Tell Me Why

“Tell Me Why” is a Beatles’ song which features on their album, “A Hard Day’s Night”, of course. In the film, also called “A Hard Day’s Night”, this song is part of the concert sequence. Indeed, this takes place at the Scala Theatre, London, on the 31st March, 1964. There were around 350 fans, many in hysterics, watching the Fab Four sing this song as well as 3 other songs.

In Detail


Release Date: 10th July, 1964 (UK), 26th June, 1964 (US)
Recorded: 27th February, 1964
Studio: EMI Studios, London
Genre: Rock and roll
Track Duration: 2:10
Record Label: Parlophone
Songwriters: Lennon-McCartney
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith


Tell Me Why is a Beatles' song which comes from their album A Hard Day's Night

A Hard Day’s Night Album (1964)

John Lennon**: lead vocal, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: harmony vocal, bass
George Harrison: harmony vocal, lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums
George Martin: piano

** John Lennon’s vocal is double-tracked in the stereo mix, but single-tracked in the mono version.

Track Source

A Hard Day’s Night

Tell Me Why

Although “Tell Me Why” had an uptempo beat, songwriter John Lennon, brushes it aside:

“They needed another upbeat song and I just knocked it off. It was like a black-New-York-girl-group song.”

John Lennon
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

John Lennon once said that the lyrics were about children whose parents have split up. Indeed, Lennon’s parents separated for good when he was only 5 years old. However, there is much ambiguity which can come from the lyrics.

Well, I gave you everything I had
But you left me sitting on my own
Did you have to treat me oh so bad?
All I do is hang my head and moan

Lennon describes the song as a throwaway song in order to fill up the album. However, Paul McCartney thought a little differently.

“I think a lot of these songs like Tell Me Why may have been based in real experiences or affairs John was having or arguments with Cynthia [Lennon’s wife] or whatever, but it never occurred to us until later to put that slant on it all.”

Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

Recording Studio

The Beatles began to record “Tell Me Why” in the EMI Studios on the the 27th February, 1964. This was in Studio 2 during the 10.00am-1.00pm sessions where there were eight takes.

John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and George Harrison all sing a three-part harmony. However, on the chorus, Lennon’s lead vocal is higher than than the other two singers. This is unusual because normally, Paul McCartney’s harmonies sit higher than the other Beatles.

The Beatles recorded another two songs during these recording sessions, “If I Fell” together with “And I Love Her“.

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About 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 Editor 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.

One Response to Tell Me Why

  1. Rosie says:

    I just love this song.
    You know there are times when a song comes to mind, this one did about 5 minutes ago.
    Brilliant in every respect.

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