You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away 1965

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“You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” is a song by English rock band the Beatles. It was written and sung by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and released on the album Help! in August 1965.

Lennon said of the song, “That’s me in my Dylan period again. I am like a chameleon, influenced by whatever is going on. If Elvis can do it, I can do it. If the Everly Brothers can do it, me and Paul can. Same with Dylan.” The song is an early example of John self-reflecting in his writing, which had begun with songs such as “I’m a Loser” in the summer of 1964. Lennon wrote the song at home during what he called his “Dylan period,” wanting another song for the film Help!.

The song “is just basically John doing Dylan,” Paul McCartney confirmed. The song is similar to a folkish strophic form and uses a Dylanesque acoustic guitar figure in compound time, chiefly acoustic accompaniment, no backing voices and light percussion from brushed snare, tambourine and maraca. A flute, however, replaces the harmonica that Dylan typically used.

The song lyrics are ambiguous. They may tell of an unrequited love and hidden feelings. John could also have been referring to the fact that as a Beatle he was expected to keep the fact he was married a secret. He could also have been writing about his inability to express his true ‘loving’ self in public and his feelings of isolation and paranoia related to fame. Some, such as singer Tom Robinson, have suggested that it was written for their manager Brian Epstein, who had to hide his homosexuality from the public.

Lennon himself however never discussed the inspiration for the lyrics. When the song was first written, Lennon used “two-foot tall” to rhyme with the “wall” in the first verse, but mistakenly said “two-foot small” when he sang the line to McCartney, and decided to keep it this way. Pete Shotton, Lennon’s former bandmate from The Quarrymen, was present when the song was being composed, and he suggested adding “Hey” to the start of the line in refrain.

The basic rhythm track was recorded first, followed by George Harrison’s guitar and some extra percussion. John Scott recorded a tenor flute in the spaces in Lennon’s vocal track and an additional alto flute part, an octave higher than the first, on the last available track of the four-track machine.

Other studio tracks[edit]
In a montage the first two takes (both broken down) are followed by a completed alternative version (Take 5), included on Anthology 2. Lennon counts off the song then stops to readjust his guitar pickup (“I’m just going to raise this so that it’s nearer to the bass strings than the top string”). This is followed by the sound of a glass shattering on the floor, prompting John to teasingly sing: “Paul’s broken a glass, broken a glass. Paul’s broken a glass. A glass, a glass he’s broke today”. (In the background, Ringo plays the snare drum with wire brush drumsticks, keeping time with John’s cadence). John also addresses Paul as “Macca,” a nickname in England for someone who is of Irish descent or has “Mc” in their last name. “Oh, you ready, Macca?”


John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, 12-string acoustic guitar
Paul McCartney – bass
George Harrison – classical acoustic guitar
Ringo Starr – brushed snare drum, tambourine, maracas
John Scott – tenor and alto flutes

Cover versions

Eddie Vedder for the 2001 film I Am Sam, directed by Jessie Nelson.
The Beach Boys covered the song in 1965 on their album Beach Boys’ Party! with a lead vocal by their drummer Dennis Wilson. Beach Boys’ Party! album got up to number 6 on the US Billboard 200 and all the way to number 3 in the UK.
Jan & Dean on their album Filet of Soul from 1966.
The Silkie, produced by the Beatles. Their version peaked at #10 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100[8] and peaked at #28 on the UK Singles Chart.
Enuff Z’nuff on the Japanese release of 1985.
Oasis, as a bonus track on the deluxe edition reissue of their album (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (Remastered) from 2014.
The Kentucky Headhunters covered the song in 1994 on their album The Best of The Kentucky Headhunters: Still Pickin’
Waylon Jennings and the Waylors covered the song in 1967 on their album Love of the Common People
The cast of Glee cast on their 2013 album Glee Sings the Beatles.
Joe Cocker, notable for many Beatles covers, covered the song for his album Night Calls.
Percy Faith and his orchestra covered it on the 1965 album Themes for the ‘It’ Crowd.
Elvis Costello covered the song as the B-side of his 1994 single “You Tripped at Every Step.”
The Pozo-Seco Singers covered this on their 1968 album Shades of Time.
The Grass Roots covered this on their 1966 album Where Were You When I Needed You.