Y is for Yesterday. Written almost exclusively by Paul McCartney in 1964/1965, “Yesterday” has a story and a life all its own. Originally recorded for the 1965 album Help!, “Yesterday” wasn’t released as a single in the UK until 1976. The Beatles agreed that it didn’t really fit the rest of their catalog at the time or their image. It was released as a single in the US in 1965 paired with “Act Naturally,” topping the charts for four weeks and selling over a million copies within five weeks.
Today “Yesterday” is widely acknowledged to be the most recorded popular song of the 20th century with over 2,000 cover versions produced. In recent decades it topped several lists of best popular songs of the 20th century and all time put out by the likes of MTV, Rolling Stone, and the BBC. “Yesterday” will be with us for a very long time.
Among Beatles’ fans the story of the song’s inception is legendary. Paul McCartney supposedly dreamed the entire melody – and couldn’t get it out of his mind. He went around asking people in the music industry about the song, thinking it was an older song stuck in his subconscious. After realizing it was an original, he claimed he wrote it in his sleep. It was only then that he began to work on the lyrics. And yes, it is true that the original working lyrics were:
“Scrambled Eggs/Oh, my baby how I love your legs.”
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