Ringo Starr – Photograph

One of Ringo’s best songs. This one and It Don’t Come Easy is at the top of my list of Ringo’s solo songs. The song fits Ringo perfectly. Photograph was off of what is Ringo’s best album “Ringo” that peaked at #2 in the Billboard album charts, #7 in the UK and #1 in Canada. Ringo wrote this with George Harrison. Ringo was the lead vocalist and drummer for the track, while Harrison sang harmony vocals and played 12-string guitar.

The song peaked at #1 in the Billboard 100, #1 in Canada, and #8 in the UK in 1973. I saw a John Lennon interview where he said he used to worry about Ringo and what he would do after the Beatles. Suddenly Ringo was on top of the world and John jokingly said he telegrammed Ringo and asked Ringo would he “write me a hit?”

From Songfacts

In this song, the singer laments the loss of his girl. The pain is made more intense by a photograph he has that keeps reminding him of the good times they had.

 Ringo performed this song at the Grammy Awards in 2014. Despite the affliction described in the lyric, Ringo did a very joyful rendition, turning the song into one more about nostalgia – old photos from his days with The Beatles were projected on the backdrop to complement this interpretation.

Later in the broadcast, Ringo backed Paul McCartney on drums for Paul’s song “Queenie Eye.”

Photograph

Every time I see your face
It reminds me of the places we used to go
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I realize you’re not coming back anymore

I thought I’d make it the day you went away
But I can’t take it ’til you come home again to stay

I can’t get used to living here
While my heart is broke, my tears I cry for you
I want you here to have and hold
As the years go by, and we grow old and gray

Now you’re expecting me to live without you
But that’s not something that I’m looking forward to

I can’t get used to living here
While my heart is broke, my tears I cry for you
I want you here to have and hold
As the years go by, and we grow old and grey

Every time I see your face
It reminds me of the places we used to go
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I realize you’re not coming back anymore

Every time I see your face
It reminds me of the places we used to go
But all I’ve got is a photograph
And I realize you’re not coming back anymore

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

45 thoughts on “Ringo Starr – Photograph”

  1. I like this song and the interesting song facts you wrote about it. I don’t believe I have heard it before. ‘The pain is made more intense by a photograph’ Lucky they didn’t have social media those days or her facebook page would have driven him crazy!

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      1. It was a lot of fun Bad. There wasn’t a pedestrian moment in it. The war scenes had me in stitches. I’m glad you recommended it to me. The ending with the woman singing was priceless. I’m looking forward to seeing Horse Feathers soon.

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      2. I finally found it… others showed up but not this one… I’m glad you liked it. A plot is not important in their movies. Their later movies have more of a plot but they suffer for it. Love Groucho

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      3. Horse Feather is great… Groucho has some better lines… they are just irrelevant but great. Very anti establishment…that is why their popularity soared through the seventies.

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      4. Anti establishment was the term I was searching for last night when I was watching it. It must have been so refreshing for commoners in the 30’s seeing this material. No situation is too serious and no person too important that can’t be maken light of. Even the common man as the popcorn vendor becomes a victim of their antics. I imagine it was revolutionary comedy for its time.

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      5. From what I’ve read people were literally rolling in the aisles because they had never seen anything like them before… they were in vaudeville for years before getting to Broadway and they were huge.

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      6. Reactions like that wouldn’t have surprised me in that era. As I mentioned, the war scenes are epic comedy scenes that more than hold their own these days. When Harp was trapped in the armory room, well I lost it. Plus the production was outstanding. I don’t know but it made me think of some parts of Kubrick’s Dr Strsngelove.

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      7. Lost Horizon
        I watched the 123 minute version where they used sills to fill the damaged footage. There was supposedly 6 hours of footage in the first cut.
        Ronald Colman was fabulous in the lead. Big shout out to the beautiful three actresses who were stellar as well.
        The sets they used were astounding. I doubt his vision of Shangri-la could even be replicated by today’s standards. I don’t know how Capra and his team pulled it off to be honest.
        It was almost prophetical what the High lama said about his vision of total destruction considering what would occur two years later with the invasion of Poland and later the bombing of Pearl Harbour.

        Shangri-la is essentially a Christian missionary’s version of Paradise. It’s been attempted many times in history. I had only seen more sober takes on the reality of attempting such a quest. Deniro in The Mission, Scorsese’s The Silence and Harrison Ford in Mosquito Coast.
        Half way through the movie I thought what we were watching was Connelly’s dream or even after-life (Heaven) after the plane went down.
        The avalanche scenes were astonishing even by today’s standards of visual effects.

        Wonderful movie. It had me by the short and curlys when Connelly’s brother brought the young woman to him to convince him to escape with them.
        At the end, Capra’s stamp could be seen all over it with the lines:
        ‘I believe it because I want to believe it’
        ‘This is my hope we all find Shangri-Li’
        From IMDB : An alternate happy ending was filmed because Columbia head Harry Cohn thought the original ending was too ambiguous. In this alternate version Jane Wyatt spots Ronald Colman walking towards Shangri-La. The footage still exists but was never used.
        Another great recommendation Bad. Thanks.
        I’m probably going to write a brief movie review post of it using some of the above comments. Like I will with Sleepers by woody.

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      8. You can see the alternative ending on youtube. I’m glad you liked it. The set was incredible and they filmed some scenes in the Los Angeles Ice and Cold Storage Warehouse for realism.

        Human nature is examined really well. Give someone a perfect place and they are still not happy.

        I was happy the Coleman character made it back but being a Capra film you almost knew he would.

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      9. Yes, I was reading all the trivia about it on IMDB regarding the filming of scenes. They even used bleached cornflakes for snow!
        I like your brief synopsis about human nature and agree with you even based on my own ‘stupid’ choices in my life.
        Connelly, I just found so relatable because you could see the war of ideas (between the Lama and his brother) and the whole ‘what to believe’ being played out in his mind. His inner conflict was palpable and made for great viewing.

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      10. Capra went the extra mile for this one for sure.

        Oh…man have I made stupid choices and knew all the time…”this has got to be the wrong thing to do.”

        I originally thought the set was a real house /resort but it wasnt.

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      11. The extra mile is a good way of putting it. Even the scenes when they are walking single file on the narrow mountainous path is epic.
        Yes they spent well beyond the budget on this movie. Also, supposedly some eccentric millionaire recreated The Shangri La set and it still remains to this day.
        Pretty cool.

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  2. Great song. Funnily enough I heard it on the car radio just yesterday and that was the first time I’d listened to it for probably more than a year, and I was thinking “that’s a better song than I remembered!”. Way back when, I sent an idea to Fuji (I think, possibly Kodak) suggesting they put out a promo CD to go with, say 5-packs of film, that would be photo-themed… this song, “Photograph” by Def Leppard, “Photograph” by REM with Natalie Merchant, “Pictures of You” by The cure… never happened but I think it would have been cool!

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  3. I don’t think Ringo gets enough credit for his voice, which shines in this. As he had to compete with the other 3 Beatles to be heard, his voice got lost in the shuffle. He’s got a great voice and I love the melodies lyrics in this song.

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    1. When you are in a group with Lennon and McCartney…and Harrison to top it off…it’s almost impossible to compete. He has a voice all his own. Ringo can’t sing everything but he puts his heart into his songs.

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      1. I’ve been reading the comments. Ringo doesn’t have a glorious voice but, it’s distinctive. You know it’s him. He’s just a touch melancholic without trying. He has a better voice than Mick. And, I’d rather hear him sing than John, tho I know I’m speaking heresy. LOL!

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      2. YES you are lol. No you like what you like. John’s was distinctive until he was copied by many people…but yes Ringo is Ringo…He doesn’t have a lot of range but if its a song is in his wheelhouse he is good.

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  4. Guide for mixing Ringo’s voice: 1/ bury in the mix 2/ add lots of reverb 3/ get george harrison to sing back ups and turn them up = bingo! I jest of course (sort of). He’s got lots of character in that voice…but there’s a reason he’s only ever sung on a few good tracks!
    A cool song though

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    1. Yea George could write for him well… George really wrote It Dont’ Come Easy for him…he have Ringo credit… It has to be a Ringo song…

      Yes your guide is about right! The best job he ever did was With A Little Help From My Friends

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      1. No it was actually good… he is spy as hell. Moves around better than guys half his age… plus his all stars… Joe Walsh, Todd Rundgren…. pretty good…. not Paul M by no means but fun

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