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"Girl" is a song written by John Lennon[1] (credited to Lennon/McCartney), based on an original idea by Lennon[2] and performed by the Beatles on their 1965 albumRubber Soul. "Girl" was the last complete song recorded for that album.[3][4]

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 [hide*1 History

History[edit]Edit

"Girl" was probably one of the most melancholy and complex of their earlier love songs.[5] The song's instrumentalization has specific similarities to Greek music; similar to "And I Love Her" and "Michelle".[5] Lennon and Harrison played acoustic guitars on the basic track. In addition, George overdubbed the acoustic 12-string.

McCartney claimed that he contributed the lines "Was she told when she was young that pain would lead to pleasure" and "That a man must break his back to earn his day of leisure."[2] However, in a 1970 interview with Rolling Stone, John Lennon explained that he wrote these lines as a comment on Christianity which he was "opposed to at the time". Lennon said: "I was just talking about Christianity, in that - a thing like you have to be tortured to attain heaven. [...] - be tortured and then it'll be alright, which seems to be a bit true but not in their concept of it. But I didn't believe in that, that you have to be tortured to attain anything, it just so happens that you were."[6] McCartney also stated that the song's backing vocals were influenced by a recent work by the Beach Boys, which was likely to have been their July 1965 single "You're So Good to Me". Accordingly:

The Beach Boys had a song out where they'd done 'la la la' and we loved the innocence of that and wanted to copy it, but not use the same phrase".[7]

Lennon said that the fantasy girl in the song's lyric was an archetype he had been searching for his entire life ("There is no such thing as the girl — she was a dream") and finally found in Yoko Ono.[8] In an interview for Rolling Stone magazine on 5 December 1980, Lennon said his 1980 song "Woman":

Reminds me of a Beatles track, but I wasn't trying to make it sound like that. I did it as I did 'Girl' many years ago. So this is the grown-up version of 'Girl.'"[9]

In November 1977, Capitol Records scheduled the United States release of "Girl" backed with "You're Going to Lose That Girl" as a single (Capitol 4506) to accompany the release of Love Songs, a Beatles'compilation album that contains both of these songs. However, the single was cancelled before it was issued.

Cover versions[edit]Edit

Personnel[edit]Edit

Personnel per Ian MacDonald, except as noted.
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