The Beatles Albums- I Saw Her Standing There


The Beatles – “I Saw Her Standing There” – Washington DC – Feb. 11, 1964

The Beatles – I Saw Her Standing There (Live)

The Beatles – I Saw Her Standing There [New Stereo Mix] [Version b

Song Lyrics

I Saw Her Standing There
The Beatles

Well she was just seventeen
You know what I mean
And the way she looked
Was way beyond compare
So how could I dance with another,
Oh, when I saw her standing there

Well she looked at me
and I, I could see
That before too long
I’d fall in love with her
She wouldn’t dance with another
Oh, when I saw her standing there

Well my heart went boom
When I crossed that room
And I held her hand in mine

Oh we danced through the night
And we held each other tight
And before too long
I fell in love with her
Now I’ll never dance with another
Oh, when I saw her standing there

Well my heart went boom
When I crossed that room
And I held her hand in mine

Oh we danced through the night
And we held each other tight
And before too long
I fell in love with her
Now I’ll never dance with another
Oh, when I saw her standing there
Oh, since I saw her standing there
Yeah, well since I saw her standing there


Song History and Facts:

Released: 22 March 1963 (UK), 22 July 1963 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals, bass, handclaps
John Lennon: backing vocals, rhythm guitar, handclaps
George Harrison: lead guitar, handclaps
Ringo Starr: drums, handclaps

Available on:
Please Please Me
Live At The BBC
Anthology 1

Written with John Lennon in Paul McCartney’s front room in Liverpool, I Saw Her Standing There was the opening track on The Beatles’ debut album Please Please Me.

I Saw Her Standing There - Please Please Me
I wrote it with John in the front parlour of my house in 20 Forthlin Road, Allerton. We sagged off school and wrote it on guitars and a little bit on the piano that I had there.
Paul McCartney
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn

McCartney is said to have come up with the idea for the song while returning from a concert in Southport, although it was completed with Lennon shortly after in September 1962.

Sometimes we would just start a song from scratch, but one of us would nearly always have a germ of an idea, a title or a rough little thing they were thinking about and we’d do it. I Saw Her Standing There was my original, I’d started it and I had the first verse, which therefore gave me the tune, the tempo and the key. It gave you the subject matter, a lot of the information, and then you had to fill in… It was co-written, my idea, and we finished it that day.
Paul McCartney
Many Years From Now, Barry Miles

The lyrics were written in an exercise book from the Liverpool Institute. Mike McCartney’s book Remember includes a photograph of Paul and John working on the song while reading the book and playing guitars. beatlesbible

Though Lennon’s exact contribution is unclear (“I helped with a couple of the lyrics,” he said), “I Saw Her Standing There” is one of the songs that further cemented the Lennon-McCartney songwriting partnership. A September 1962 photo by McCartney’s brother Mike shows the pair in the front room of Paul’s house, working face to face with acoustic guitars, Lennon wearing the glasses he hated, scratching out lyrics in a Liverpool Institute notebook. McCartney wrote the song on his Zenith acoustic guitar, the first guitar he ever owned.


The original inspiration for the song was a girlfriend of McCartney’s at the time, dancer Iris Caldwell, who was in fact 17 when he first saw her doing the Twist — in fishnet stockings — at the Tower Ballroom in New Brighton in December 1961. “Paul and I dated for a couple of years,” said Caldwell. “It was never that serious. We never pretended to be true to each other. I went out with lots of people. I was working away in different theaters at the time, but if I was back home we would go out. There were never any promises made or love declared.” Caldwell’s brother was Liverpool rocker Rory Storm, leader of the Hurricanes — whose drummer, Ringo Starr, would leave them to join the Beatles in August 1962. Caldwell said that McCartney intended to give “I Saw Her Standing There” to Storm, but Brian Epstein talked him out of it.


Under the title “Seventeen,” the song became part of the Beatles’ live act in 1962. Onstage, the tune would sometimes run for 10 minutes, with multiple guitar solos. McCartney borrowed the hard-charging bass line from Chuck Berry’s 1961 single “I’m Talking About You,” a staple of the band’s concerts. “I played the exact same notes as he did, and it fitted our number perfectly,” McCartney said.


When it came time for the Beatles to record their first album, Please Please Me, George Martin considered taping them live, possibly in front of the group’s home audience at the Cavern Club. Though he decided instead to set them up at EMI’s studios on Abbey Road, they chose a song list representative of the band’s live show. To set the mood, the album begins with McCartney’s blazing “one-two-three-faw!” count-off on “I Saw Her Standing There.” The Beatles outfitted the song, a veritable celebration of youth itself, with hand claps and the buoyant ooohs that would later show up on singles like “She Loves You.” The song, which also features Harrison’s first guitar solo on a Beatles record, was chosen as the B side for the “I Want to Hold Your Hand” single that topped the charts in America. It would also be one of the five songs that the Beatles performed on February 9th, 1964, on The Ed Sullivan Show before a television audience of 73 million people.


Lennon described “I Saw Her Standing There” as “Paul doing his usual good job of producing what George Martin would call a ‘potboiler,'” but the song would assume a greater meaning in his later life. In 1974, Lennon and Elton John made a bet that if Lennon’s “Whatever Gets You Thru the Night,” which featured John on harmony vocals and piano, made it to Number One, Lennon would join him onstage. When the song became Lennon’s first solo song to top the charts, he made good and appeared with John at his November 28th show at Madison Square Garden in New York.


Before the final song, Lennon said, “We thought we’d do a number of an old estranged fiance of mine called Paul,” and they closed the night with a rollicking version of “I Saw Her Standing There.” “I just wanted to have some fun and play some rock & roll,” Lennon said afterward. It would be the last song John Lennon ever performed in concert.  rollingstone


Appears On: Please Please Me



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