What Were the Original Lyrics to “Yesterday”?

Paul McCartney used placeholder lyrics about scrambled eggs when he was writing the words for the song "Yesterday."
Paul McCartney used placeholder lyrics about scrambled eggs when he was writing the words for the song "Yesterday."

The Beatles song "Yesterday" has been recorded countless times, but would it be so popular if it were about a breakfast food? As cracked as it sounds, when Paul McCartney wrote the original lyrics, they began with the nonsensical line, "Scrambled eggs, oh my baby how I love your legs."

It wasn't that he thought those words were good, but it's all he could come up with to fit the music, which had come to him in the night. However, instead of recording that wonderful tune with those weird words, McCartney waited until lyrical inspiration struck.

It took many months, but then the magic arrived. “When you’re trying to write a song, there are certain times when you get the essence; it’s all there," McCartney said. "It’s like an egg being laid -– not a crack or a flaw in it." And even then, the band worried how such a romantic song would be received by an audience expecting music from a "rock and roll" band. Of course, we all know the answer. The song was instantly beloved, and there was no egg on their faces.

"Fab Four" facts:

  • McCartney was 16 when he wrote "When I'm Sixty-Four," which the Beatles recorded in 1967, when Paul was 25.

  • Ringo Starr wrote "Octopus's Garden" after wrongly being served octopus instead of fish while on vacation.

  • The "egg man" in "I Am the Walrus" refers to Eric Burdon of the Animals, who had an erotic moment involving an egg on his stomach.

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    • Paul McCartney used placeholder lyrics about scrambled eggs when he was writing the words for the song "Yesterday."
      Paul McCartney used placeholder lyrics about scrambled eggs when he was writing the words for the song "Yesterday."