I Saw Her Standing There
- Bass riff stolen from Chuck Berry's 1961 song "I'm Talking About You".
Ask Me Why
- Reminiscent of Smokey Robinson's 1961 song "What's So Good About Goodbye".
Please Please Me
- Chorus suggested by Bing Crosby's 1932 song "Please" (written by Leo Robin & Ralph Rainger).
Do You Want To Know A Secret?
- Musical inspiration came from "I Really Love You", a 1961 hit for the Stereos. Also, some of the lyrics originated from "I'm Wishing" (Larry Morey & Frank Churchill), a song John's mother used to sing to him and one she picked up from Walt Disney's 1937 film Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs
. (In one of the opening scenes, Snow White is working as a kitchen maid and, as she stands by the castle well, she begins to sing to the doves: "Wanna know a secret? Promise not to tell? We are standing by a wishing well."
There's A Place
- Title derived from the West Side Story
song "There's A Place For Us" (1957) which Paul had in his Forthlin Road record collection. Musically, the song was an attempt at a "Motown" sort of sound.
From Me To You
- The use of the high-pitched "ooooh" sound was inspired by the Isley Brothers' recording of "Twist And Shout".
She Loves You
- Paul's idea to switch the approach from writing about themselves (with the word "me") to writing about a love between two other people (with words "she and "you") stemmed from a song he had in his mind at the time, Bobby Rydell's then current British hit "Forget Him". The sixth chord which ends the song was also unusual in pop music, though the Glenn Miller Orchestra had used it often on their recordings in the 40s.
I'll Get You
- As you mentioned, the shift from D to A minor to break the word "pretend" was taken from Joan Baez's version of the traditional song "All My Trials".
All I've Got To Do
- Again, an attempt to do Smokey Robinson. The model used here was Smokey's "You Can Depend On Me".
- Part of the song's melody was inspired by "Whistle My Love", a 1950s song recorded by British folk singer Elton Hayes.
Hold Me Tight
- Musically influenced by the work of the Shirelles, the New Jersey vocal group who in 1961 became the first all-girl group to make it to the No. 1 spot in the US charts. The Beatles often cited acts such as the Chiffons, Mary Wells, the Ronettes, the Donays and the Crystals as influences on their close harmony vocals.
I Wanna Be Your Man
- Meant to emulate the feel of the Shirelles' song "Boys", which Ringo sang in concert. The dragged out "maaaan" of the chorus was inspired by Benny Spellman's song "Fortune Teller".
Not A Second Time
- Musically inspired by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. Part of it has also been compared to Gustav Mahler's "Song Of The Earth".
I Want To Hold Your Hand
- John was intrigued by a contemporary French album of experimental music which had on it one track where a musical phrase repeated, as if the record had stuck. This effect was used in the song - "that my love, I can't hide, I can't hide, I can't hide".
- Inspired, as so much else was at the time, by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles. The middle eight was John trying to do Smokey.
Tell Me Why
- John thought of something the Chiffons or the Shirelles might do and so went off and wrote this one.
Any Time At All
- This was a rewriting of the Beatles' earlier song "Any Time At All", as John was to admit. There were only three other occasions when he claimed Beatles' songs had been recycled: "Yes It Is" he said was a rewrite of "This Boy", "Paperback Writer" was "Son of Day Tripper" and "Get Back" was a potboiler rewrite of "Lady Madonna".
When I Get Home
- This was described by John as a "four-in-the-bar cowbell song", influenced by his love of Motown and American soul music.
You Can't Do That
- The musical influence was Wilson Pickett, the former gospel singer from Alabama who had hits such as "Mustang Sally", "634-5789" and "In The Midnight Hour".
I'll Be Back
- John found the chords for this while playing a Del Shannon song. This was probably "Runaway" which the Beatles had played in their early shows and which also starts in a minor chord and has a descending bass line.
I'm A Loser
- Influenced (musically) by Bob Dylan.
- Based on "Silhouettes" (written by Bob Crewe and Frank Slaye), a big hit in 1957 for the Rays on Philadelphia's independent Cameo label. "Silhouttes" put a new twist on the old love cheat story: the boy discovers he is being two-timed by when he notices the silhouttes on the curtains of his lover's house. In "No Reply, as with "Silhouettes", he returns to her house and, watching from the shadows, sees her go in "with another man".
I'll Follow The Sun
- Influenced by Buddy Holly's work.
- An attempt to write a Little Richard sort of song.
You've Got To Hide Your Love Away
- Bob Dylan's music directed John towards a more intense and personal style of writing, so he began to write songs in which his state of mind became the immediate starting point. The first lines of this song is a perfect description of this.
- Riff partly inspired by Bobby Parker's "Watch Your Step".
You Won't See Me
- Paul had the Motwon sound in mind again here, particularly the melodic bass playing of James Jamerson, the legendary studio musician. It's also been suggested that the specific model he might have had in mind could have been "It's The Same Old Story" by the Four Tops.
- When Paul played the song to John he suggested the "I love you" in the middle section, specifying that the emphasis should fall on the word "love" each time. He was inspired here by Nina Simone's recording of "I Put A Spell On You", a hit in Britain during August 1965, where she had used the same phrase but placed the emphasis on the "you".
In My Life
- The tune was inspired by the Mracles' "You Really Got A Hold On Me". The lyric bears resemblance to Charles Lamb's 18th Century poem, "The Old Familiar Faces", which John could well have come across in the popular poetry anthology Palgrave's Treasury
. The poem starts:
I have had playmates, I have had companions,
In my days of childhood, in my joyful schooldays
All, all are gone, the old familiar faces
Six verses later it ends:
How some they have died, and some they have left me,
And some taken from me; all are departed -
All, all are gone, the old familar faces
If I Needed Someone
- Tune inspired by two of the Byrds' tracks, "The Bells Of Rhymney" and "She Don't Care About Time".
Run For Your Life
- John developed this from the line "I'd rather see you dead little girl than see you with another man" which occurred towards the end of Elvis Presley's 1955 Sun single "Baby, Let's Play House". It was originally written in 1954 by a 28-year-old preacher's son from Nashville named Arthur Gunter, who based the song on a 1951 country hit by Eddy Arnold, "I Want To Play House With You", and recorded it for the Excello label in late 1954.
- The bass became the most prominent instrument on this track, bringing it into line with recent American recordings by Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett. The harmonies on this song were inspired by the Beach Boys' album Pet Sounds
Here, There And Everywhere
- When Paul recorded this, he imagined he light voice of Marianne Faithfull. He had recently heard the Beach Boys' newly-released album, Pet Sounds
, which had impressed him because of its musical complexity and inventive vocal arrangements. Paul was particularly taken with the shimmering quality of "God Only Knows" and wanted to write something which captured the same mood.
Good Day Sunshine
- Influenced by the Lovin' Spoonful, the New York-based group which had scored two American hits with "Do You Believe In Magic?" and "You Didn't Have To Be So Nice". The specific song that had inspired Paul that day was "Daydream", the Lovin' Spoonful's first British hit, which was in the Top 20 when the Beatles recorded Revolver
in May 1966. Like "Good Day Sunshine", "Daydream" starts off with a choppy guitar beat before launching into a story of love-induced bliss heightened by beautiful weather: "I'm blowin' the day to take a walk in the sun, and fall on my face on somebody's new mown lawn".
Got To Get You Into My Life
- Written by Paul, who had the idea of using brass in an attempt to emulate the Motown sound recently developed by Holland-Dozier-Holland with The Supremes.
When I'm Sixty-Four
- A cabaret tune Paul composed out of respect for the music of the 20s and 30s, which his father had played as a young man.
Good Morning Good Morning
- It was a television commercial for Kellog's Corn Flakes that gave John the title and chorus of this song. The commercial featured nothing more than corn flakes being tipped into a bowl with the four-line jingle: "Good morning, good morning, The best to you each morning, Sunshine breakfast, Kellog's Corn Flakes, Crisp and full of fun".
Your Mother Should Know
- Another throwback to the music Paul's father enjoyed singing when he was a young man in Jim Mac's Jazz Band.
- The piano line was taken from Johnny Parker's riff on "Bad Penny Blues", a 1956 hit in Britain for jazz trumpeter Humphrey Lyttelton, which had been produced by George Martin.
Back In The USSR
- Written by Paul as a pastiche of the Beach Boys and Chuck Berry.
The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill
- Tune based on "Stay As Sweet As You Are" which was written by Mack Gordon and Henry Revel and was used in the 1934 film College Rhythm
- Tune based on a piece by Bach which Paul had learned as a teenager.
- The first two lines of the song are taken from Sand And Foam
, a collection of proverbs by the Lebanese mystic, Kahlil Gibran, first published in 1927. The guitar work was influenced by Donovan.
- When Paul thumped out the basic tune for this he was thinking of "Happy, Happy Birthday", a 1957 hit in America for the Tuneweavers, but wanted to produce something which sounded contemporary and rock 'n' roll.
Mother Nature's Son
- Paul wrote this with "Naure Boy" in mind, a song he had heard when he was younger, presumably the standard made popular by Nat 'King' Cole.
- The concept for this song came from a music paper's rave review of a new single by the Who, "I Can See For Miles". Paul hadn't heard the single in question at the time, but the paper's comments made him want to create something which could provoke an equally powerful description ('swearing cymbals and cursing guitars,' something that would really 'freak people out').
Long Long Long
- The chords were suggested to George by Bob Dylan's haunting track "Sad Eyed Lady Of The Lowlands", which had taken up one whole side of Dylan's 1966 double album Blonde On Blonde
. George was fascinated with the movement from D to E minor to A and back to D and wanted to write something which sounded similar.
Cry Baby Cry
- Partly based on the nursery rhyme "Sing A Song Of Sixpence", the song includes John's own creations the Duchess of Kirkcaldy and the King of Marigold. A few of the words he also got from another advert: "Cry baby cry, Make your mother buy".
I Me Mine
- The waltz tune was inspired from music George heard being played by an Austrian marching band on a television broadcast.
The Long And Winding Road
- Paul had the voice of Ray Charles in mind when he wrote this number and that this influenced the use of jazzy chords.
One After 909
- An attempt by John, in 1957, to write an American railroad song, in the style of skiffle hits such as "Last Train To San Fernando" by Johnny Duncan, "Cumberland Gap" and "Rock Island Line" by Lonnie Donegan and "Freight Train" by the Chas McDevitt Skiffle Group.
You Know My Name
- Repeated in the style of the Four Tops' "Reach Out, I'll Be There".
- Two of the song lines referring to "old flat top" were lifted from Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me" (John was later sued for plagiarism, he strenuously denied any musical theft).
- Its twin sources of inspiration were Ray Charles, who George imagined singing it, and a 1968 album track by James Taylor titled "Something In The Way She Moves".
- Inspired by the rock 'n' roll ballads of the late 50s, Jackie Wilson's in particular.
- The inspiration behind this song came from the first movement of Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor ('Moonlight Sonata').
- Influenced by Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross", a dreamy instrumental which had been a British Top 10 hit in the early part of 1969.
- From the traditional lullaby "Golden Slumbers" (written by English writer and dramatist Thomas Dekker, who was a contemporary of Shakespeare). Unable to read the music from the songbook, Paul went ahead and made up his own melody adding new words as he went along.
... this post was from the "Beatles influences" topic started on March 31 of this year, exactly 7 months ago...
Hope this helps.