Why Don't We Do It in the Road?
- Paul McCartney – vocals, acoustic guitar, piano, lead guitar, bass, handclaps
- Ringo Starr – drums, handclaps
Paul McCartney wrote and sang the lead vocal in Why Don't We Do It in the Road? for the album The Beatles (known as The White Album). There is nothing complicated about this tune: it is a short, 12-bar blues with Paul's raspy, "blues" voice, a guitar, and percussion (drums, hand claps and a bang on the back of a guitar sound box). It lasts for just one minute and 42 seconds. The lyrics are just two lines, repeated.
As the title implies, the inspiration was a sexual encounter in the middle of a road. In this case, the road was in India and the participants were monkeys. The simplicity of the whole event, when compared with human interaction, led Paul to write his song.
On October 9, 1968 McCartney went off by himself into Studio One at Abbey Road and made five takes of the song. He tried different vocal styles: ballad, rock, blues, etc. He recorded himself singing as well as playing acoustic guitar, piano, lead guitar and bass guitar. He also recorded his handclaps. This version was released in the Anthology 3 collection. The next day, Ringo joined him and the song was finished.
John was somewhat miffed that Paul went off to make his own song when he (John) and George were busy working on other songs. Though he said he liked the song, he was hurt that Paul went off by himself. Nevertheless, John did the same thing four days later with Julia. The only difference was that Paul was in the control room at the time. Lennon's avant-garde Revolution 9 was created four months earlier with creative input from Yoko Ono. This also proved that each was willing and able to generate music on his own, independent of the group itself.
Why Don't We Do It in the Road? is a prefect example of the sort of unexpected and sometimes surreal tracks that made made the Beatles White album a favorite with fans - a musical collage of styles and emotions whose whole is much greater than the sum of their parts.