As John Lennon said, "life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans." That lyric is certainly true of us, as we had to take an unexpected hiatus from the podcast. But now we're finally back with a new episode!

We had previously analyzed Paul McCartney's contributions to John Lennon's Beatles songs in episode #9, and so for this episode we explore the opposite scenario: Lennon's contributions to McCartney's Beatles songs. We examine the songs that were primarily authored by McCartney, and how Lennon's contribution drastically altered the song. Lennon's contribution can be in the form of an added section, assistance with lyrics, or a vocal or instrumental performance. We explore songs such as "Michelle," "She's Leaving Home," "Honey Pie," and many others. 

Do you agree or disagree with our song choices? Are there other excellent examples of Lennon's contributions to McCartney's Beatles songs that we may have missed? Drop us an email and let us know:


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Everett, Walter. The Beatles as Musicians: Revolver through Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press, 1999.

Everett, Walter. The Beatles as Musicians: The Quarry Men through Rubber Soul. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Guesdon, Jean-Michel and Philippe Margotin. All The Songs: The Story Behind Every Beatles Release. New York: Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, 2013.

McDonald, Ian. Revolution in the Head: The Beatles Records and the Sixties. Chicago: Chicago Review Press, 2007.

Miles, Barry. Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now. New York: Henry Holt, 1997.

Turner, Steve. A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song. New York: HarperCollins, 2005.

Composer and musicologist Howard Goodall discusses how the Beatles incorporated a harmonium into their music, which John Lennon played on "We Can Work It Out":

Lennon's contribution to "Michelle" was inspired by Nina Simone's cover of Screamin' Jay Hawkins song, "I Put a Spell on You":

McCartney discusses Lennon's contribution to "Hey Jude":

An early version of "Ob-la-di, Ob-la-da," before Lennon's piano was added:

George Harrison compared John Lennon's guitar solo in "Honey Pie" to Django Reinhardt: