I’ve been running this blog for over six years now and although I’ve posted quite a lot of music in that time I’ve never included anything by the Beatles. I  decided to post it this morning just because I was listening to it last night and it struck me again how clever it is as a composition. Ostensibly in a major key (F Major) established by the opening chord, it almost immediately shifts into a minor tonality through a series of chord changes taking it to the relative minor (D Minor). The opening chord is therefore a bit of a decoy but it’s certainly a very effective hook to switch so rapidly from major to minor. It’s also (I think) the first Beatles track to be performed by Paul McCartney on his own (with strings on the original single). Paul McCartney actually wrote the tune and the lyrics. In my opinion it’s a true classic.




6 Responses to “Yesterday”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    I personally find this a total dirge. Give me the Beatles glorious good-time early music over the later stuff – when they took themselves more seriously – anyday.

    McCartney nevertheless did the best post-Beatles album of them all with Band on the Run, I’d say. I think it’s lasted better than Imagine.

    “Yesterday” is reputedly about McCartney’s being dumped by Jane Asher for refusing to stop going with groupies until they were married.

    • telescoper Says:

      We’ll have to agree to differ. I really like the structure of this song and its underlying chord progression, even if the lyrics are a bit mawkish.

  2. George Jones Says:

    It’s a dream of a song.

    Oh I believe in scrambled eggs.

  3. McCartney was always a better tunesmith than a lyricist, and Lennon the other way round. The genius of the tune of Yesterday is that although, as far as I know, nobody has produced convincing evidence that it was based upon anything earlier, it sounds as if it could date from the 14th or 15th century.

  4. Michael Kenyon Says:

    You were doing so well!

    Think you’ve mentioned them before about the Littleton record they ripped off.

    In memory to my recently departed pal William Hutson (Google name for his thoughts on the ‘Fab Four’). I have to say their music is music hall shite with an ok producer who was clever enough to take bits off Joe Meek and Radiophonic workshop. The amount of people who take their stuff seriously is beyond reason.

  5. Phillip Helbig Says:

    For Beatles and strings, I prefer “Eleanor Rigby”.

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