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Originally written by songwriters Bert Russell (whose real name was Bert Berns) and Phil Medley.

This song is exceedingly popular, and has been recorded by at least 20 artists (if not more). The two most popular versions are by The Beatles and The Isley Brothers, though there are verions by The Mamas and the Papas, Johnny Rivers, and The Who. The lyrics of the song are simplistic, but if done with the right amount of energy, the song is incredible. It is infused to the core with the spirit of rock 'n' roll.

Since I'm a fan of The Beatles, however, I am going to focus on their version. It was the last song recorded on the night of February 11, 1963, which was the day that they recorded all of the songs on Please Please Me. It had been saved for the end of the session because the song was very taxing on the vocal chords. At this point in their career, The Beatles had no money and only 2 hits, and were recording their first album. As such, they couldn't afford more time in the studio (eventually, it would be given to them). The song had to be done in one take, because otherwise, John's voice would have been gone. So, the other three warmed up and practiced the instrumentation of the song while John drank warm milk to soothe his vocal chords. It was about 10:00 PM when they started.

What followed is possibly one of the greatest first takes in the history of recorded music. According to MacDonald, this track stunned those who were in the studio to listen to it. So stunned were they, that even a complete failure on the attempted second take didn't dampen their surprise a bit.

The song serves as the last track on Please Please Me, the group's first British album. It is also featured (quite prominently) in Ferris Bueller's Day Off, (after whose 1985 release, it charted again). It's a really cool song, and even if you think that you haven't, you've probably heard it. It's great fun to sing along with as well.

The song features the standard line-up of early Beatles' songs, with John on rhythm guitar, Paul on bass, George on lead guitar, and Ringo on drums (he does particularly well on this track). Paul and George both back up John's vocals.


The Lyrics:


Well, shake it up, baby, now
(Shake it up, baby)
Twist and shout
(Twist and shout)
C'mon c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby, now
(Come on baby)
Come on and work it on out
(Work it on out)

Well, work it on out, honey
(Work it on out)
You know you look so good
(Look so good)
You know you got me goin', now
(Got me goin')
Just like I knew you would
(Like I knew you would)

Well, shake it up, baby, now
(Shake it up, baby)
Twist and shout
(Twist and shout)
C'mon c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby, now
(Come on baby)
Come on and work it on out
(Work it on out)

You know you twist your little girl *
(Twist, little girl)
You know you twist so fine
(Twist so fine)
Come on and twist a little closer, now
(Twist a little closer)
And let me know that you're mine
(Let me know you're mine)

Well, shake it up, baby, now
(Shake it up, baby)
Twist and shout
(Twist and shout)
C'mon c'mon, c'mon, c'mon, baby, now
(Come on baby)
Come on and work it on out
(Work it on out)

You know you twist your little girl *
(Twist, little girl)
You know you twist so fine
(Twist so fine)
Come on and twist a little closer, now
(Twist a little closer)
And let me know that you're mine
(Let me know you're mine)

Well, shake it, shake it, shake it, baby, now
(Shake it up baby)
Well, shake it, shake it, shake it, baby, now
(Shake it up baby)
Well, shake it, shake it, shake it, baby, now
(Shake it up baby)

* - I have seen/heard a lot of different versions for what this line says. Some say that it is "You know your twisty little girl," and others say that it is "You know you twist it little girl." In any case, my internet research revealed that the above is the most common interpretation of this.






MacDonald, Ian; Revolution in the Head; 1994; Henry Holt and Company; New York, New York

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