‘I’m Happy Just To Dance With You’ was written by Lennon and McCartney as George Harrison’s vocal spot on the A Hard Day’s Night album.

The song was purposefully written with Harrison’s vocal range in mind.

We wrote ‘I’m Happy Just To Dance With You’ for George in the film. It was a bit of a formula song. We knew that in E if you went to an A flat minor, you could always make a song with those chords; that change pretty much always excited you. This is one of these. Certainly ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret’ was. This one anyway was a straight co-written song for George. We wouldn’t have actually wanted to sing it because it was a bit… The ones that pandered to the fans in truth were our least favourite songs but they were good. They were good for the time. The nice thing about it was to actually pull a song off on a slim little premise like that. A simple little idea. It was songwriting practice.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

In the studio

‘I’m Happy Just To Dance With You’ was recorded on 1 March 1964, The Beatles’ first session on a Sunday.

They completed three songs in three hours; the others were ‘Long Tall Sally’ and ‘I Call Your Name’. ‘I’m Happy Just To Dance With You’ was the first to be recorded that day, and took four takes to get right.

That was written for George to give him a piece of the action.
John Lennon, 1980
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

John Lennon's handwritten lyrics for I’m Happy Just To Dance With You and If I Fell

The only known non-EMI version of ‘I’m Happy Just To Dance With You’ was recorded on 17 July 1964 for the BBC’s From Us To You programme. It was taped at the BBC Paris Studio, London, and first broadcast on 3 August.

A bootleg version is also in circulation which features the BBC backing track only, captured without Harrison’s multitracked lead vocals.

Previous song: ‘If I Fell’
Next song: ‘And I Love Her’
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