All Together Now

Yellow Submarine album artworkWritten by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 12 May 1967
Producer: Paul McCartney
Engineer: Geoff Emerick

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

Available on:
Yellow Submarine
Yellow Submarine Songtrack

A childlike singalong written in the music hall tradition, All Together Now was written in the studio for the Yellow Submarine film.

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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.
Paul McCartney
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.
John Lennon
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

In the studio

The Beatles completed the song in a six-hour session on 12 May 1967. In the absence of George Martin, the song was essentially produced by McCartney with assistance from engineer Geoff Emerick.

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.

28 responses on “All Together Now

  1. Richard Phillips

    How awesomely catchy is this song?

    It’s almost embarassing how catchy it it…

    Having your friends give you weird looks while you accidently say SAIL THE SHIP CHOP THE TREE

  2. Barry

    Although Lennon sings the “Sail the ship…” part, that doesn’t necessarily mean that he wrote it. Is there any concrete evidence that those lines were his lyrical contribution?

  3. Max

    “a-fix it, and to keep his from wandering!”
    and also one of the most fabulous count-offs in film history one, two, three, FAWR! i love john and paul and ringo and george.

  4. JP

    Like many Beatle songs, I liked this one from the first time I heard it. All Together Now was one of the last Beatle songs I heard (never heard it before I bought Yellow Sub Songtrack in ’03). Now it is being used in some commercial and is probably more widely recognized today than it was 20 years ago.

  5. Gwendolyn

    Probably my favorite beatles song when I was a kid. And then their were all the other ones, yellow submarine, when I’m sixty-four, octopuse’s garden, all of those 😛

  6. will

    Probably a little late but you have George and Paul playing acoustics and John playing harmonica on one track in another thread to this song. I think this would be more than likely than John overdubbing harmonica then overdubbing ukelele. Also I’m curious to know where you got the info that John played ukelele, Joe. By the way I think this is an amazing site, Joe.

  7. David (from Peru)

    I always hear the line “Pink, brown, yellow, orange and blue I love you” as if it was sung by Ringo, for some reason. Maybe is because the nasal tone, the “olange” mistake and its slightly out of tune melody. Or maybe I just want to hear that.

  8. Bruce

    Of course Lennon wrote the middle eight “… Sail the ship, chop the tree, skip the rope, look at meeee”. Reason 1 being that they mostly sang the parts that they contributed to songs, especially later in their career (Rubble Soul on). Secondly, it is pure Lennon, in the same vein as his lyrics in Hey Bulldog!

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