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John Lennon and Paul McCartney
songwriting partnership

Lennon McCartney Composing Songbook

Having two extraordinary talented songwriters working together, with yet another one following in their footsteps (George Harrison), gave the Beatles three times the musical power that most bands have. Most rock bands are lucky if they have one talented songwriter.

The Lennon/McCartney partnership stands for more than just a songwriting agreement. It represents a friendship, and a mutual bond that kept these two young artists working together for so many years.

John and Paul balanced each other out, and kept each other in touch with reality. They were creative partners that leaned on each other for moral support, almost like marriage partners.

When they went their separate ways, they both found new creative partners whom they both married (Yoko Ono and Linda Eastman).

Lennon/McCartney became one of the most successful songwriting partnerships in pop music history.

Together they wrote 209 official Beatle songs. As songwriters, they have the most number one hits in the history of the pop charts.

George Martin commented, "Had John never met Paul, and vice versa, I firmly believe that neither of them would have turned out to be the great songwriters that they were. They would have been good, but not blisteringly great, as millions of us think they are. Each had a tremendous influence on the other, which neither of them consciously realized."

DAYTRIPPIN' MAGAZINE EXCLUSIVE: Read "The Chemistry of Lennon and McCartney" by Paul McCartney's half-sister, Ruth McCartney in Issue #2 of Daytrippin' Magazine (available in PDF format or hard copy)

Visit Daytrippin' Back Issues page for more information


Lennon/McCartney or McCartney/Lennon?

Yesterday sheet music Myth: The order of names for the "Lennon/McCartney" songwriting credits was decided from Day One, and was never meant to be changed.

Answer: FALSE.

The first few singles that the Beatles released on Parlophone, and the first Beatles album, Please Please Me, had Paul listed first (McCartney/Lennon).

It wasn't until the late Spring of 1963 when Brian and John returned from their bonding trip to Spain that they told Paul it would be "Lennon/McCartney" from then on.

Paul did not put up a fight and "Lennon/McCartney" stayed in place throughout the Beatles' career.

Beatles History 50th Anniversary Series:
Read How a trip to Spain changed The Beatles' songwriting history forever

However, when Paul released his "Wings Over America" live album in 1976, he reversed the credits on the Beatles songs that he sang live on the album. John never complained about this.

Unfortunately for Paul, he didn't think to bring up the issue about the order of the names on the official Beatles recordings while John was still alive.

As a result, since John Lennon is not here to state his opinion, in recent years, there was a big controversy among Beatle fans over the fact that Paul wanted to reverse the order to "McCartney/Lennon" on certain Beatles songs. Yoko refused, and finally, Paul dropped the argument.

For a more detailed analysis of the controversy, read Roger Stormo's article called "A Little Tale of Two Little Boys"

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