You've Got to Hide Your Love Away

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

"You've Got to Hide Your Love Away"
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away sheet music cover.jpg
Sheet music cover
Song by the Beatles
from the album Help!
Released6 August 1965 (1965-08-06)
Recorded18 February 1965
StudioEMI, London
Producer(s)George Martin
Audio sample

Composition and recordingEdit

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, wanting another song for the film Help!.[1] The song "is just basically John doing Dylan", Paul McCartney confirmed.[2] The song is similar to a folkish strophic form and uses a Dylanesque acoustic guitar figure in compound duple 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.[3]

The song's lyrics are ambiguous. Potentially, Lennon could 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.[3] Some, such as singer Tom Robinson, have suggested that the song was written for the Beatles' manager Brian Epstein, who had to hide his homosexuality from the public.[4][5] Lennon himself, however, never publicly discussed his 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 suggested adding "Hey" to the start of the line in the refrain.[3]

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.[6]

Performance in the filmEdit

In the film Help!, at the opening of the song, the head of the cult, Clang (Leo McKern), appears from underneath a manhole cover in the middle of Ailsa Avenue, London, where parts of the film were shot. He stays there for the whole song, which the Beatles play in Lennon's quarters of the Beatles' shared flat. The flute part of the song is performed by George's in-house gardener (who also trims his grass carpet with chattery teeth). They are watched by Ahme (Eleanor Bron), and at the end of the song, Harrison passes out after Ahme produces a giant needle for Starr, who is wearing the ring the cult is seeking.

Other studio tracksEdit

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 has "Mc" in their last name: "Oh, you ready, Macca?"


Cover versionsEdit


  1. ^ Everett, Walter (2001). The Beatles as Musicians: The Quarry Men Through Rubber Soul. pp. 287-88. ISBN 9780195141047
  2. ^ Dowling, William J. (1989). Beatlesongs. New York: Simon & Schuster Inc. p. 554. ISBN 0-671-68229-6.
  3. ^ a b c Stevens, John (October 2002). The Songs of John Lennon: The Beatles Years. Berklee Press Publications. pp. 112–120. ISBN 978-0634017957.
  4. ^ Graff, Gary; Durchholz, Daniel (15 June 2012). Rock 'n' Roll Myths: The True Stories Behind the Most Infamous Legends. Voyageur Press. p. 81. ISBN 978-0760342305.
  5. ^ Womack, Kenneth (30 June 2014). The Beatles Encyclopedia: Everything Fab Four: Everything Fab Four. Greenwood. p. 263. ISBN 9780313391729.
  6. ^ Spitz, Bob (2005). The Beatles: The Biography. Boston: Little, Brown. ISBN 0-316-80352-9.
  7. ^ "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away | The Beatles Bible". Retrieved 30 January 2017.
  8. ^ "The Silkie Album & Song Chart History". Billboard. Retrieved 31 May 2011.
  9. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 498. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.

External linksEdit