5 Days of The Beatles: Day 2, Help! & The Beatles Fun Facts

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The Beatles, 1965 is a photograph by Granger

Now, it’s time for some fun facts about the Beatles!

This time, I have written out the facts in the form of questions and answers. And, there is an audio recording of me (Matthew Cline) and my wife (Joana Cline) reading the facts together!

The Beatles Fun Facts

Listen to the audio recording of Matthew and Joana Cline reading the facts:

Who were the Beatles?John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Star
Was Ringo his real name?Nope. And, Star wasn’t his full last name either. His birth name was Richard Starkey. He got the nickname “Ringo” because of the amount of jewelry he wore.
What type of music did the Beatles play?Generally, we could consider their music to be “rock”. However, there is a wide variety of styles and influences throughout their music.
What are some of the musical styles that influenced the Beatles’ music?Their original style, known as “skiffle”, had jazz, blues, and American folk influences. Later, their music became more experimental and had elements of classical, country and western, psychedelia, hard rock, Indian music, and more.
How many songs did the Beatles record?They recorded 213 songs in total as a group. 188 of those songs were original songs, written by members of the group and 25 were cover songs, originally recorded by other bands.
Did all of the Beatles members write songs? Yes! John and Paul wrote most of the original Beatles songs (121 total). George wrote 22 songs and Ringo wrote 2.
I’m curious, what songs did Ringo write?He wrote, “Don’t Pass Me By” and “Octopus’s Garden”. “Octopus’s Garden” was actually written after a snorkeling adventure where he learned all about an octopus’s habitat.
How did the Beatles get the ideas for their songs?Most of it just came to them. For example, the song “Yesterday” came to Paul as he was making breakfast. He reportedly was walking around his house singing “scrambled eggs… baby, I love scrambled eggs” and later changed it to “yesterday… all my troubles seemed so far away”.
Did the Beatles write any songs with someone special in mind?Yes, they did. The song Julia was written for John’s mother. And, the song Hey Jude was originally titled “Hey Jules” and was written by Paul to comfort John’s son Julian, when John was divorcing his wife.
What about songs like Eleanor Rigby and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds?Contrary to popular belief, Eleanor Rigby is not a real person, nor is the Father McKenzie mentioned in the lyrics. Lucy was indeed a person, however, and “Lucy in the sky with diamonds” was a title John’s son Julian gave to a drawing he made in preschool. Julian apparently had an childhood affection for a girl in his class named Lucy.
Which did the Beatles like better, performing or recording? They absolutely enjoyed writing and recording music better than performing. In fact, in the last 4 years they were together, they recorded 5 albums but only performed live once!
Did the Beatles write any songs that were not recorded by the band?Yes! Over 100 songs written by the group were never recorded on their official albums. They also wrote songs for other popular bands at the time. And, after the Beatles broke up, they all released their own solo albums.
How many albums did the Beatles sell?The Beatles are the best-selling band in history. As of 2013, they had sold more than 800 million albums. They also have 15 number-one selling albums in the UK and hold the record with twenty number-one hits in the United States.
Did the Beatles get any other awards?They have won many, many awards! 52 to be exact. They won 9 Grammy Awards for their music. They hold 15 Grammy Hall of Fame entries. And, they also received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In addition, they were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and they were included in Time magazine’s 100 most influential people for the 20th century.

Song of the Day

The Beatles’ fifth album marked the start of the second phase of Beatles’ music. The title song from this album is…

“Help!”

And, this song really defines this phase well. I call this phase the “introspectional” phase.

Introspection is a big word that means to look into ones thoughts and emotions and to examine them more closely.

The song “Help!” fits this idea perfectly.

The lyrics begin…

When I was younger, so much younger than today
I never needed anybody’s help in any way
But now these days are gone, I’m not so self assured
Now I find I’ve changed my mind and opened up the doors

After the band became burnt out from Beatlemania, mentioned yesterday, John wrote this song to express the stress of becoming famous so quickly.

The chorus of the song goes like this…

Help me if you can, I’m feeling down
And I do appreciate you being ’round
Help me get my feet back on the ground
Won’t you please, please help me

I particularly like this song because it is so nice to know that it is okay to feel down sometimes. And, it is okay to need someone else to help you out.

I have a group of trusted people in my life that I know I can talk to any time about anything. And, I encourage you to talk to your parents, teachers, older siblings, or trusted adults if you ever feel down and need a little help.

In the meantime, enjoy this song which was ranked at number 29 on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Songs of All Time: