Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (3:09)

Cover of The Beatles (The White Album)

From The Beatles (The White Album) and 62 other releases

“Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” is a song written by Lennon/McCartney and released by The Beatles on their 1968 album The Beatles (also referred to as The White Album). It was released as a single that same year in many countries, but not in the United Kingdom or the United States. The song was written, primarily by Paul McCartney, around the time that highlife and reggae were beginning to become popular in Britain. The tag line “ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, bra” was an expression that Nigerian conga player Jimmy Scott-Emuakpor, an acquaintance of McCartney, used. The song is in the key of B flat and written in 4/4. During May 1968, the Beatles gathered at George Harrison’s Esher home, in Surrey, to record demos for their upcoming project. “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” was one of the twenty-seven demos recorded there. Paul performed this demo solo, with only an acoustic guitar. He had also double-tracked his vocal, which was not perfectly synchronised, creating an echoing effect. According to studio engineer Geoff Emerick, John Lennon openly hated the song, calling it “Paul’s granny shit”.[1] After leaving the studio during recording of the song (after several days and literally dozens of takes of the song, trying different tempos and styles), Lennon returned while under the influence of marijuana, went immediately to the piano and played the opening chords much louder and faster than they had been played before.

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