Who Really Inspired The Beatles Song And I Love Her?

"And I Love Her," the Beatles classic from 1964's "A Hard Day's Night," has long been celebrated as one of Paul McCartney's most enduring ballads. Though credited to "Lennon-McCartney," as all the writing was attributed during their time in the group, "And I Love Her" was predominantly McCartney's creation, according to Beatles Bible.

John Lennon, who became dismissive of much of the Beatles' oeuvre following the band's split, praised the song within McCartney's canon, calling it "his first 'Yesterday,'" per the same source. With the knowledge that the lyrics are entirely McCartney's, many fans have sought to find out who the song's subject is.

Beatles Music History states that the song was written in the basement of the London house belonging to the parents of Jane Asher, McCartney's girlfriend at the time, and many fans have therefore assumed that Asher is the inspiration behind the song, though McCartney has poured cold water on the idea. "It's just a love song, it wasn't for anyone," he claimed in 1984, per the same source. Of course, McCartney had been with his wife Linda for more than a decade by then, and Song Facts argues that McCartney may have denied Asher being the song's subject out of respect for his wife. For McCartney, the beauty of the song lay in its quality as a feat of pop songwriting and its enticing title. "The 'And' in the title was an important thing," he said. "It came right out of left field, you were right up to speed the minute you heard it. ... It still holds up, and George played really good guitar on it. It worked very well."

How the Beatles wrote And I Love Her

However, Paul McCartney's ownership over "And I Love Her" wasn't always as evident as it is today. In the years following the breakup of the Beatles, the song became the subject of much speculation as to John Lennon's potential creative input. Again, this may be put down to the mystification of much of the Beatles' catalog as a result of the "Lennon-McCartney" writing credit. 

Per Beatles Music History, "And I Love Her" quickly became a fan favorite when it was first released. The ballad featured both on "A Hard Day's Night" and in the accompanying movie, a simmering love song that contrasted boldly with much of the other material on the album and heralded a new stage of songwriting maturity. Years later, journalists were still asking the Fab Four about the song. In 1972, Lennon told a journalist that, while the majority of "And I Love Her" had been written by McCartney at the home of Jane Asher's parents, he was the composer of the deeply moving middle-eight, beginning with the line "A love like ours..."

McCartney took exception to Lennon claiming whole ownership of the passage. In 1980, Lennon backed down, saying instead that he had "helped" with the middle-eight, rather than saying it was "mine." Per the same source, the middle-eight came about in the studio, at the behest of the Beatles' longtime producer George Martin and the publisher Dick James, who both thought the song was "repetitive" and asked for some variation. McCartney, with Lennon's help, finished the song off during a tea break.