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
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles
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.
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 Ringo hadn’t proved good enough during the band’s 4 September session. Ringo, sadly, was relegated to maracas during PS I Love You.
The Beatles recorded PS I Love You three times for BBC radio sessions. The versions appeared on the programmes Here We Go (recorded 25 October 1962), Talent Spot (27 November) and Pop Go The Beatles (17 June 1963).