Song facts: You've Got to Hide Your Love Away, Tell Me What You See

You've Got to Hide Your Love Way

John Lennon wrote You've Got to Hide Your Love away in 1965; during what he described as his Dylan period. He penned the song at his home in Weybridge in a very short time, while needing another track for the band's Help! album.

It is surmised that the song was written about Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, having to keep his homosexuality a secret. But the actual meaning behind the lyrics is uncertain.

"That's me in my Dylan period again. I am like a chameleon, influenced by whatever is going on. If Elvis can do it, I can do it. If the Everly Brothers can do it, me and Paul can. Same with Dylan.
It's one of those that you sing a bit sadly to yourself, 'Here I stand, head in hand...' I'd started thinking about my own emotions. I don't know when exactly it started, like I'm A Loser or Hide Your Love Away, those kind of things. Instead of projecting myself into a situation, I would try to express what I felt about myself, which I'd done in my books. I think it was Dylan who helped me realise that - not by any discussion or anything, but by hearing his work." - John Lennon

Personnel

  • John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, 12-string acoustic guitar
  • Paul McCartney – bass
  • George Harrison – classical acoustic guitar
  • Ringo Starr – brushed snare drum, tambourine, maracas
  • John Scott – tenor and alto flutes
John Lennon 1965. 

John Lennon 1965. 

Tell Me What You See

According to Paul McCartney Tell Me a What You See was a collaborative effort between himself and John Lennon; although in an interview for PlayBoy Lennon claimed the song was entirely Paul's.

McCartney was never happy with the song and spoke rather dismissively of it, describing it as not awfully memorable. The Beatles never performed it at any of their concerts.

"I seem to remember it as mine. I would claim it as a 60-40 but it might have been totally me. Not awfully memorable. Not one of the better songs but they did a job, they were very handy for albums or b-sides. You need those kind of sides." - Paul McCartney

Personnel

  • Paul McCartney – lead vocal, bass, electric piano,
  • John Lennon – lead vocal, rhythm guitar, tambourine
  • George Harrison – güiro
  • Ringo Starr – drums, claves
Paul McCartney 1965. 

Paul McCartney 1965. 

Recording

The Beatles recorded You've Got to Hide Your Love Away and Tell Me What You See in one day on February 18th 1965.

Between 3:30 and 5:15pm the band recorded nine takes of You've Got to Hide Your Love Away. This song featured a session musician, Flautist Johnnie Scott, the first session musician to appear on a Beatles' recording since Love Me Do.

Later that night they recorded Paul McCartney's Tell Me What You See in four takes, with Lennon on electric guitar, McCartney on bass, Harrison playing a güiro and Ringo on drums.

Anthology 2 album cover, 1996. 

Anthology 2 album cover, 1996. 

If You've Got Trouble

On this day The Beatles also worked on a song called If You've Got Trouble, which Lennon and McCartney wrote for Ringo; and intended for inclusion on Help!, but the Beatles just couldn't make it work and so it was discarded. Ringo ended up singing Act Naturally in its place.

The song remained unreleased until a take surfaced on The Beatles' Anthology 2 album in 1996. 

"I recorded a song for the Help! album that was never released - If You've Got Trouble. George Martin found it in the vaults of EMI studios." - Ringo Starr
"It's the most weird song. It's got stupid words and is the naffest song. No wonder it didn't make it onto anything." - George Harrison  

Personnel

  • Ringo Starr – double-tracked vocal, drums
  • John Lennonbacking vocal, rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – backing vocal, bass
  • George Harrison – lead guitar
  • George Martin – producer
  • Norman Smith – engineer
Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr 1965. 

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr 1965. 

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