‘PS I Love You’ was written primarily by Paul McCartney around the time of The Beatles’ 1962 trip to Hamburg. It was first released as the b-side to their debut single ‘Love Me Do’, and later appeared on the Please Please Me album.

It’s just an idea for a song really, a theme song based on a letter, like the ‘Paperback Writer’ idea. It was pretty much mine. I don’t think John had much of a hand in it. There are certain themes that are easier than others to hang a song on, and a letter is one of them. ‘Dear John’ is the other version of it. The letter is a popular theme and it’s just my attempt at one of those. It’s not based in reality, nor did I write it to my girlfriend [Dot Rhone] from Hamburg, which some people think
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

The sentimental lyrics of ‘PS I Love You’ proved especially popular with The Beatles’ female fans, and it soon became a fixture of their live shows.

That’s Paul’s song. He was trying to write a ‘Soldier Boy’ like the Shirelles. He wrote that in Germany or when we were going to and from Hamburg. I might have contributed something. I can’t remember anything in particular. It was mainly his song.
John Lennon, 1980
All We Are Saying, David Sheff

Initially the song was mooted as a possible a-side, a notion that Richards quickly dismissed. “I was originally a music publishing man, a plugger, so I knew that someone had already done a record with that title,” he said. He was referring to a 1934 song by Gordon Jenkins and Johnny Mercer, originally recorded by Rudy Vallée.

In the studio

The Beatles first recorded an unknown number of takes of ‘PS I Love You’ at their first Abbey Road session on 6 June 1962, with Pete Best on drums. Then, during the second ‘Love Me Do’ session on 11 September, they remade it in 10 takes.

Ringo Starr didn’t play drums on the record. Producer Ron Richards brought session player Andy White in as a replacement, as Starr hadn’t proved good enough during the band’s 4 September session. Starr, sadly, was relegated to maracas during ‘PS I Love You’.

BBC recordings

The Beatles recorded ‘PS I Love You’ three times for BBC radio sessions.

The first was for the 26 October 1962 edition of Here We Go, which was recorded the previous day. The other songs recorded for the show were the unreleased ‘Sheila’, ‘Love Me Do’, and ‘A Taste Of Honey’.

The second BBC recording was for The Talent Spot. It was taped on 27 November 1962 and broadcast on 4 December 1962. The Beatles performed three songs: ‘Love Me Do’, ‘PS I Love You’, and ‘Twist And Shout’.

The third and final BBC version of ‘PS I Love You’ was for Pop Go The Beatles. It was recorded on 17 June 1963 and broadcast on 25 June.

The Beatles recorded seven songs for the programme: ‘Anna (Go To Him)’, ‘I Saw Her Standing There’, ‘Boys’, ‘Chains’, ‘PS I Love You’, ‘Twist And Shout’, and ‘A Taste Of Honey’. This version of ‘PS I Love You’ was included on 2013’s On Air – Live At The BBC Volume 2.

Previous song: ‘Love Me Do’
Next song: ‘Baby It’s You’
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