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An early Beatles song made Paul McCartney think he and the group were getting somewhere. They’d already achieved success with a couple of hits. However, Paul knew something about his songwriting had changed for the better in one song.

The Beatles reading the newspaper in suits in 1963.
The Beatles | Sunday Mirror/Daily Mirror/Mirrorpix via Getty Images

The early Beatles song Paul McCartney said was about reaching out to their fans

In The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, Paul wrote that he and John Lennon wrote an early Beatles song to reach out to their fans. Like “Love Me Do” and “Please Please Me,” the song “From Me To You” had personal pronouns in the title.

“We were just trying to get more and more people to like us,” Paul wrote. “It was still a thrill that people liked us and would go to great lengths to show us that, like writing letters to us. Our efforts at reaching out to the fans were summed up in one of our early songs, called ‘Thank You Girl.’

“All our early stuff had personal pronouns in the titles. First single ‘Love Me Do,’ second single ‘Please Please Me,’ next one ‘From Me to You’ – we managed to get two of them in on that one! Then came ‘She Loves You and ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand.’ It was all very personal, so that we were reaching whoever was listening to the song.”

Paul thought he and John Lennon were getting somewhere while writing the early Beatles’ song lyrics

In “From Me to You,” Paul wrote that he and John “used every trick in the book.”

He continued, “There was a catchy sing-along intro; you didn’t even have to know the words and you could sing along with that. We were foregrounding the sound of John’s harmonica on these songs.”

Paul explained that he and John always used basic chords. However, they changed it up a bit on the early Beatles song.

“We’d always had basic chords,” Paul wrote. “If you were in C, it would be C, A minor, F and G; those would be the chords, and you didn’t really vary them; you didn’t need to, because there were so many permutations that you could write lots of songs and they’d all sound quite different, just by shifting the sequence.

“It’s endlessly fascinating. But in this song, when we go to the middle eight – ‘I got arms that long to hold you’ – that chord moves out of the C, A minor, F, G sequence and into G minor.”

Once Paul and John figured out the chords, they knew “From Me To You” was different. Paul wrote, “After writing that, I remember thinking, ‘Now we’re getting somewhere.'”

McCartney was right. “From Me to You” became the first Lennon-McCartney song to make the Billboard pop charts, albeit a cover version.


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Paul and John wrote the song’s lyrics on a tour bus

As for the Beatles song’s lyrics, the songwriting partners wrote them on a tour bus in 1963. The group was touring the U.K. for the third time with Roy Orbison and others.

“We were on tour with Roy Orbison at the time we wrote this,” Paul wrote. “We were all on the same tour bus, and it would stop somewhere so that people could go for a cup of tea and a meal, and John and I would have a cup of tea and then go back to the bus and write something.

“It was a special image to me, at twenty-one, to be walking down the aisle of the bus and there on the back seat of the bus is Roy Orbison, in black with his dark glasses, working on his guitar, writing ‘Pretty Woman.’

“There was a camaraderie, and we were inspiring each other, which is always a lovely thing. He played the music for us, and we said, ‘That’s a good one, Roy. Great.’ And then we’d say, ‘Well, listen to this one,’ and we’d play him ‘From Me to You.’ That was kind of a historic moment, as it turned out.”

“From Me To You” might have been the first Beatles song that impressed Paul. However, there were many more to come.