All My Loving - The Beatles

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"All My Loving" - The Beatles (1963)

“All My Loving” is one of the rare Beatles songs where the lyrics came before the music.

The track was conceived as a poem by Paul one day as he as shaving. It wasn’t until he’d finish his day’s work that he put music to it, initially imagining it as a country and western song. The song helped McCartney to be seen as more of an equal to Lennon as a songwriter.

In one of his very rare praises of McCartney’s songwriting abilities, Lennon remarked:

"It’s a damn good piece of work."

The track is highly unusual among pop songs -- and possibly unique amongst Beatles tracks in that it features a bridge section, completely different from the other parts. It was written exclusively for a solo only; on most pop and rock songs, the solo is placed over an existing verse or bridge.

Musically, “All My Loving” is one of the Beatles most intriguing early compositions. It  benefits from its “elegant simplicity” as well as from McCartney’s double-tracked vocal, which is irresistibly joyous. The fast rhythm-guitar triplets were stolen by Lennon from The Crystals “Da Doo Ron Ron.”

Even more remarkable is the excellent glissando guitar work and original rockabilly solo composed by Harrison. It is just after that solo when the very simple, but catchy, melody is injected with the sweet, infectious harmony that is the songs’ climax.

“All My Loving” is a good example of how, in duet, John and Paul would generally create contrasting colors not through variation of vocal technique, but by changing relationships within the song sections. The main musical attraction is often overlooked in favor of the much more easily noticeable vocal hooks.

“The surging, swinging rhythm of walking bass, splashy cymbals, and crazed triplets from the rhythm guitar puts a charge of sexual urgency behind his dutiful pledge to “write home every day/and send all my loving to you.”

Capped by George Harrison’s ringing homage to Carl Perkins in his eight-bar solo break, this instrumental accompaniment marked a great leap forward for the Beatles, who had been incapable of generating any appreciable swing until Ringo joined the band. 

In the line “All my loving/ I will send to you” the narrator is reassuring his lover that he'll always love her and be thinking of her, even if they are separated for the time being.

It’s message is not only directed at two lovers, but for anyone that misses another person- whatever their relationship. The speaker is in the act of affirming his love, promising that his feelings will remain true and unwavering during his absence from her world.

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