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Music

The Beatles song that was written specifically for children

Light and goofy songs were always a part of The Beatles’ discography. Most of the time, these tunes were helmed by Ringo Starr: first with ‘Yellow Submarine’ and then Starr’s original ‘Octopus’s Garden’. But there was another, slightly more obscure song that was expressly written for children: ‘All Together Now’.

“It’s really a children’s song,” Paul McCartney revealed to Barry Miles in the book Many Years From Now. “I had a few young relatives and I would sing songs for them. I used to do a song for kids called ‘Jumping Round The Room’, very similar to ‘All Together Now’, and then it would be ‘lying on your backs’, all the kids would have to lie down, then it would be ‘skipping round the room’, ‘jumping in the air’. It’s a play away command song for children.”

“It would be in G, very very simple chords, only a couple of chords, so that’s what this is,” McCartney added. “There’s a little subcurrent to it but it’s just a singalong really. A bit of a throwaway.”

Originally recorded during the Magical Mystery Tour sessions, ‘All Together Now’ was left unreleased until The Beatles began compiling songs for the Yellow Submarine film. In between projects and not keen to record an entire album from scratch, the band decided to assemble the best of their outtakes, new tracks, and previously recorded songs for the soundtrack LP.

The song was featured twice in the Yellow Submarine film. The first time the audience hears the song, the four animated Beatles are all operating the titular vehicle. Then, at the conclusion of the film, the real-life Beatles appear to sing another rendition of the film to close out the movie proper.

For years, the songs on the Yellow Submarine album were among the most obscure in the entire Beatles catalogue. With half the album being George Martin’s score and other parts of the LP being taken up by songs that had already appeared on albums, the remaining tracks like ‘Hey Bulldog’, ‘Only a Northern Song’, and ‘All Together Now’ were often looked over.

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