Released: 17 January 1969 (UK), 13 January 1969 (US)
Paul McCartney: vocals, acoustic guitar, bass, handclaps
John Lennon: vocals, acoustic guitar, ukulele, harmonica, handclaps
George Harrison: backing vocals, handclaps
Ringo Starr: backing vocals, drums, finger cymbals, handclaps
A childlike singalong written in the music hall tradition, All Together Now was written in the studio for the Yellow Submarine film.
Paul McCartney came up with the idea for the song and wrote the verses and chorus, while Lennon contributed the ‘Sail the ship, chop the tree’ middle section.
All Together Now features during an animated sequence in Yellow Submarine, and again towards the end of the film, introduced by The Beatles themselves.
It’s really a children’s song. I had a few young relatives and I would sing songs for them. I used to do a song for kids called Jumping Round The Room, very similar to All Together Now, and then it would be ‘lying on your backs’, all the kids would have to lie down, then it would be ‘skipping round the room’, ‘jumping in the air’. It’s a play away command song for children. It would be in G, very very simple chords, only a couple of chords, so that’s what this is. There’s a little subcurrent to it but it’s just a singalong really. A bit of a throwaway.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
McCartney was delighted when the song became a popular terrace chant at football matches shortly after its release in early 1969.
Jazz musician Paul Horn remembers him singing it in India; instead of ‘H, I, J, I love you’, he is said to have sung ‘E, F, G, H, I, jai Guru Dev’ in honour of Maharishi‘s spiritual master.
I put a few lines in it somewhere, probably.
All We Are Saying, David Sheff
In the studio
It took the group nine takes to get right. They then added a number of overdubs, including ukulele and harmonica, both played by John Lennon.