Dec 04

THE BEATLES – “She Loves You”

Popular13 comments • 4,107 views

#157, 14th September 1963

Not that the Beatles’ lyrics are always irrelevant. The first piece of ‘rock criticism’ I can remember being really impressed by was in a Beatles book I’d taken out of the library. I didn’t like the band much back then, I thought I probably should. The writer talked about “She Loves You” and explained how really what underpinned the song was the sense of “but she might love me if you don’t watch it”. I thought he was very clever for noticing it and that the Beatles were very clever for putting it in.

Actually I think I prefer the song without that subtext, because while great songs about love and jealousy are common, great songs about friendship are not. And great songs about being friends with a couple who are on the rocks are very rare indeed. The urgency of the singer trying to hammer some sense into the sung-to is wonderfully captured (the coo-ing “apologise to her” slipping straight in to a newly frenetic “BECAUSE SHE LOVES YOU”), the record buzzes with the exasperation that comes when a friend is being a bonehead. Maybe there’s something more behind that, but there doesn’t have to be.

And even if you don’t fancy the words at all, you can still get off on Ringo’s exhilaration when he cuts loose on his kit ten seconds in.



  1. 1
    Lena on 14 Feb 2006 #

    First off, how is it that no one has commented on this song yet? It is like a total assault of happiness and even the Peter Sellers version (am I right?) is great. YES to Ringo’s drumming and the humor of “and you know that can’t be bad” and the general yeahs and oohs. This intensity couldn’t be sustained, it’s like an almost artificial high, but wow, it has lasted.

  2. 2
    pete on 6 Mar 2006 #

    i 100% agree, lena.

  3. 3
    Steve Mannion on 24 Mar 2008 #

    I remember commenting on this song at the time (and it scares me that memory is over four years old already) – we seem to have lost some comments on older entries?

  4. 4
    Marcello Carlin on 25 Mar 2008 #

    The curse of Haloscan.

  5. 5
    Tom on 25 Mar 2008 #

    Yup – a bunch of old haloscan comments expired – I don’t think haloscan even delete old comments anymore (but our new system is much much better anyway)

  6. 6
    mike on 5 Aug 2008 #

    As I said back in the old Haloscan days, this is effectively Side One, Track One of my story in pop. My parents had the single – indeed, up until early 1966 it was their only pop single – and my father taught me how to shake my three-year-old head to it like a mop-top. For a brief formative while, “She Loves You” WAS pop music to me – and I still think it was a great place to start.

  7. 7
    Matthew on 12 Jan 2009 #

    When I started listening to the lyrics a bit more attentively, I thought it was a very sad song – she loves you, and I love you too, in a manly fashion, but I’d give anything in the world for her to love me, and I wouldn’t throw it away if she dead. But maybe I’m just projecting again.

  8. 8
    Tooncgull on 26 Sep 2009 #

    Firstly, this is where I came in, born on the 15th September 63. Secondly, I’d love to think this was playing on a radio as I came spewing out…its a great song, full of early Beatles vigour, harmonies and spark.
    Thirdly, sorry Rosie, but Peter Sellers version was utterly dull. HAng on, no, wait, I’m thinking of his version of A Hard Days Night… not sure I know his “She Loves You”.

  9. 9
    enitharmon on 26 Sep 2009 #

    Huh? Wha? Somebody woke me up!
    Tooncgull – that was Lena talking of Peter Sellers, not me.

  10. 10
    lonepilgrim on 8 Aug 2010 #

    Like Mike @ 6 this is my first pop memory. My parents had this single and no other pop singles in the early 60s as far as I can recall. The only other 7″ record I can remember was on red vinyl and had a musical version of Red Riding Hood on the other and Goldilocks on the reverse. She Loves You has something of the apparent simplicity of a nursery rhyme but also a compelling sense of urgency and desire that was missing from the simpering songs from fairy tales.

    I was prompted to write by these recordings of the Fab Four in their early days:


  11. 11
    crag on 13 Apr 2011 #


    David Jacobs, broadcaster (1964)

    Lavinia Young, Matron of Westminster Hospital, Nurse (1964)

    Dennis Taylor, Snooker player (1986)

    Robert Maxwell, businessman (1987)

    Robin Knox-Johnston, sailor (1990)

    Pete Waterman, record producer (1995)

    Simon Weston, Falklands War Veteran (1996)

    Bill Cullen, businessman (2003)

    Stephen King, novelist (2006)

    Neil Tenant, singer (2007).

  12. 12
    hectorthebat on 14 Mar 2014 #

    Critic watch:

    1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die, and 10,001 You Must Download (2010)
    Bruce Pollock (USA) – The 7,500 Most Important Songs of 1944-2000 (2005)
    Dave Marsh & Kevin Stein (USA) – The 40 Best of the Top 40 Singles by Year (1981) 2
    Dave Marsh (USA) – The 1001 Greatest Singles Ever Made (1989) 38
    Greil Marcus (USA) – STRANDED: “Treasure Island” Singles (1979)
    Rolling Stone (USA) – The 100 Greatest Beatles Songs (2010) 14
    Rolling Stone (USA) – The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (2004) 64
    Rolling Stone (USA) – The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time (Updated 2010) 64
    Stephen Spignesi and Michael Lewis (USA) – The 100 Best Beatles Songs (2004) 15
    VH1 (USA) – The 100 Greatest Songs of All Time (2000) 59
    BBC (UK) – Pop on Trial, Top 50 Songs from the 1960s (2008)
    Mojo (UK) – The 101 Greatest Tracks by The Beatles (2006) 5
    New Musical Express (UK) – 40 Records That Captured the Moment 1952-91 (1992)
    New Musical Express (UK) – The Top 100 Singles of All Time (1976) 60
    Q (UK) – The 1010 Songs You Must Own (2004)
    Q (UK) – The Ultimate Music Collection (2005)
    Q (UK) – Top 20 Singles from 1954-1969 (2004) 2
    The Guardian (UK) – 1000 Songs Everyone Must Hear (2009)
    Uncut (UK) – 100 Rock and Movie Icons (2005) 3
    Uncut (UK) – The 50 Greatest Beatles Tracks (2001) 44
    Vox (UK) – 100 Records That Shook the World (1991)
    Zig Zag (UK) – Gillett & Frith’s Hot 100 Singles (1975)
    Nerikes Allehanda (Sweden) – The 50 Best Rock Songs of All Time (1992) 43
    Now & Then (Sweden) – The Beatles’ 50 Best Songs (1992) 28
    Rolling Stone (Germany) – The Best Singles of 5 Decades (1997)
    Gilles Verlant and Thomas Caussé (France) – 3000 Rock Classics (2009)
    Hervé Bourhis (France) – Le Petit Livre Rock: The Juke Box Singles 1950-2009
    Toby Creswell (Australia) – 1001 Songs (2005)
    Giannis Petridis (Greece) – 2004 of the Best Songs of the Century (2003)

  13. 13
    Gareth Parker on 8 Jun 2021 #

    Good fun single from the Beatles here. 6/10 imho.

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