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Little Child

The history of this classic Beatles song

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The original UK sheet music for

The original UK sheet music for "Little Child"

source: rarebeatles.com

Little Child

Written by: Paul McCartney (50%), John Lennon (50%) (credited to Lennon-McCartney)
Recorded: October 3, 1963 (Studio 2, Abbey Road Studios, London, England)
Mixed: September 30, October 23, October 29, 1963
Length: 1:42
Takes: 18
Musicians: John Lennon: lead vocal, rhythm guitar (1958 Rickenbacker 325), harmonica (Hohner)
Paul McCartney: bass guitar (1961 Hofner 500/1), piano (1905 Steinway Vertegrand "Mrs. Mills")
George Harrison: lead guitar (1962 Gretsch 6122 "Country Gentleman")
Ringo Starr: drums (1963 Black Oyster Pearl Ludwig kit)
Released on: (CDs in bold)
  • With The Beatles, (UK: Parlophone PMC 1206; PCS 3045, Parlophone CDP 7 46436 2, US: Capitol CLJ 46436)
  • Meet The Beatles, (US: Capitol (S)T 2047, Capitol CDP 7243 8 66875 2 4)
History:
  • One of With The Beatles' lesser-known numbers, "Little Child" was written for Ringo, as Capitol was keen on having the drummer, long the Americans' favorite Fab, sing at least one song per album. However, the Ringo spot on the UK album eventually went to "I Wanna Be Your Man," despite the fact that, only a few weeks earlier, John and Paul had given the song to the Rolling Stones for their next single.
  • This track was attempted on three separate occasions: September 11 and 12, 1963, and then finally completed on October 23, during the last With The Beatles session, take 15 (with take 18 overdubs of piano and harmonica).
  • In the book Many Years From Now, Paul claims that the melody behind the line "I'm so sad and lonely" was inspired by Elton Hayes' "Whistle My Love," from Disney's live-action 1952 film The Story Of Robin Hood And His Merrie Men.
Trivia:
  • Neither John nor Paul thought much of this number, but the Latin undercurrents in the rhythm (very possibly influenced by Benny Spellman's 1962 hit "Fortune Teller," which the band had leaned on somewhat while writing "I Wanna Be Your Man") have endeared it to Tex-Mex fans.
  • This is the first Beatles track on which Paul plays piano.
Covered by: The Smithereens, Sonny Curtis
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