The Beatles took their name from an animal (well ok, an insect and a misspelled one at that!) so it is no surprise that they also included animals names in their song titles. Here we will take a look at all 15 of them.
And Your Bird Can Sing
This song appeared on the Beatles album Revolver in the UK and on the album Oldies but Goldies in the US. Although it came under the Lennon/McCartney songwriting umbrella it was primarily a Lennon composition. Interestingly, the song was used as the theme tune to the official Beatles cartoon, in its third series.
This song appeared on the album called the Beatles (also known as the White Album). It was actually recorded solo by Paul McCartney but as per usual was released under the Lennon/McCartney songwriting umbrella. Apparently it was written due to rising racial tensions in America.
Blue Jay Way
Taking its name from a street in the Hollywood Hills, this George Harrison written track appeared on the Magical Mystery Ep and corresponding film. The Ep was turned into an album with the inclusion of the singles Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields Forever which had originally been planned for the Sgt Peppers album.
Dig A Pony
This song appeared on the Let It Be album, the last Beatles album released but the second last recorded. It was also the penultimate song to be performed on the Beatles famous roof-top ‘concert’ in January 1969. Despite Lennon being the main writer he later dismissed it as rubbish.
Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except For Me And My Monkey
Another song from the ‘White Album’. John Lennon, in the year of his death, said that this song was written about himself and Yoko Ono. If you ever get the chance, listen to the cover version by Kristin Hersh; it rocks.
Free As A Bird
This was a solo effort by John Lennon originally but when the Beatles got back together in the mid 90’s they needed some new material so used this song. Overdubbing their own parts over the original a new Beatles track was formed. Jeff Lynne from Electric Light Orchestra produced this song which appeared on the Anthology 1 album. It reached number 2 in the UK charts.
It was not often that the Beatles wrote a song around a piano riff but this is one of them. It originally appeared on the Yellow Submarine songbook. It was written at the same time as Lady Madonna. Why it was never considered as a single is beyond me!
I Am The Walrus
A lot of people think this is quite a meaningless song lyrically, however if you were to read into a very interesting story is revealed. The walrus was meant to be based on a Lewis Carrol character. Although it is John that claims to be the walrus in this song, he later renounced this by singing ‘the walrus was Paul’ in the song Glass Onion.
Leave My Kitten Alone
Originally a hit for Little Willie John in 1959 and covered by Johnny Preston in 1960, the Beatles recorded this in 1964 and it appeared on their Anthology 1 album. It was at the time that the Beatles were making their album Beatles For Sale that they recorded 5 takes of this song for inclusion, they ended up dropping it.
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)
This song, written by John Lennon, describes an affair he had when he was married to first wife Cynthia. It appeared on the Beatles album Rubber Soul. It was the first time the Beatles had used a sitar on one of their songs.
Ringo Starr only wrote two songs for the Beatles, this was one, the other was Don’t Pass Me By. Although Ringo often got other songs to sing, it is a misunderstanding that he wrote the ones he sang. Only these two were written by him. Octopus’s Garden definetly got the attention of the rest of the band as they put a lot of effort into it.
Another song that appeared on the ‘White Album’, this one is a George Harrison composition. It was written as a social commentary on class and corporate greed. Charles Manson thought it meant something else and inparticular the line ‘what they need is a damn good whacking’. (the line was actually suggested by Harrison’s mother as it rhymed with the previous line.
Another song with an animal in the title, another song from the ‘White Album’. This folk-rock song was written by Paul McCartney but again came under the Lennon/McCartney songwriting umbrella. He wrote most of it in India while studying with the Maharishi.
Three Cool Cats
This song was originally released by the Coasters in 1958 and was written by Leiber and Stoller (who wrote often for Elvis). The Beatles version saw George Harrison take the lead vocals and has Pete Best on drums. It appeared on the Anthology 1 album.
Too Much Monkey Business
This Chuck Berry song, released in 1956, has been covered on many ocassions by many different bands. The Beatles recorded their version in the 60’s for the BBC. It was released on the Beatles Live at the BBC album in the mid 90’s.