A Day In The Life
Album: Rubber Soul (1965)
John Lennon invited McCartney over to college parties when he was still in high school, and French culture was a trend. Paul would try to fit in by sitting in a corner and pretending to be French. He would play little tunes in French, but he only knew a few French words so he would groan or make words up. John told him that he should make it into a real song for Rubber Soul, so he asked his friend Ivan Vaughan, whose wife was a French teacher, for a French name and some words to rhyme with it.
Vaughan came up with "Michelle, ma belle." McCartney came up with the next line, "These are words that go together well," and Vaughan taught him the French translation, "Sont des mots qui vont tres bien ensemble," which he used in the song as well. When he played it for Lennon, John suggested the "I love you" part in the middle.
Album: Help! (1965)
This is the most covered pop song of all time, with over 3,000 versions recorded according to The Guinness Book Of World Records. For years, it was also the song with the most radio plays, but in 1999 BMI music publishing reported that "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" had passed it. Still, at any given time, some version of "Yesterday" is probably being broadcast somewhere.
This is a rather gloomy song about a guy whose girl has left and gone away. Instead of moving on with his life, he dreams of yesterday, when they were still together. It's quite a contrast to earlier Beatles hits like "Love Me Do" and "I Saw Her Standing There."
Paul McCartney wrote this song and was the only Beatle to play on it. It was the first time a Beatle recorded without the others, and marked a shift to more independent accomplishments among the group. While John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote The Beatles early songs together, by 1965 most of their songs were primarily written by one or the other, although they continued to credit all their songs Lennon/McCartney.