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Hello, Goodbye

“Hello, Goodbye” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney. Backed by John Lennon’s “I Am the Walrus”, it was issued as a non-album single in November 1967, the group’s first release since the death of their manager, Brian Epstein. The single was commercially successful around the world, topping charts in the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and several other countries.

McCartney later said that the lyrics take duality as their theme. The song originated when, in response to a question from Beatles aide Alistair Taylor about songwriting, McCartney sat down at a harmonium and asked Taylor to say the opposite of whatever he said. The completed song includes a musical coda, which was improvised by the Beatles when they were recording the track in October 1967. Unimpressed with the composition, Lennon pushed for “I Am the Walrus” to be the single’s A-side, but McCartney and the band’s producer, George Martin, opted for the more commercial-sounding “Hello, Goodbye”. The Beatles produced three promotional films for the song, one of which was shown on The Ed Sullivan Show in America. Due to regulations against lip-syncing in Britain, none of the clips were aired there.

“Hello, Goodbye” has traditionally received a varied response from music critics. While some reviewers praise the song for its classic pop qualities, others deem it unadventurous by the Beatles’ standards and inconsequential. The track was included on the expanded US release of the Magical Mystery Tour soundtrack EP, and later appeared on compilation albums such as 1967–1970 and 1. McCartney has often performed “Hello, Goodbye” in concert, beginning with his Driving World Tour in 2002. James Last, Bud Shank, Allen Toussaint, the Cure and the cast of Glee are among the acts who have also recorded the song.

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