The Saints

Written by: Trad. arr. Tony Sheridan
Recorded: 22/23 June 1961
Producer: Bert Kaempfert
Engineer: Karl Hinze

Released: October 1961

Tony Sheridan: vocals, lead guitar
John Lennon: rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney: bass
George Harrison: lead guitar
Pete Best: drums

A rock ‘n’ roll version of When The Saints Go Marching In was the b-side of My Bonnie, The Beatles’ first commercially-released record.

The songs were recorded in Hamburg in 1961, after German bandleader Bert Kaempfert suggested that The Beatles recorded some songs as the backing group to English singer Tony Sheridan.

The recording took place on a converted stage at Hamburg’s Friedrich-Ebert-Halle school, during a two-day session on 22-23 June 1961. The group were the backing band for Sheridan, who took lead vocals, and together they recorded My Bonnie and The Saints, the latter a rocked-up version of When The Saints Go Marching In. They also taped Why and Cry For A Shadow.

It’s just Tony Sheridan singing, with us banging in the background. It’s terrible. It could be anybody.
John Lennon, 1963
Anthology

A single of My Bonnie, with The Saints as the b-side, was released in Germany in October 1961. Credited to Tony Sheridan and The Beat Brothers, it reached number five in the German charts, selling a reported 100,000 copies.

They didn’t like our name and said, ‘Change to The Beat Brothers; this is more understandable for the German audience.’ We went along with it – it was a record.
Paul McCartney
Anthology

The single had its UK release in April 1962, as Tony Sheridan and The Beatles. The Saints first appeared on a US album in 1964, once the group had achieved worldwide fame, and was credited to The Beatles with Tony Sheridan.

The Saints was omitted from Anthology 1, but has remained widely available since the 1960s on a number of non-Apple releases.

Lyrics

Well a-when the saints go marching in
When the saints go marching in
Mmm I want to be
I’m gonna be in that number
Ooh, when the saints go marching in

Oh when the sun, yeah, begins to shine
When that old sun above begins to shine,
I tell you something: I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be in that number
When the sun begins to shine

Yeah when my lord, mmm, he calls me there
Ah when my lord calls, yeah ge calls me there
I’ll tell you something that I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be in that number
Oh when my old lord calls me there

Yeah, when the saints go marching in
When the saints go marching, marching in
I tell you something I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be in that number
Yeah, when the saints go marching in

Well when the sun, yeah, begins to shine.
Whoo, when that sun begins to shine
I tell you something I’m gonna be
I’m a-gonna be in that number, whoo
When that old sun, boy, begins to shine

I say one time
Ah-ha, mmm, ah-ha yeah
Oh, I like it that way baby
Mmm, yeah, ooh
When the saints go marching in

Yeah when the saints go marching in
Yeah when the saints go marching in
I tell you something, that I’m gonna be
I’m gonna be in that number,
Yeah when the saints go marching in

When my lord, he calls me there
Yeah when my lord, he calls me there
I’ll tell you something that I’m gonna be
Gonna be, I’m a-gonna be in that number
Yeah, when the saints go marching in

Related articles:

Leave a reply