Ringo Starr announces The Beatles' Yellow Submarine singalong
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Earlier this year, Giles Martin, the son of The Beatles’ producer George Martin, announced that a treasure trove of 31 outtakes and three home demos would feature on his Super Deluxe Edition of Revolver: Special Edition, due for release on October 28. The 1966 studio album, recorded by the Fab Four after they quit live touring, features classic tracks like Eleanor Rigby and Yellow Submarine – but now the truth behind the latter is out.
John Lennon and Paul McCartney’s Yellow Submarine is a much-loved children’s song with Ringo Starr the vocals on what is also the subject and the title of The Beatles’ surreal animated movie.
According to Rolling Stone, the apocryphal origin story was that Macca wrote it quickly and Lennon tolerated it. However, one of the outtakes from the Revolver recording sessions that has been released digitally ahead of the new box set has the late star singing it himself with different lyrics.
In this melancholy version recorded at home, he sings: “In the place where I was born/No one cared, no one cared/And the name that I was born/No one cared, no one cared.”
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Martin said: “I had no idea until I started going through the outtakes. This was a Lennon-McCartney thing. I said to Paul, ‘I always thought this was a song that you wrote and gave to Ringo and that John was like, ‘Oh, bloody Yellow Submarine.’ Not at all. That’s like a Woody Guthrie song. But it’s beautiful in a way, where you realise that there’s so much depth behind it. When you listen to the outtakes, even knowing the beauty of that John version, you know why Ringo ended up singing it. And it was acutely, let’s face it, the right decision to make.”
Nevertheless, fans listening to the sad Lennon version have admitted to tearing up.
One tweeted: “I don’t know how Yellow Submarine made me sob even more than it already did (long story) but of course only John Lennon could make me cry in new ways.” Another replied: “Literally [crying emoji]… but this one cuts deep I’m like damn you can really hear the pain in his voice.”
Ringo has also shared memories of how he ended up singing Yellow Submarine instead.
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Speaking with USA Today, Ringo said: “The boys used to write a song for me and they’d present whatever they thought would be good for me. They had this song and they decided to liven it up. I think Paul thought of [a yellow submarine]. It could have been in a green submarine, but a yellow submarine is much better. Or a deep purple submarine, that would have been like, ‘What are they talking about now?’ But, yeah, it was a Ringo song, like ‘With A Little Help From My Friends’ was a Ringo song.”
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