Songs the Beatles Didn’t Do

Michael Gerber
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That Means a Lot

Just waiting for PJ Proby to make it famous.

Over the weekend I Stumbled Upon this great little webpage, which was compiled by Columbia U. Beatlefan Joseph Brennan ‘way back in the heady days of the late 90s, when the vaults of Abbey Road were still exhaling their treasures. I’ve always wanted to do a post that was a one-stop shop for all the tracks like this, and Brennan’s page seemed like as good a starting-point as any. Commentariat, I’m counting on you to add more to it.

A Beatles/JPGR-version is linked to the title; and the cover version is linked with the artist. I personally discovered a few lovely songs while doing this post; Penina will be getting a few spins from me this week, for sure.

If you know of a better source currently available on the web, please put it in the comments, and I’ll update it. The first link is the Beatles’ version, if available, and the cover is linked under that, with the artist and date.

Which ones have we missed?

Songs The Beatles Didn’t Do, 1957-62

In Spite of All the Danger (McCartney/Harrison)

You’ll Be Mine (Lennon/McCartney)

Cayenne (McCartney)

Cry For a Shadow (Harrison/Lennon)

Songs from Rehearsal at Paul’s House, Forthlin Road, April 1960

Some Days (Lennon/McCartney)
I Will Always Be in Love With You (Harrison)
You Must Write Everyday


I’ll Be on My Way (Lennon/McCartney)
Single by Billy J Kramer with the Dakotas, April 1963.

Bad to Me (Lennon/McCartney)
Single by Billy J Kramer with the Dakotas, July 1963.

Tip of My Tongue (Lennon/McCartney)
Single by Tommy Quickly, July 1963.

Hello Little Girl (Lennon/McCartney)
(And here’s a slower, more Buddy Holly-like version from 1960.)
Single by the Fourmost, August 1963.

Love of the Loved (Lennon/McCartney)
Single by Cilla Black, September 1963.

I’ll Keep You Satisfied (Lennon/McCartney)
Single by Billy J Kramer with the Dakotas, November 1963.

I’m in Love (Lennon/McCartney)
Single by the Fourmost, November 1963. Brennan: “A version of this by John has been bootlegged as the demo, but now is believed to be post-1975. A previously unissued version by Billy J Kramer with the Dakotas has recently appeared on the CD Best of Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas.”

A World Without Love (Lennon/McCartney)
Single by Peter and Gordon, February 1964.

One and One is Two (Lennon/McCartney)
Single by the Strangers with Mike Shannon, May 1964. A Beatles demo has been bootlegged.

Nobody I Know (Lennon/McCartney)
Single by Peter and Gordon, May 1964.

Like Dreamers Do (Lennon/McCartney)
Single by the Applejacks, June 1964.

You’ll Know What to Do (Harrison)

From a Window (Lennon/McCartney)
Single by Billy J Kramer with the Dakotas, July 1964.

It’s for you (Lennon–McCartney)
Single by Cilla Black, July 1964.

I don’t want to see you again (Lennon–McCartney)
Single by Peter and Gordon, September 1964.


If you’ve got troubles (Lennon/McCartney)

That means a lot (Lennon/McCartney)
Single by P J Proby, July 1965. [Fans of “Bedazzled” should watch the video; it’s very Drimble Wedge and the Vegetation. — MG]

12-Bar original (Lennon/McCartney)


Woman (Webb)
Single by Peter and Gordon, January 1966.


‘Carnival of Light’ Rave

Catcall (McCartney)

On an album by the Chris Barber Band, October 1967, with Paul in a group of voices at the end.

Shirley’s wild accordion (Lennon–McCartney)
Recording made 12 October 1967 by Shirley Evans, Reg Wale, Paul and Ringo for the “Magical Mystery Tour” film, but not used in it. Shirley Evans does play some accordion in the film.

Jessie’s dream (McCartney–Starkey–Harrison–Lennon)


Step inside love
Single by Cilla Black, March 1968.

Thingumybob (Lennon–McCartney)
Single by John Foster and Sons Ltd Black Dyke Mills Band, 26 August 1968.

Sour milk sea (Harrison)
Single by Jackie Lomax, 26 August 1968.

Circles (Harrison)

Not guilty (Harrison)
A demo by George has also been bootlegged. Recorded by George years later.

What’s the new Mary Jane

Brian Epstein Blues

Everyone Had a Hard Year (Lennon)

Brennan says, “Demo made by Paul at EMI, 20 August 1968, and taken away. No version has come out, including bootlegs.”

Badge (Harrison/Clapton)
On an album by Cream, February 1969, with George on rhythm guitar as L’Angelo Mysterioso.


Single by Mary Hopkin, March 1969, produced by Paul. A demo by Paul has been bootlegged.

Come and get it (McCartney)
Single by Badfinger, December 1969, produced by Paul. A nearly identical demo version by Paul has been bootlegged.

Dehra Dun (Harrison)

Penina (McCartney)
On obscure recordings by the group Jotta Herre, the hotel band at the Hotel Penina in Portugal, and then soon after by the Portuguese singer Carlos Mendes, both in 1969.

Get Back-era scraps

Oh Jesus these were difficult for me to listen to. But I do it all for you, dear readers.

Adagio for Strings

Jazz piano song (McCartney–Starkey)

Suzy Parker (Lennon–Starkey–Harrison–McCartney)

Teddy boy (McCartney)

Hot as sun [with words], I lost my little girl, I fancy me chances, If tomorrow ever comes/I’ll wait till tomorrow (2:30), Just fun, Thinking of linking, Too bad about sorrows (1:24), Because I know you love me so, Won’t you please say goodbye (3:33)

Improvisations/unfinished work songs

Commonwealth/White power/Can you dig it medley (Paul and John), How do you tell someone (George), Window Window (George), I’m going to pay for his ride (Paul), Madman (John), Negro in reserve (John and Paul), Pillow for your head (Paul), Shakin’ in the sixties (John), Taking a trip to Carolina (Ringo), There you are Eddie (Paul), Watching rainbows (John)

Finished later…

…By Paul:

Another day, Back seat of my car, Every night, Suicide, Teddy boy, Junk

…By John:

Child of nature, Give me some truth

…By George:

All Things Must Pass, Let it down, Hear me lord, Isn’t it a pity

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  1. Avatar linda a. wrote:

    They did two great versions of Hello Little Girl although they never officially released that song. I’m sure you’ve heard the version on The Decca Tapes which is great, but my personal favorite of the two versions is a much earlier one that exists from a homemade tape they made in 1960. I’m sure a lot of people here have it on bootleg. It has a slower, more gentle tempo with a (to my ears) Hollyesqe guitar intro. It’s very pretty.

  2. Avatar linda a. wrote:

    I do! In fact the following is a great website! If you haven’t visited before you are in for a treat! I spent hours here.

  3. Avatar linda a. wrote:

    Michael regarding the link I sent for The Savage Young Beatles website, the links on the website to hear the songs don’t seem to work anymore. But I found this link from YouTube instead.

  4. Avatar linda a. wrote:

    Actually Michael that 1960 tape has a lot of material on it aside from Hello Little Girl. It has Matchbox, the first ever version of One After 909, Cayenne, two different versions of a song called, Wildcat, John singing a slow ballad called, I’ll Always Be in Love With You, Paul singing a Lennon/McCartney original called Some Days, another take of One After 909 (they really seemed to have big plans for that song considering how many rehearsal takes can be found on bootleg), Hallelujah I Love Her So, You’ll Be Mine, an early version of I’ll Follow the Sun with a faster tempo and a completely different middle, another Lennon/McCartney with Paul singing called, You Must Write Every Day, then to top it off they do a medley with Movin and Groovin, and Ramrod.

    As for Catcall, there is another rehearsal tape made in the Cavern in 1962 shortly after Ringo joined with two great versions of the Chris Barber song, only it was at the time being called Catswalk. Also on the 1962 tape are two takes of One After 909, so you can hear how much the song had developed since 1962. It was coming along nicely, with George’s developing ‘train’ guitar. Then to round up this particular tape the first ever appearance of I Saw Her Standing There makes it debut with two very rudimentary takes. I don’t know if you’ve heard any of these Michael but I’m sure they are all on YouTube if Hello Little Girl could be found there so easily.

  5. Avatar Hologram Sam wrote:

    I’ve heard these songs over the years (I was a 1970s bootleg boy) but not recently. A few years ago, I began teaching myself Beatle songs on the ukulele. i LOVE playing “That Means A Lot” (I’ve never cared for any other version except the Beatles’). I started on the uke playing ’50s Buddy Holly and Everly Bros. songs. They tend to follow the same progression, although Buddy’s songwriting did interesting things with those same three/four chords. But playing early Beatles songs gave me an understanding of Paul & John’s amazing melodic inventiveness: they use the same chords from the ’50s, but he way they put them together is totally different and thrilling. “That Means A Lot” is so fun to play! Interesting that something they tossed off and never bothered to release would be a classic if any other band invented it.

  6. Avatar Hologram Sam wrote:

    “At times things are so fine, and at times they’re not”

    I have adopted this as my new personal motto.

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