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11 November 2014
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Joe
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Help! single - United Kingdom

Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 13 April 1965
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 23 July 1965 (UK), 19 July 1965 (US)

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

Available on:
Help!
1
Anthology 2
Love

The title track to The Beatles' fifth album and second film,…

Can buy me love! Please consider using these links to support the Beatles Bible: Amazon | iTunes
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20 September 2015
8.13am
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Ahhh Girl
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I have been pondering this question about the oooo that ends the song (starts at 2:16 in the video) for some time now.

Have you ever contemplated what the meaning behind it sounds like? I'll put my take on it in a spoiler in case you want to answer before seeing my thoughts on it.

It seems to me like John has been singing that song to himself, but then realizes other people have heard what he is saying. It is like he wants other people to know the thoughts in his head, but he isn't supposed to let people know. It is like he did something naughty. People shouldn't know he needs help, but he he doesn't care that he let them know. It fits the song so perfectly.

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Martha
20 January 2016
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Derek_Francis
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Lennon said this was one of his most authentic and favorite songs he wrote in his career.  He regret its fast tempo, but to me, I think the unusually frantic pace illustrates what the song was trying to say even more.  Behind the screaming fans dancing to it, it was a frank plea for help hidden in plain sight.

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lennonflower
31 August 2017
5.33am
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meanmistermustard
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Has the recording of the vocal for the mono mix ever been sourced? I know John C. Winn has an entry for it in 'Way Beyond Compare' but he dismissed that himself in 'Lifting Latches'. The mono is such a different vocal, with subtle changes, and the mix too with the tambourine missing and other bits.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of self to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

31 August 2017
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sir walter raleigh
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I never noticed that the vocal is different. Now I hear it. Paul's backup vocal changes slightly too. On "my indepen.." he adds a little gravel to his voice.

"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

-Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

"We could ride and surf together while our love would grow"

-Brian Wilson, Surfer Girl

1 September 2017
10.18am
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Ahhh Girl
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1 September 2017
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meanmistermustard
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8It's from the early 70's (if I remember correctly). 

 

Someone posted it on here before thinking it was a rare demo before it was recorded by The Beatles in 1965, it's not.

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"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of self to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

1 September 2017
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sir walter raleigh
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Its from a collection of demos from Tittenhurst Park. 

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Ahhh Girl

"The pump don't work cause the vandals took the handles!"

-Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

"We could ride and surf together while our love would grow"

-Brian Wilson, Surfer Girl

5 September 2017
3.34pm
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Martha
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Ahhh Girl said on 20.9.2015 about the oooohh at the end of Help !:

It seems to me like John has been singing that song to himself, but then realizes other people have heard what he is saying. It is like he wants other people to know the thoughts in his head, but he isn't supposed to let people know. It is like he did something naughty. People shouldn't know he needs help, but he he doesn't care that he let them know. It fits the song so perfectly.

That's a really interesting interpretation, I really like it! I think it fits the song 100%! For me, John sounds like someone who had kept internal struggles inside himself for a very long time in this song and suddenly all the negative emotions, insecurity, and resentment towards himself burst out of him like a firework and he has no control over it. Then, when the 'oooo' comes at the end of the song, he realises that he has dropped his mask and finally has shown his real emotions which he hadn't dared to do all the time before. But instead of being embarrassed or shy or mad at himself for this meltdown, he simply reacts resigned, as if he wanted to say 'oh well, it doesn't matter, I don't care about it anymore, I'm just too tired to do so'.

Not once does the diversity seem forced -- the genius of the record is how the vaudevillian "When I'm 64" seems like a logical extension of "Within You Without You" and how it provides a gateway to the chiming guitars of "Lovely Rita. - Stephen T. Erlewine on Sgt Pepper's

30 January 2018
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Ahhh Girl
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(Help !) I need somebody
(Help !) Not just anybody

If John doesn't need *just anybody*, who specifically is he needing? Is it a specific person or a specific category of person (mother figure, father figure, psychiatrist)?

(Help !) *You* know I need someone

Help me if *you* can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate *you* being 'round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't *you* please, please help me?

Who is *you*?

I've been pondering these questions for a few days now.

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TheWalrusWasBrian
31 January 2018
8.17am
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Zig
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John's friend since childhood Pete Shotton says he is *you* - particularly in the line "And I do appreciate you being 'round". He says that line was written by John as a "thank you".

Source = The Beatles Book (2016, Hunter Davies, et al) - Section One, 'Beatles People', page 132.

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31 January 2018
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QuarryMan
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I personally don't think there is a 'you'. John said the song was a genuine cry for help that they turned commercial by speeding it up. What if the inclusion of a 'you' was to make it more commercial too? I think in reality John was crying out for help to no one in particular within his immediate circles, but included a 'you' in order to turn the song into a love song, or at least make it appear that way.

The point I'm trying to make is that although this song could technically be considered a love song, once you know the context, it's hard to hear it as such. Add the fact that John admitted to making it more commercially viable and it seems even less likely that it was genuinely written with a specific person in mind.

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31 January 2018
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Ahhh Girl
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I never thought of it as a love song. Not by a country mile. Perhaps because of the looking-at-it-in-retrospect phenomenon. Yeah, probably.

Interesting way to think of the song.

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31 January 2018
2.08pm
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Evangeline
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I've always assumed the song is about Julia .

I am you as you are you as you are you and you are all together. 

31 January 2018
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QuarryMan
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Evangeline said
I've always assumed the song is about Julia .  

But then, it could also be about Cyn, Paul or pretty much anyone. I think it makes more sense as John just crying out to nobody in particular.

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2 February 2018
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Billy Rhythm
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Ahhh Girl said

(Help !) I need somebody
(Help !) Not just anybody

If John doesn't need *just anybody*, who specifically is he needing? Is it a specific person or a specific category of person (mother figure, father figure, psychiatrist)?

(Help !) *You* know I need someone

Help me if *you* can, I'm feeling down
And I do appreciate *you* being 'round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won't *you* please, please help me?

Who is *you*?

I've been pondering these questions for a few days now.  

 

It's obvious to me that the "*you*" referenced throughout the song is Yoko...  before she came into John's life...  this was the early rumblings of the "love is all you need" and "love is the answer" refrains...  John is looking for a way out of what he's gotten himself into here and, I'm sure that we all can relate to them days where we were eternally searching for our "other half" but hadn't found her/him yet...  It's a primal instinct, very much like procreation, which takes over your thoughts no matter what life has thrown your way...  Although he was literally "joined at the hip" with three other remarkable human beings at the time, John was alone and it bothered him deeply...  Thankfully, Yoko Ono was all ready en route to the head on collision that was about to ensue...  She really DID help him to get his feet back on the ground...:-)   

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4 February 2018
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Reklo87
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I always thought the *you* was someone that could help him out.  He didn't need a crowd of people or everyone helping him, just the one that would really, truly help him.

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28 March 2018
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Ahhh Girl
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2 August 2019
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Father McKenzie
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Hahaha,that video is brilliant. Just wish it was longer @Ahhh Girl! ahdn_paul_06

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Still writing the words to the sermon that no one will hear......

30 October 2019
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IzzyMissLizzy
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This song has resonated with me for years and I do believe that has to do with George Harrison 's background vocals.  Fascinating how the boys would through curve balls and change things up.  You know it would be Paul 9 out of 10 times.  But the perfect mixture of spoken/sung backround is perfect for this.  Paul would not have been able to help but make the backing VOCALS too "beautiful/pretty''.  a song with this much bounce needs something to calm it down and Georges voice does this perfectly. The Stereo mix is Essential.  tHE ORIGINAL mono MIX DOES NOT do this song justice.  Beautiful song.  Amazing arrangement. 10/10 

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