Song facts: The Word

On November 10th 1965, The Beatles recorded The Word, a new John Lennon song for the band's forthcoming Rubber Soul album.

The song was allegedly a collaborative effort between John and Paul after smoking some pot together, but according to Lennon the song was mostly his. Getting high before a songwriting session was something the Beatles had not generally done up to this point. 

The Word was Lennon's first attempt at conveying love as a universal message, as opposed to a love song. This would plant the seeds for later inspirations such as All You Need Is Love in 1967. Lennon gave the original sheets of the song to Yoko Ono shortly before their relationship began.

"We smoked a bit of pot, then we wrote out a multicolored lyric sheet, the first time we'd ever done that. We normally didn't smoke when we were working. It got in the way of songwriting because it would just cloud your mind up — "Oh, shit, what are we doing?" It's better to be straight. But we did this multicolor thing." - Paul McCartney
Rubber Soul album cover and John Lennon , 1965.

Rubber Soul album cover and John Lennon , 1965.

Personnel

  • John Lennon – lead and harmony vocal, rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass, piano
  • George Harrison – harmony vocal, lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums, maracas
  • George Martin – harmonium solo
"It sort of dawned on me that love was the answer, when I was younger, on the Rubber Soul album. My first expression of it was a song called The Word. The word is 'love', in the good and the bad books that I have read, whatever, wherever, the word is 'love'. It seems like the underlying theme to the universe. " - John Lennon