Help From My Friend: The Story
Imagine: With a Little Help from my Friends
With A Little Help From My Friends is an upbeat Beatles classic released in 1967 as part of their album Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The opening of this song is actually a name “Billy Shears”, the show name that Ringo Starr chose to be introduced as. He believed this name sounded really great and almost created this idea of the band being on show and in character for this song. Right from this moment through to the end, the song is continuous, from the previous track on the album to the next track on the album. This meant that radio stations who wanted to play this song were forced to play the entire album with all tracks together to sound good- the exact intention of The Beatles upon composition.
The song is simple and the meaning behind it has been much debated. It was suggested that “friends” actually means “drugs”. The stars of The Beatles denied this but there were lobbies by politicians in the US to have this song banned due to the nature of it. One of the reasons for the simplicity of this song and short range of notes was because of what the singer could reach. The opening lyrics of this song were also changed at the last minute. The original lyrics are “What would you think if I sang out of tune? Would you throw ripe tomatoes at me?” Ringo Starr, the lead singer of this song, was so afraid tomatoes would be thrown at him during concerts that the word was changed. Given that George Harrison previously mentioned he liked jelly babies and was thrown many of these by crowds, you can see why he might have worried!