When was it recorded? May 12, 1967
When was it first released, and on which album? Jan. 13, 1969 on “Yellow Submarine”
Who wrote it? McCartney (with noteworthy contribution from Lennon)
Have I heard this song before? Yep
What my research dug up:
“All Together Now” was written and recorded during the Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour era but not released until the “Yellow Submarine” film and soundtrack came out. “Yellow Submarine” the song, however, first appeared in 1966 on “Revolver.” In fact, “All Together Now” was created specifically to match the “light-hearted spirit” of “Yellow Submarine” (the song) to appear in “Yellow Submarine” (the film). “All Together Now” was one of only four new songs to appear on “Yellow Submarine” (the album). How fast is your head currently spinning?
Who wrote the song? Primarily Paul, which is why this post is under the “Maccas” tag, but here’s how it breaks down:
McCartney = Verses + Chorus
Lennon = Bridge (“Sail the ship, chop the tree,” etc.)
Quoth the Wikipedia, “McCartney described the song as a children’s sing-along with the title phrase inspired by the music hall tradition of asking the audience to join in.”
“It’s really a children’s song. I had a few young relatives and I would sing songs for them. I used to do a song for kids called Jumping Round The Room, very similar to All Together Now, and then it would be ‘lying on your backs,’ all the kids would have to lie down, then it would be ‘skipping round the room,’ ‘jumping in the air.’ It’s a play away command song for children. It would be in G, very, very simple chords, only a couple of chords, so that’s what this is. …it’s just a sing-along really. A bit of a throwaway.” — Paul McCartney
One piece of trivia about the recording process that I enjoyed – according to Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, the backing vocals were provided by “whoever happened to be around.”
I was pretty sure I had heard this song before by someone other than the Beatles. I went through the Wikpedia-provided list of notable covers and sure enough…
If that doesn’t tell you about the kind of childhood or the kind of parents I had, I don’t know what will. This may well have been the first Beatles-penned song I ever heard. I like looking back on it now because not only does the song hold up (it’s the Muppets, how could it not?) but the bowdlerization is hilarious. It’s no wonder Gonzo doesn’t want “to go to bed” – he doesn’t get to bring a friend with him like Paul!
(I woke up this morning with “All My Loving” stuck in my head. I would say that’s a good sign but it’s not a sign at all. It’s just my subconscious bringing back a song I listened to multiple times last week. …I enjoyed it though. Speaking of which, I can’t believe I’ve been doing this for one week already. Go blog.)