Yellow Submarine (song)

"Yellow Submarine"
Eleanor rigby single usa.jpg
US picture sleeve
Single by the Beatles
from the album Revolver and Yellow Submarine
A-side(double A-side) "Eleanor Rigby"
Released5 August 1966
Recorded26 May and 1 June 1966,
EMI Studios, London
Producer(s)George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"Paperback Writer"
(1966) Paperback Writer1966
"Eleanor Rigby"/"Yellow Submarine"
(1966) Eleanor RigbyYellow Submarine1966
"Strawberry Fields Forever"/"Penny Lane"
(1967) Strawberry Fields ForeverPenny Lane1967
Music video
"Yellow Submarine" on YouTube

"Yellow Submarine" is a 1966 song by the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, with lead vocals by Ringo Starr. It was included on the Revolver (1966) album and issued as a single, coupled with "Eleanor Rigby". The single went to number one on every major British chart, remained at number one for four weeks, and charted for 13 weeks. It won an Ivor Novello Award "for the highest certified sales of any single issued in the UK in 1966". In the US, the song peaked at number two on the Billboard Hot 100 chart and became the most successful Beatles song to feature Starr as lead vocalist.

It became the title song of the animated United Artists film, also called Yellow Submarine (1968), and the soundtrack album to the film, released as part of the Beatles' music catalogue. An orchestral reprise to the song arranged by George Martin titled "Yellow Submarine in Pepperland" is featured at the end of the film and its soundtrack.

Although intended as a nonsense song for children, "Yellow Submarine" received various social and political interpretations at the time.[4]


In a joint interview in March 1967, McCartney and Lennon recalled that the song's melody was created by combining two different songs they had been working on separately. Lennon noted that McCartney brought in the chorus ("the submarine... the chorus bit") which Lennon suggested combining with a melody for the verses that he'd already written.[5] McCartney also noted: "It's a happy place, that's all. You know, it was just ... We were trying to write a children's song. That was the basic idea. And there's nothing more to be read into it than there is in the lyrics of any children's song."[6][7]

In 1980, Lennon talked further about the song: "'Yellow Submarine' is Paul's baby. Donovan helped with the lyrics. I helped with the lyrics too. We virtually made the track come alive in the studio, but based on Paul's inspiration. Paul's idea. Paul's title ... written for Ringo."[6] Donovan added the words, "Sky of blue and sea of green".[8]

In 1994, McCartney discussed his inspiration for the song's concept:[9] "I was laying in bed in the Ashers' garret ... I was thinking of it as a song for Ringo, which it eventually turned out to be, so I wrote it as not too rangey in the vocal, then started making a story, sort of an ancient mariner, telling the young kids where he'd lived. It was pretty much my song as I recall ... I think John helped out. The lyrics got more and more obscure as it goes on, but the chorus, melody and verses are mine."[6] The song began as being about different coloured submarines, but evolved to include only a yellow one.[10]

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