Clarabella

Live At The BBC album artworkWritten by: Frank Pingatore
Recorded: 2 July 1963

Released: 30 November 1994 (UK), 5 December 1994 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals, bass
John Lennon: harmonica, rhythm guitar
George Harrison: lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums

Available on:
Live At The BBC

This lesser-known song by The Jodimars was recorded for the Pop Go The Beatles radio show. It was first broadcast on 16 July 1963.

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The Jodimars were formed in America in 1955 by past members of Bill Haley’s Comets. They had left Haley’s group following a salary dispute; their name came from the first names of founding members Joey Ambrose, Dick Bocelli and Marshall Lytle.

Clarabella was The Jodimars’ fifth US single, released in November 1956. It was not a chart success, but a copy evidently found its way into The Beatles’ hands.

In contrast to the slower, Elvis-style original, The Beatles’ version of Clarabella was a souped-up rocker, complete with the first recorded outing for Paul McCartney’s Little Richard impersonation.

Although it was never recorded by the group for EMI, McCartney has suggested that the song was put forward as a possible cover version. Talking about the songs recorded for the BBC, he said:

I think we probably played them all to George [Martin] and said, ‘How about this one?’ Clarabella was one.
Paul McCartney
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

Lyrics

Well, I’ve got a baby
Crazy for me
Yeah, I’ve got a baby
Won’t let me be

Whoa, baby baby, Clarabella
Baby baby, Clarabella
Baby baby, whoa, whoa, yeah

Well, she needs no
Coachin’ on makin’ love
All she needs is the stars up above

Whoa, baby baby, Clarabella
Baby baby, Clarabella
Baby baby, whoa, whoa, yeah

Well now, Clarabella
You’re my honey, Clarabella
Ooh yeah Clarabella
I said you’re my baby, Clarabella
Yeah, Clarabella, baby
Wo wo, yeah yeah

Well, she’s got no time for-a dungarees
Already knows her ABCs

Whoa, baby baby, Clarabella
Baby baby, Clarabella
Baby baby, whoa, whoa, yeah

Well now, Clarabella, yeah
You’re my honey, Clarabella
Whoo, you’re my baby, Clarabella
You’re my honey, Clarabella, yeah
Yeah, Clarabella, baby
Whoa whoa, well, oh yeah

5 responses on “Clarabella

  1. Bill

    Remember when we used to make mix tapes? Years ago, just for fun I decided to make a tape of all Beatles cover songs (EMI, BBC, live, etc.) using the original artist’s recordings only. I tracked down all of them except for this one & “Devil In Her (His) Heart”.

  2. beatles fan

    You could tell that the Beatles put everything they had into this song to make it sound great. Without the harmonica and the Little Richard impersonation, this song wouldn’t be one of the best on the Live at the BBC album. They probably sped the song up to please the audience in Hamburg, and I’m glad they did.

  3. Beatlesobsessor1969

    This song is one of the best on the album. I knew a kid named chad pingatore and his grandfather actually wrote the song. It’s credited to pingatore, frank pingatore

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