“Tell Me Why” is a song by English rock band the Beatles from their album A Hard Day’s Night. In North America, it was released on both the American version of A Hard Day’s Night and the album Something New. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was written by John Lennon in either Paris or New York and recorded in eight takes on 27 February 1964.
Paul McCartney said:
“I think a lot of these [Lennon’s] songs like “Tell Me Why” may have been based in real experiences or affairs John was having, or arguments with Cynthia [Lennon’s wife] or whatever, but it never occurred to us until later to put that slant on it all. ”
Lennon described the song as resembling “a black New York girl-group song”. Its basic structure of simple doo-wop chord changes and block harmonies over a walking bass line “creates an illusion of sincerity through its sheer attack.”
“Tell Me Why” was performed in the Beatles’ debut feature film, A Hard Day’s Night. The song was part of the ‘studio performance’ sequence, which was filmed at the Scala Theatre, London, on 31 March 1964.
The song is in the key of D major. John, Paul, and George sing a three-part harmony. Unusually, Paul sings a lower harmony to John’s lead during the chorus.