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"With A Little Help From My Friends"

Categories: Beatles songs

...The singer's gonna sing a song,
An' he wants you all to sing along...

"With A Little Help From My Friends" is always the best way to get by.

What would you think if I sang out of tune?
Would you stand up and walk out on me?

'Course we wouldn't, matey: we're all well enough used to your distinctive vocal style by now to happily let you get on with it!

Although 'Ringo Shears' baulked at the opening lines to begin with, in fact, he never really did "sing out of key": he merely stuck staunchly to his tried-and-trusted deadpan range whatever he was given to perform. Mind you, it allegedly took eleven takes to get the track right, so maybe he was wandering off-pitch a little this time... Whatever, Lennon/McCartney must've had their tongues fairly firmly in cheek when casting 'Billy Starr' as "the one and only" singer of the band, not to mention giving him those final cascading high notes!

Even so, this simple celebration of friendship and love, provisionally titled "Bad Finger Boogie", was obviously custom written to suit his amiable nature, and "with a little help" from all of them to back him up, he carries it off as nicely as ever. Perhaps that was the reason that the radio censors seemed to overlook the blatant references to getting high — and whatever it was that he saw when he turned out the light...

Simple it is musically, too: especially in Pepper terms. Neither the singer nor the writers could have possibly foreseen what would become of the song when once Joe Cocker got his tonsils around it a couple of years later, turning it into one of the anthems of the Woodstock vibe.

Having said that, our Ringo's a lot easier to sing along with, man!
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