Baby It’s You

Please Please Me album artworkWritten by: David-Williams-Bacharach
Recorded: 11 February 1963
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 22 March 1963 (UK), 22 July 1963 (US)

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

Available on:
Please Please Me
Live At The BBC

Baby It's You was the 10th song recorded during The Beatles' marathon 11 February 1963 session, in which they recorded the bulk of their debut album Please Please Me.

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The song was originally recorded by The Shirelles, whose Boys was also covered for the album. The music was written by Burt Bacharach, with lyrics by Luther Dixon (credited as Barney Williams, who also produced the original) and Mack David.

Baby It's You was part of The Beatles' live set from 1961 to 1963. They used The Shirelles' vocal arrangement for their version, which was recorded in just three takes with John Lennon taking lead.

The strain in Lennon's voice is evident as he reaches for the high notes on the line "Don't want nobody, nobody". Thankfully there was just one more song to record that night - the album's thrilling closer Twist And Shout.

A version of Baby It's You, recorded for the radio programme Pop Go The Beatles, was recorded on 1 June 1963. It was later released on the Live At The BBC album in 1994, and as a single the following year. The b-sides of the single - versions of I'll Follow The Sun, Devil In Her Heart and Boys - are, unusually, unavailable on any other Beatles CD.


Sha la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la
Sha la la la la la la
Sha la la la la

It's not the way you smile that touched my heart (sha la la la la)
It's not the way you kiss that tears me apart

Many, many, many nights go by
I sit alone at home and I cry over you
What can I do?
I can't help myself, 'cause baby it's you
Baby, it's you

You should hear what they say about you: cheat, cheat
They say, they say you never never never ever been true (cheat, cheat)

It doesn't matter what they say
I know I'm gonna love you any old way
What can I do? And it's true
Don't want nobody, nobody, 'cause baby it's you
Baby it's you

It doesn't matter what they say
I know I'm gonna love you any old way
What can I do, when it's true?
Don't want nobody, nobody, 'cause baby it's you
Baby it's you
Don't leave me all alone
Come on home...

23 responses on “Baby It’s You

    1. JNagarya

      I’ve long sensed that The Beatles were uncomfortable with background singing; as if pointless and silly; lame — perhaps because so often both obligatory and uninventive. As result, as they grew creatively, they played with it; so in some songs (on “Sgt. Pepper’s,” as example) they changed the background singing verse-to-verse. (And then there’s the “tit-tit-tit-tit” in “Girl”; and the “Bop-Shoo-Wop”s in one of their video versions of “Revolution” — which is counter to the seriousness of the message.)

  1. Garrett Hawk

    I agree with Matt’s comment, above. It’s hard to admit that even the Carpenters version is better than this, and the Smith version is downright rockin’.

    The cover songs that the group decided to record for their first album are an interesting lot…they tend to be more “pop” than rock & roll (with the obvious exception of the last-minute idea to do “Twist and Shout.”). It wasn’t till later albums that they seemed to discover that their real strengths lied in the harder tunes of Chuck Berry and Carl Perkins.

    Of course the Beatles’ main strength was in performing their original songs. Even on their very first album, when their songwriting was in the embryonic stage, their own songs are superior to the covers they chose.

    1. JNagarya

      John and Paul were very much focused on the craft of songwriting. After hitting it big, and before they came to the US, John, in an interview, said that Paul and he wanted to be “the Goffin-King of England”.

      The songs they chose to cover were songs they liked, and responsive to audience demands. In the era during which they grew up, the emphasis of “rock and roll” was speed. Folks looked askance at “rock and rollers” who did ballads; it was all (see Little Richard, as example) to be fast and loud.

      It’s also the fact that USians don’t tend to have the extraordinary objective and eclectic range in tastes. John said that he liked the repetition of “please please” in a Bing Crosby song, which lead to his “Please Please Me” (which I believe was written for Roy Orbison — he wrote it during that tour). Bing Crosby is not a singer to whom a True Believer “rock and roller” would listen.

  2. Raymond

    The Carpenters?


    Yeah ….

    It’s an emotional eargasm, that’s what it is. Lennons vocals are superb.
    Lovesongs should be sung like this! The screams, the screams…

    The shalalalalalalalala – (tongue-in-cheek) – tells us, it’s the same old story again: – ‘love sucks, we know, shalala’, it replies througout the song to Lennons “I’ve just lost my lover and don’t want nobody”-screems-from-the-shocked-and-lonely-bottom-of-the-soul….

    One of my favourites. (Even though it’s a cover.) Note the production on the albumversion: the icy echo.

    An A+… Pop musicians all around the world: check this one!

  3. Joseph Brush

    The Carpenters performed Baby’s It’s You better than the Beatles?
    Give me a break.
    The Smiths had the better part of a decade plus other covers of this particular song to compare with before they recorded their one and only big hit.

    1. Andy Viner Seiler

      Actually, this is false. The rock band Smith was unfamiliar with the song when they recorded it. Dell Shannon (of “Runaway” fame) had heard Smith perform live, & thought they would sound great doing a cover version of it. However, he DIDN’T want to intimidate them, or even influence them, by playing the Shirelles or Beatles versions — so he didn’t. Shannon simply gave them the lyrics & taught them the chords. Shannon’s plan was to produce the record but he didn’t end up getting to. His gut impulse was proven correct, however.

  4. J. Garcia

    The voice of Lennon in this song is hard to recognize. I am told he and Paul were hoarse.

    Nevertheless, this is one of my favorite tracks from the album. The Beatles used to cover these songs and would basically do the same arrangement as the record. Nevertheless, the song would sound a 1000% better because of the strength and energy of the vocals.

    1. Joe Post author

      This was the last song recorded for Please Please Me apart from Twist And Shout. That’s why Lennon’s voice sounds so harsh – he was reaching his limit after a hard day’s recording.

  5. M. Whitener

    I don’t think the song itself is the issue I have with “Baby It’s You”, it’s oddly the singer. With John’s voice going, it seems he’d be third in line for this one. It already seems more like a Paul number & even George couldve probably delivered a credible version. It’s not a bad song, it’s just not everything it could have been, even for a cover.

  6. scott wood blagman

    The song is perfection to compare its perfection to anything else out there is pointless, this is the Beatles, being the Beatles, the most pure state of Beatleness! Johns vocal is fresh and compelling the other are tightly backing him and in it your heart breaks open when he sings ” I sit at home and I wonder why,or Im gonna love you any old way”, he’s hooked and we’re hooked and that my man is the way love was for all of us,and is when we groove on this groove of grooves,miss you Johnny!

  7. Jon

    You people are insane. This may be one of John’s best vocal performances ever. It’s incredibly compelling. I pity your inability to feel it.

    The Carpenters? Really? Oh my god.

    This one is a jewel. A lovely, dry, tight performance that just oozes emotion. Few are the performers who ever hit this level.

    1. Happiness is a warm gun

      I do love John’s Buddy Holly-esque vocals on this, but the rest of it makes me grind my teeth. The drum sound it awful–rare for a Beatles track–and it sounds like Ringo just *hated* this song by how he plods along. The rhythm guitar is too tinny and splashy. George’s low register solo is what guitar would sound like if it farted, and the celesta doubling it is irritatingly metallic and doesn’t blend well. Then, of course, the backing vocals are utterly unmusical and half-hearted. Pity because I agree it’s a great vocal performance for John–just not a good recording for the Beatles.

    1. JNagarya

      It was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. Not my favorite writers (Jackie DeShannon’s “Put a Little Love in Your Heart” is better than their “What the World Needs Now is Love”). But John’s singing is committed and powerful; he was doing “blues”/R & B.

  8. James Ferrell

    I agree with your comments, warm gun person, although I don’t even like the lead vocal. For me this is one of the 4 or 5 weak songs on PPM. But I’m glad to see that others on the site really like this one. I myself am quite fond of a number of Beatles songs that the conventional wisdom says are weak (e.g. Blue Jay Way, Only a Northern Song, and Wild Honey Pie, although even I can’t take Mr. Moonlight).

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