The Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out” was a collaboration between John Lennon and Paul McCartney. John felt his lyrics for the song were impatient while Paul’s were upbeat. On the other hand, Paul had different memories of who wrote which lyrics.
John Lennon explained what he was like before and after being in the Beatles
The book All We Say: The Last Big Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono includes an interview from 1980. In it, John discusses “We can do this”. “In ‘We Can Work It Out,’ Paul did the first half, I did the middle eight,” he recalled.
John contrasted the lines he wrote for the song with the lines Paul wrote for her. “But you have Paul writing, ‘We can make it / We can make it’ – really optimistic, you know, and me, looking forward: ‘Life is very short and there’s no time / For s’ agitate and fight, my friend,” he said.
John felt that these lines showed that Paul was more of a storyteller and he was more of a philosopher. “Well, I’ve always been like that, you know,” he said. “I was like that before the Beatles and after the Beatles.
“I always wondered why people did things and why society was the way it was,” he added. “I didn’t just accept him for what he was apparently doing. I have always looked below the surface.
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Paul McCartney said the Beatles’ “We Can Work It Out” was originally a country song
In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years Away, Paul talked about “We can do it”. Paul said the song was originally in a different genre. “I wrote it as more up-tempo, country, western stuff,” he recalls.
Paul remembered writing the song’s “impatient” lines with John. “I had the idea, the title, a few verses and the basic idea, then I took it to John to finish it and we wrote the middle together,” he said. “The good thing: ‘Life is very short. There is no time for fussing and fighting, my friend.
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How ‘We Can Work It Out’ fared on the charts in the US and UK
“We Can Work It Out” was a huge hit in the United States. For three of his 12 weeks on the Billboard Hot 100the song was No. 1. The track appeared on The Beatles’ 1962-1966. The compilation reached #3 on the Billboard 200 and lasted on the chart for a total of 175 weeks.
“Day Tripper” and “We Can Work It Out” were a double A-side single in the UK. The Official Map Company reports that the tracks topped the UK chart for five weeks, remaining on the chart for 12 weeks. In 1985, the tracks were upgraded to No. 79 and remained on the chart for three weeks.
“Day Tripper” and “We Can Work It Out” appeared on 1962-1966. The album peaked at number three, remaining on the charts for 167 weeks.
“We Can Work It Out” was a hit even though its lyrics are “impatient”.
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