “work song” or an “album filler” this was a long time for this period in their career.

The fact that the song was originally for Ringo Starr suggests that John Lennon overdubbed his vocal piece. This could possibly explain why this is why the recording took so long.

Although John Lennon sings, even harmonising with himself, Paul McCartney does feature at the end on the song with “Oh Yeah!”

Author: Bobby

I have been a Beatles fan since the early 1960s so I speak from my heart and soul. It was a pleasure to accept the role of Admin on The Beatles Forum when we left our old site. If you feel that something needs correcting with the information I provide, please contact me.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *