The song had actually been performed by The Quarrymen as early as 1958, when McCartney and Lennon were still finding their way as songwriters. As The Beatles’ popularity grew in Liverpool in the early 1960s, it was one of the original songs inserted into the group’s set to see how it fared.
‘Like Dreamers Do’ was one of the very first songs I wrote and tried out at the Cavern. We did a weak arrangement but certain of the kids liked it because it was unique, none of the other groups did it. It was actually a bit of a joke to try your own songs… For you to write it yourself was a bit plonky, and the songs obviously weren’t that great, but I felt we really had to break through that barrier because if we never tried our own songs we’d just never have the confidence to continue writing.
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
That’s Paul. That was another one that he’d written as a teenager and sort of resurrected and polished up for later on. That’s on the audition tape that we sent Decca which is around as a bootleg. I sing ‘To Know Her Is To Love Her’ and ‘Hello Little Girl’ and Paul sings ‘Like Dreamers Do’. I believe they’re all on that.
By the time they signed to EMI later in 1962, The Beatles had largely forgotten about ‘Like Dreamers Do’. It was, however, given to Birmingham group The Applejacks, who took it to number 20 in the UK singles chart in June 1964 – a time when anything written by Lennon-McCartney was likely to become a hit.
The Beatles’ own Decca recording was finally released in November 1995 on Anthology 1.