Paul McCartney’s favourite among his own compositions, ‘Here, There And Everywhere’ is often cited as his finest love song.
It was written alongside John Lennon’s swimming pool in Weybridge, while McCartney waited for Lennon to wake up.
I sat out by the pool on one of the sun chairs with my guitar and started strumming in E, and soon had a few chords, and I think by the time he’d woken up, I had pretty much written the song, so we took it indoors and finished it up.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
‘Here, There And Everywhere’ was particularly highly regarded by Lennon.
Paul’s song completely, I believe. And one of my favourite songs of The Beatles.
All We Are Saying, David Sheff
Interestingly, McCartney claims to have had a demo version in March 1965, while The Beatles filmed Help! in Obertauern, Austria.
John and I shared a room and we were taking off our heavy ski boots after a day’s filming, ready to have a shower and get ready for the nice bit, the evening meal and the drinks. We were playing a cassette of our new recordings and my song ‘Here, There And Everywhere’ was on. And I remember John saying, ‘You know, I probably like that better than any of my songs on the tape.’ Coming from John, that was high praise indeed.
While the song was written with Jane Asher in mind, McCartney found inspiration for his vocals from a less likely source: singer Marianne Faithfull.
‘Here, There and Everywhere’ has a couple of interesting structural points about it: lyrically the way it combines the whole title: each verse takes a word. ‘Here’ discusses here. Next verse, ‘there’ discusses there, then it pulls it all together in the last verse, with ‘everywhere’. The structure of that is quite neat. And I like the tune. John might have helped with a few last words. When I sang it in the studio I remember thinking, I’ll sing it like Marianne Faithfull; something no one would ever know. You get these little things in your mind, you think, I’ll sing it like James Brown might, but of course it’s always you that sings it, but in your head there’s a little James Brown for that session. If you can’t think how to sing the thing, that’s always a good clue: imagine Aretha Franklin to come and sing it, Ray Charles is going to sing it. So that one was a little voice, I used an almost falsetto voice and double-tracked it. My Marianne Faithfull impression. So I would credit me pretty much 80-20 on that one.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
In the studio
Recording for ‘Here, There And Everywhere’ took place over three days. On 14 June 1966 The Beatles recorded four takes, only the final one of which was complete and with vocals. The group overdubbed the first of the harmony vocals that would be so important to the final sound.
The harmonies on that are very simple, just basic triads which the boys hummed behind and found very easy to do. There’s nothing very clever, no counterpoint, just moving block harmonies. Very simple to do… but very effective.
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn
On 16 June they recorded takes 5-13 of the rhythm track, the last of which was deemed to be the best. Onto this they overdubbed more harmony vocals along with McCartney’s lead vocals and bass guitar. The following day McCartney double-tracked his lead vocals, and the song was complete.
In 1996 the ‘Real Love’ single featured a composite of take 7, featuring McCartney’s guide vocals, and the harmonies overdubbed onto take 13. This version is unavailable on any official Beatles album.
My favourite line is ‘Changing my life with a wave of her hand’. I look at that line now and wonder where it came from. What was it? Was I thinking of the queen waving from the royal carriage? Or just the power of the little thing. The power of doing hardly anything. She waves her hand and she’s changed my life. It summons up a lot.
So now when I sing it, I look back at it and think, ‘The boy’s not bad.’ In fact, if pushed, I would say that ‘Here, There and Everywhere’ is my own favourite of all my songs.
The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present