The Hippy Hippy Shake

Live At The BBC album artworkWritten by: Romero
Recorded: 10 July 1963
Producer: Terry Henebery

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

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

Available on:
Live At The BBC
On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2

The Beatles recorded five versions of Chan Romero’s 1959 hit The Hippy Hippy Shake for BBC radio.

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The song was a popular song among Merseybeat groups in the early 1960s. The Beatles performed it at the Star-Club in Hamburg in December 1962, which can be heard on bootleg recordings.

A version by Liverpudlian group The Swinging Blue Jeans was released on December 1963. It became a top five hit in the UK, and nearly reached the top 20 in America in early 1964.

There were millions of groups around at that time – The Blue Angels, The Running Scareds – but they were mostly lookalike groups; The Shadows and Roy Orbison had a lot of followers. Then there were groups like us, more into the blues and slightly obscure material. And because we had the unusual songs, we became the act you had to see, to copy…

We had too much material anyway. We couldn’t record it all when we did get a deal, so other groups took songs from our act and made hits out of them – like The Swinging Blue Jeans with The Hippy Hippy Shake, which was one of my big numbers.

Paul McCartney
Anthology

The Beatles first recorded it on 16 March 1963, when it was the final song performed for the BBC radio show Saturday Club. The show was transmitted live from Broadcasting House, London.

The song had a second airing on 24 May, when it was played during the first Pop Go The Beatles show. This was recorded at the Aeolian Hall, London, and first broadcast on 4 June.

The version of The Hippy Hippy Shake which was included on 1994′s Live At The BBC was recorded on 10 July, again at the Aeolian Hall. Slower than the previous two attempts, this was the last song on the seventh Pop Go The Beatles programme, which was first heard by UK listeners on 30 July.

The Beatles recorded three episodes of Pop Go The Beatles on 3 September 1963. The first of these – the 13th show in the series – closed with The Hippy Hippy Shake. It was first broadcast on 10 September.

The group’s final recording was for the Saturday Club programme, at the Playhouse Theatre, London. It was introduced by McCartney as “one that we used to do a long time ago at the Cavern, and I think it’s one that most people will know by now” – a reference to The Beatles’ four previous versions, but more likely an acknowledgement of The Swinging Blue Jeans’ recent hit single.

The edition of Saturday Club was recorded on 7 January 1964, and transmitted on 15 February.

Lyrics

For goodness’ sake
I’ve got the hippy hippy shake
I’ve got the shake
Whoo! The hippy hippy shake

Whoo! I can’t keep still
With the hippy hippy shake
I get my fill
With the hippy hippy shake
Ooh my babe
Ooh the hippy hippy shake

Well now you shake it to the left
Shake it to the right
Do the hippy shake shake
With all of your might.
And you shake
Whoo! Yes, you shake
Ooh my babe
Ow! The hippy hippy shake

Well now you shake it to the left
Shake it to the right
Do the hippy shake shake
With all of your might
And you shake
Whoo! Yes you shake
Ooh my babe
Whoo! The hippy hippy shake
Ow! The hippy hippy shake
Yeah, the hippy hippy shake
Ooh yeah

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