With a Little Help from My Friends
- Ringo Starr – vocal, drums, tambourine
- Paul McCartney – backing vocal, piano, bass
- John Lennon – backing vocal, cowbell
- George Harrison – backing vocal, lead guitar
- George Martin – producer, Hammond organ
With a Little Help From My Friends is a collaboration of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, written for Ringo Starr to perform as lead vocalist. Ringo sings it as "Billy Shears" on the 1967 album, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. The song purposefully avoids notes outside of Ringo's vocal range and is set in a key that Ringo found comfortable. Ringo got them to change the first line of the song from "What would you do if I sang out of tune? Would you stand up and throw tomatoes at me?" He was (rightly) concerned that this would inspire fans to lob tomatoes at him when he performed it live. The structure of the song is question-and-answer, with Starr asking the questions and the group responding. The mood is light, designed to be a bit playful.
Both Lennon and McCartney judged With a Little Help From My Friends to be their best effort in a song for Ringo to sing. The public has agreed with this assessment. Rolling Stone ranks it at number 304 in its 2004 list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
The song was completed in March of 1967 and recorded on March 29-30 in an all-night session. The original title was Bad Finger Boogie, as John had hurt his index finger, and picked out the tune on a piano using just his middle finger. (This title was the inspiration for the band that became known as "Badfinger.") George Martin plays the Hammond organ for this track. The song is also available on the Yellow Submarine Songtrack.