In My Life
- John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, rhythm guitar
- Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass
- George Harrison – harmony vocal, lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine, bells
- George Martin – electric piano
Rolling Stone ranks John Lennon's In My Life 23rd in its list of the greatest songs of all time. McCartney had a hand in revising the lyrics, but little is known about how much he contributed to the arrangement. It started as a childhood reminiscence, mentioning sites on the bus route he used to take in Liverpool. But this seemed dull to John, and so the lyrics took on a more generic cast, creating a cloudy set of images and elipses that have led fans to speculate about how autobiographical the song really is. The line about some friends "are dead and some are living" is thought to refer to Stu Sutcliffe (the group's drummer, who died in 1962) and to Pete Shotton, Lennon's dear friend and biographer. John is double-tracked in this song, with McCartney adding to harmonies. While the style is much like a folk ballad, In My Life has an unusual structure, and the melody's disjunct intervals (like the rising 6th at the outset) belie a musically sophisticated and innovative composer. The lyrics are intimate, though not explicit, conveying a complex mixture of regret, nostalgia, pain and hope. Truly this song is one of John's most star-touched creations.
October 18, 1965 in three takes. The instrumental bridge was added later, written and played by George Martin on piano an octave lower and at half speed, in a Bach-like baroque style. The speeded up track sounds vaguely like a harpsichord.