The moment Paul McCartney silenced a crowd by singing 'Yesterday' for the first time

Publish Date
Friday, 17 May 2024, 3:28PM

Imagine writing a song so beautiful it completely silenced a crowd of screaming Beatles fans... Well, that is exactly what happened the first time Sir Paul McCartney ever sang Yesterday in 1965.

The Beatles were on their second US tour of the United States, performing on The Ed Sullivan Show during peak Beatlemania. The Fab Four performed I Feel Fine, I'm Down, Act Naturally, Ticket To Ride, and Help, before slowing down the set for Yesterday.

George Harrison took to the microphone announcing Paul McCartney was going to sing a song from their new album, Help!

The crowd can be heard screaming and shouting as Paul starts the song, but they quickly fall silent. Watch below!

After the performance, Paul told David Letterman that he had been nervous to perform Yesterday.

“I had to stand somewhere here, and there was a curtain, and the audience was out there. We were kind of very new to America. Loving it, but a little bit scared, and I had to do Yesterday, my song, on my own. And I’d never done this. I’d always had the band with me, but suddenly they said, ‘You’re doing Yesterday.

So I’m standing there going, ‘C’mon, get it together, it’s OK.’ And the floor manager, the guy on the curtain, came up to me and said, ‘Are ya nervous?’ And I said, ‘No.’ And he said, ‘Ya should be. There are 73 million people watching.'”

Yesterday went on to become one of The Beatles' most famous songs, becoming the most covered song of all time with over 3,000 recorded covers.

Paul is said to have composed the entire melody in a dream while staying at the Wimpole Street home of his then-girlfriend Jane Asher when he was just 22.

When he woke up, he quickly ran to a piano and played the tune to make sure he didn't forget it. However, he was worried that he had subconsciously plagiarised another song.

He said, "For about a month I went round to people in the music business and asked them whether they had ever heard it before.

"Eventually it became like handing something in to the police. I thought if no one claimed it after a few weeks then I could have it."


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