Song Lyric Sunday: “How Do You Do It?”

Jim has us off in search of "songs that were turned down by recording artists that went on to become big hits." Right away, I thought of this one.

"How Dp You Do It?" was a song written by Mitch Murray, who offered it to Adam Faith and Brian Poole, but was turned down. George Martin showed some interest, however, and offered it to the new group he was producing, The Beatles. Naturally, they hated it, but reworked the beginning, added a George Harrison guitar solo, added harmony, and made other changes, and recorded it during the "Love Me Do" sessions. Martin liked their version and was ready to use it as The Fab Four’s first single, but the suits at EMI preferred a Lennon-McCartney composition, to wit "Love Me Do." The Beatles’ version of the song went unissued for 30+ years until it appeared on the Anthology I album from 1995.

Martin was convinced that the record was a winner, so next he offered it to a new client, Gerry and the Pacemakers. They recorded it as their first single in 1963, and it reached #1 in the UK, eventually replaced by "From Me To You" by The Beatles. The song was released in the US and Canada that same year, and it had no impact on the charts; however, after Gerry Marsden and crew had several other hits in the US, they re-released it in 1964, and it rose to #9 on the Hot 100 and #6 in Canada. Billboard magazine called it "a top-rated teen ballad with a great beat for dancing," while Cash Box said it was a "bright jumper…that’s sure to get chart action right off the bat."

How do you do what you do to me?
I wish I knew
If I knew how you do it to me
I’d do it to you

How do you do what you do to me?
I’m feeling blue
Wish I knew how you do it to me
But I haven’t a clue

You give me a feeling in my heart, ooh-la-la
Like an arrow piercing through it
I suppose that you think you’re very smart
But won’t you tell me how do you do it?

How do you do what you do to me?
I wish I knew
If I knew how you do it to me
I’d do it to you

You give me a feeling in my heart, ooh-la-la
Like an arrow piercing through it
I suppose that you think you’re very smart
But won’t you tell me how do you do it?

How do you do what you do to me?
I wish I knew
Wish I knew how you do it to me
But I haven’t a clue

Wish I knew how you do it to me
I’d do it to you
Wish I knew how you do it to me
I’d do it to you

Lyrics from AZLyrics.com

 

And that’s Song Lyric Sunday (and Song of the Day) for July 10, 2022.

21 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday: “How Do You Do It?”

  1. Funny listening to both a d year I prefer the 2nd version rather than the mighty Beatles. I enjoyed reading about the history of this song. It almost sounds like something that would be in a musical.

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  2. Hi John – thanks … one of my favourite songs from those days … and I too hadn’t realised the back story. Cheers Hilary

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  3. Interesting tidbit of musical history. This song had such a great Gerry and the Pacemakers sound. Doesn’t quite sound right hearing the Beatles do it.

    Arlee Bird
    Tossing It Out

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  4. I liked both versions of this song and how cool to have the Beatles version released in 1995

    Also your post reminds me how some songs have fun histories

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  5. Great choice , I’d of loved to of heard it sung by Adam Faith but Gerry and the Pacemakers version is definitely the best! I really don’t like the Beatles version it just feels like they are playing and singing under sufferance, but that’s just my opinion ๐Ÿ’œ๐Ÿ’œ

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    1. You’re right: The Beatles didn’t want to do the song and only did it because George Martin wanted them to. It sat in the vault for over 30 years and only got released on the Anthology as a curiosity.

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