This is such an absolutely corny, sappy song but I love it. It’s the sort of music that was hugely popular before the Beatles hit it big, so maybe it felt like a safe selection as the b-side for their first single. Either way, it’s far better than the a-side (“Love Me Do”) and is too charming to ignore. Inconsequential in the long run, maybe, but look, not every Beatles song was gonna change the world.
This is another one of those songs that exceeds the sum of its parts, with a checklist of endearing moments in its pros column. Its brisk opening. The simple percussion, which was actually provided by a session musician (having been deemed inadequate at the band’s EMI audition, Ringo was relegated to shaking a pair of maracas). The neat interjections when the “As I write this letter…” section is repeated from John (“ohhh!”), Paul (“you know I want you to”), and George (“yeah”)–incidentally, it wasn’t until I began doing this write-up that I realized that low, casual “yeah” is courtesy of George. I always attributed it to Paul, and the only reason I came to this newfound conclusion was that I was listening closely to the “ohhh!” to determine whether my long-standing belief that John sang that bit and not Paul. I’m pretty sure I’ve been right about that, but honestly, I find the George contribution more obvious and I can’t believe I’ve never heard it before. Man, I love the Beatles. Even after almost 20 years of listening I’m still discovering stuff.
Just last summer I watched The Sixth Sense for the dozenth time and I finally realized, Bruce Willis has been dead the whole time!
Here’s the real secret weapon to this song though: those strategically-placed backing vocals that punctuate certain syllables of each line. “Treasure these few words ’til we’re together, keep all my love forever.” It’s a clever technique that proves they had something worth listening to right from the beginning.