The 22 Songs the Beatles Gave Away

Posted in: Rock by Alistair Briggs on April 24th, 2009 | 43 Comments

John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote the vast majority of the Beatles songs, but what is less well known is that they both wrote a good number of songs for other artists also. Here we will take a look at some of the songs Lennon/McCartney penned and gave away to other artists.

This does not include cover versions by other bands, only songs that were truly given to other artists (although in some cases the Beatles did record their own version of it, but not for general release at the time).

  1. I’ll Be On My Way

    (Paul McCartney)
    Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas

    This song was not released as a single by Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas. Instead they released the song ‘Do You Want To Know A Secret’ as their debut song which was a song that was originally earmarked for the Beatles, who had no interest in (listen to the Beatles version on the Anthology album and you will hear how uninterested they sound about playing the song.)

  2. Bad To Me

    (John Lennon)
    Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas

    This song was the second single by Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas which they managed to take to the top of the UK charts in late 1963.

  3. I’m In Love

    (John Lennon)
    The Fourmost

    The second single by the Fourmost it peaked at number 17 in the UK charts and was released on the Parlaphone label.

  4. Hello Little Girl

    (John Lennon)
    The Fourmost

    This was the Fourmost’s debut single and it was just another case of a song written by a Beatle being taken into the top 10 of the charts by someone else. This one peaked at number 9 in late 1963.

  5. I’ll Keep You Satisfied

    (Paul McCartney)
    Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas.

    Another song written by a Beatle for Billy J Kramer and the Dakotas, the success was almost guaranteed. Another top 10 hit in the UK, this one only reaching number 4.

  6. I Wanna Be Your Man

    The Rolling Stones

    When the Rolling Stones released their debut album they had only written two songs on it. This song, written by a Beatle, was one of the covers on the album and became the Stones second single reaching number 12 in the charts in 1963. A year later the Beatles decided to record it for one of their albums.

  7. Tip Of My Tongue

    Tommy Quickly

    Tommy Quickly was a label mate of the Beatles so it was no suprise that a song was written for him. However this sond, although being released as a single, failed to chart.

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43 Responses to “The 22 Songs the Beatles Gave Away”
  • ashleycollier April 24th, 2009 at 4:51 am

    Hey great article, i love the beatles and i knew that lennon and Mccartney had wrote some songs for other people but i didn’t realise bad to me was one of Lennon’s i love that song! very interesting article

  • Glynis Smy April 24th, 2009 at 5:20 am

    How interesting, there were only two I knew.

  • Betty Carew April 24th, 2009 at 5:20 am

    Excellent article Alistair and very well researched . Great read

  • SZM April 24th, 2009 at 5:30 am

    “I don’t want to see you again”.

    Yes, Beatles is an inspiration for everyone.

  • Kate Smedley April 24th, 2009 at 5:50 am

    I only knew one, I adore the Beatles, good article.

  • clay hurtubise April 24th, 2009 at 5:59 am

    That shows how talentet=d they really were.

  • nobert soloria bermosa April 24th, 2009 at 7:55 am

    i know some,it is really different if the rendition were done by the beatles themselves

  • R J Evans April 24th, 2009 at 8:00 am

    Would have liked to see a few pictures of some of the acts whose faces I cannot remember, but otherwise this was an entertaining – and sometimes surprising article.

    Blogged at – hope you don’t mind!

  • T Deno April 24th, 2009 at 10:51 am

    Great article! I’ve had the chance to hear most of these songs, all except Tip of My Tongue and Penina

  • Alistair Briggs April 24th, 2009 at 11:24 am

    RJ Evans; the links to the videos were meant to be in this but never worked, it is in getting fixed right now so hopefully soon they will be there :)

  • C Jordan April 24th, 2009 at 11:57 am

    Really interesting article Alistair. I found myself trying to remember some of those melodies.

  • iain April 24th, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    interesting, but the Beatles aren’t really my thing considering I’m a teenager

  • Casey Kelley April 24th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Very cool Alistair. To the comment above, just because you are a teenager doesn’t mean you can’t love the beatles. I am head-over-heels for them and I am 19.

  • Juancav April 24th, 2009 at 1:40 pm

    Amazing unknown facts of the Beatles.

  • George W Whitehead April 24th, 2009 at 3:26 pm

    Well researched, well written article, Ali. For my money, 20 of these could have sunk without trace. I’ll just take the Stones and Badfinger, if you don’t mind!

  • Alina Beck April 24th, 2009 at 3:31 pm

    Great – I didn’t know about any of these!

  • papaleng April 24th, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    great Beatles article. $ out of 22, how do you rate me friend.

  • Momma Tells April 24th, 2009 at 9:01 pm

    Hey, interesting article about the Beatles… I didn’t know all that before. Thanks,

    My best to you,
    Momma Tells

  • Mark Gordon Brown April 24th, 2009 at 10:36 pm

    They still got money for them, as song writers, prior to that most pop stars had other people write their stuff. One of my favorite songs of all time was Ferry Across the Mersey (spelling?) which was a Lennon and McCarteny song.
    I like it when people know music trivia.

  • J.L. Eck April 25th, 2009 at 12:19 am

    The Beatles gave the world many gifts. I believe you could do several more pieces with this subject. Good article!

  • Alistair Briggs April 25th, 2009 at 5:15 am

    @ Mark Gordon Brown; ‘Ferry Cross The Mersey’ wasn’t a Lennon/McCartney song, it was written by Gerry Marsden (of Gerry and the Pacemakers). There is a couple of Beatles links to the song however. It was produced by George Martin (the Beatles main producer) and, in the 1980’s the song was re-released by ‘the Christians’ which included Paul McCartney playing bass on it.


  • postpunkpixie April 25th, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Wow how generous of them! Although I guess they still got money from them. I guess there was a limit to the amount of stuff they could cram onto each LP!

  • Jo Oliver April 25th, 2009 at 10:33 pm

    wonderful read, even for a non-Beatles fan

  • Denise Kawaii April 26th, 2009 at 1:25 am

    I haven’t heard many of these songs, but I will look them up and check them out!

  • magicdarts April 28th, 2009 at 3:56 pm

    fascinating, a few suprises in there!

  • tracy sardelli May 1st, 2009 at 4:36 am

    Excellent article. Thank you.

  • jharmon May 17th, 2009 at 6:33 am

    Fantastic article. I learned a lot, and I only recognized 5 or 6 of the songs.

  • Bernie July 6th, 2009 at 8:33 pm

    Hi man. Nice article. However, you mix facts a lot. You did not do any serious research regarding sources, and that’s a shame.

    “I’ll Be On My Way” is not on the Anthologies, but on the Live At The BBC album, and “I Wanna Be Your Man” was not included on the Stones’ debut album neither in the US or the UK. Also, “Cat Call” was NEVER included in neither Anthology. Indeed, the Beatles version (recorded live at the Cavern) has yet to be officially released (it is a well known bootleg).


  • Alistair Briggs July 7th, 2009 at 12:29 am

    Perhaps Bernie should pay more attention to what is being said:

    This article doesn’t say that I’ll Be On My Way was on the Anthology album, it clearly says that the Beatles version of How Do You Do was on the Anthology album (which it was). Perhpas Bernie needs to pay more attention!!

    I Wanna Be Your Man was 100% on the Stones debut album in the UK, I have it, and it is there. Perhaps Bernie is talking about the butchered version!!

    And where Bernie gets any reference to the song CAT CALL being on ‘either’ Anthology is just bizarre seen as it doesn’t say that above in any way. Did Bernie just make that one up?

    Brings up another point. What on Earth does he mean by ‘EITHER’ Anthology? Seen as there was 3 of them?!?!?!?!?


  • David Crerand July 9th, 2009 at 2:49 am

    Good article, I always like to be surprised with new information about things I thought I knew quite a bit about.

  • RS Wing July 13th, 2009 at 2:18 am

    Awesome piece,I am a big Beatles fan and play a lot of Beatles song for just sheer pleasure, My favorite, which is hard to narrow down because they are so deep, is Rubber Soul and Norweigan Wood, really like the entirety of their work, and of course the white album…but have to agree with Mr. Whitehead, I’m a big stones and Queen fan as well as badfinger who are actually from Germany I think….Great music lovers piece, and by the way , your images and access to the recordings are a perfect example of good imagery to apply to your pieces…excellent choice, Awesome article. I will surely be back to your site, really cool arrangements of your material and will def enjoy. Great work Alistair!

  • Juancav October 7th, 2009 at 3:05 pm

    Rare thing to me,donĀ“t sound too good .

  • BradONeill October 8th, 2009 at 12:58 am

    wow that was interesting. It makes sense I think that Neil diamond has written a bunch of songs for other people also.

  • Carla Fiscina October 8th, 2009 at 3:37 pm

    Thank you for these amazing unknown facts about the Beatles. Unfortunately, most modern teenagers do not understand and even reject the music of the Beatles, but this is the music that will remain in art history forever, like Mozart or Stravinsky.

  • revivor October 10th, 2009 at 3:21 am

    like a trip back down memory lane!! thanks alistair

  • Neil October 12th, 2009 at 9:36 pm

    You\’re missing \”Goodbye,\” which Paul wrote for Mary Hopkin in 1969.

  • Dave December 22nd, 2009 at 8:32 pm

    Good point Neil. Wonder why that wasn’t included on the orginal vinyl album, from which these tracks were all featured.

    It’s For You and Step Inside Love are, for my money, two very well put together songs from the gifted McCartney.

    Thanks for this article, and for gathering the youtube vids too!

  • Ron February 7th, 2010 at 4:39 am

    I knew they gave away quite a few,but not this many.
    It just goes to show you the immense talent and the
    hugh body of work these 2 men left.They shin with
    the brilliance of the sun & will never be forgotten.

  • Tasha June 17th, 2010 at 11:58 am

    Forgive me but i think you may have missed a couple! Mary Hopkin with “Goodbye” and “I call your name” also by Billy J Kramer & the Dakotas? Sorry if i’m wrong! Hope to hear! :)

  • Alistair Briggs June 17th, 2010 at 2:28 pm


    Eh, ok.

    The ‘Goodbye’ song is an interesting one, because it was written by Paul McCartney – acting outwith the Beatles – but still credited to Lennon/McCartney.
    Should it be on this list? Probably. ;)

    (I’ll see what I can do)

    As for ‘I Call Your Name’ that wasn’t originally written to be given away to someone else – and because, when they gave permission to Billy J Kramer to record it, the Beatles didn’t change it first – technically, it was a cover version.
    If that makes sense. :)

  • andymac December 9th, 2011 at 6:08 pm

    really good article been looking for these songs for a while i know an album was brought out with !the songs the beatles gave away”,did`nt they also write the eurovision song contest song “those were the days my friend” penned i think by paul mccartney.

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