“Two Of Us” is a Beatles’ song on their final album together as a band, “Let It Be”. In fact, it’s the first song on the album. However, it is track 5 of the “Let It Be… Naked” album. Of course, on the latter album, Paul McCartney attempts to correct Phil Spector’s influence.
Recorded: 31st January, 1969
Studio: Apple Studio, London
Genre: Folk rock
Track Duration: 3:33
Record Label: Apple
Producer: Phil Spector
Engineer: Glyn Johns
Paul McCartney: lead vocal, also the lead acoustic guitar (Martin D-28)
John Lennon: harmony vocal, whistling, also the rhythm acoustic guitar (Martin D-28)
George Harrison: bassline on electric guitar (Fender Telecaster)
Ringo Starr: drums
Two Of Us
The Beatles had broke up by the time “Let It Be” became available of course. However, prior to this album, George Martin was the producer of all Beatles’ studio albums.
But, after the break up, John Lennon called for the services of Phil Spector without informing McCartney or Martin.
In short, the original title for the song, “Two Of Us” was “On Our Way Home”, the latter of which is basically the chorus lines. Paul McCartney claims that the song is about his future wife, Linda Eastman and himself. Indeed, they married on the 12th March, 1969, six weeks after recording the song.
Linda backs up Paul’s claims:
“As a kid I loved getting lost, I would say to my father – let’s get lost, but you could never seem to be able to get really lost. All signs would eventually lead back to New York or wherever we were staying! Then, when I moved to England to be with Paul, we would put Martha in the back of the car and drive out of London. As soon as we were on the open road I’d say, ‘Let’s get lost’ and we’d keep driving without looking at any signs. Hence the line in the song, ‘Two of us going nowhere’.
Paul wrote Two Of Us on one of those days out. It’s about us. We just pulled off in a wood somewhere and parked the car. I went off walking while Paul sat in the car and started writing. He also mentions the postcards because we used to send a lot of postcards to each other.”
A Hard Day’s Write, Steve Turner
Although we can’t go against the statements by Paul and Linda McCartney, some people have another theory. While “On Our Way Home” seems the right title to tie in with being lost, changing it to “Two Of Us” may have another hidden meaning.
Consider this, The Beatles all knew their time together as a band coming to an end very soon. Now look at the video clip of the singers in the “Let It Be” documentary film. Both John Lennon and Paul McCartney are sharing a microphone and laughing together as they always did. This, despite the Beatles heading in different directions as individuals. Was the song’s message subtly meaning something different now? Indeed, were they sharing memories before the curtain came down?
“You and I have memories
Longer than the road that stretches out ahead”
“We’re going home
Better believe it
Similarly, the song could easily make reference to their ancient contractual problems – “you and me chasing paper/getting nowhere”.
The Beatles began recording “Two Of Us” at the Apple Studio in London on the 24th January, 1969. While rehearsing, they spontaneously burst into a famous old Liverpudlian tune, “Maggie Mae”. That very short song also became part of the “Let It Be” album.
After trying the song a few times in the studio from time to time, they just couldn’t get it right. The Beatles finally recorded a decent version on the 31st January which was suitable for the album. Then, before the albums release, Phil Spector added some humorous group speech as an introduction. In this case we hear John Lennon saying:
“‘I Dig A Pygmy’ by Charles Hawtrey and the Deaf-Aids! Phase one, in which Doris gets her oats!”
In the “Let It Be… Naked” album, Paul McCartney removed that introductory speech. Not because it was John Lennon. On the contrary, he was just trying to remove the influence of Phil Spector who shouldn’t have interfered with the original album, in Paul’s humble opinion!