Beatles – Don’t Bother Me

In 1975 my friends and cousin had a clubhouse that was an old horse barn. We had a record player, a lantern, and a one-armed bandit. My cousin played the Meet The Beatles album and me… being a Monkee fan soaked it up and it started a lifelong love for The Beatles.

My first favorite Beatle song was It Won’t Be Long…then this one came in second at the time. George wrote this when he was down with the flu in a hotel room in the Northeast of England. It was the first song he wrote……technically he did have partial credit on the instrumental Cry For A Shadow.

Is it George’s best song? Of course not but it fits in well with the early Beatles and it gets overlooked. If you think about it…”Don’t Bother me” is so George and his attitude at times. I always really liked it…the overall feel of it is cool. It was a very good attempt at his first song.

George Harrison: “I don’t think it’s a particularly good song… It mightn’t even be a song at all, but at least it showed me that all I needed to do was keep on writing, and then maybe eventually I would write something good.”

Tom Petty: “I thought it was just the coolest song, like nothing I’d heard in rock,” Petty said in 2014 “I’d say, ‘Well, I like it. A lot. If you did that today, I’d say it was really good.’ And he’d go, ‘Well, you’d be wrong.'”

The Smithereens did a great job covering this song.

From Songfacts

This was George Harrison’s first recorded song. It was his response to critics who claimed he was not an important member of the group because he did not write songs.

A Harrison-penned song would not appear again until the 1965 album Help!. That would be “You Know What To Do.”

This song has a darker, more pessimistic mood that was uncommon of The Beatles main sound, but would come to be Harrison’s trademark stamp. This is actually part of what made the Beatles’ formula work: McCartney was the chirpy, positive one, and Harrison was the melancholic counterpart.

Years later these were sold off at one of the London auction houses. This song in it’s very earliest stages is available on bootleg and features George working the music and lyrics out as he goes along. George stated, “I wrote the song as an exercise to see if I could write a song. I was sick in bed. Maybe that’s why it turned out to be ‘Don’t Bother Me.'” 

For your information, the photography technique for the cover of With The Beatles, in which the Fab Four’s headshots hover in a half-moon, light-and-shadow effect, is called “chiaroscuro.” It’s an Italian word to describe the Renaissance technique of dramatically contrasted lighting effects in oil paintings.

This was the first song on Side 2 of Meet The Beatles, their first album released in the US. With The Beatles was their second UK release.

Don’t Bother Me

Since she’s been gone I want no one to talk to me
It’s not the same but I’m to blame, it’s plain to see

So go away, leave me alone, don’t bother me
I can’t believe that she would leave me on my own
It’s just not right when every night I’m all alone

I’ve got no time for you right now, don’t bother me
I know I’ll never be the same if I don’t get her back again
Because I know she’ll always be the only girl for me

But ’til she’s here please don’t come near, just stay away
I’ll let you know when she’s come home
Until that day
Don’t come around, leave me alone, don’t bother me

I’ve got no time for you right now, don’t bother me
I know I’ll never be the same if I don’t get her back again
Because I know she’ll always be the only girl for me

But ’til she’s here please don’t come near, just stay away
I’ll let you know when she’s come home
Until that day

Don’t come around, leave me alone, don’t bother me
Don’t bother me
Don’t bother me
Don’t bother me
Don’t bother me

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

24 thoughts on “Beatles – Don’t Bother Me”

  1. Indeed not a great song but not a horrible one either- George would certainly grow as a songwriter over the next five- six years. Not a bad introduction to The Beatles! I would also bet few were introduced to The Beatles by this song which is pretty cool.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That album brings back a lot of memories. I still listen to it every once in a while. I’ve searched but I dont’ believe they ever played that song live. I did see a clip where the Smithereens played it live…it sounded really good.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Great song and coincidentally I just started writing about another one of his songs, It’s All Too Much. The problem that I am having is that there is so much written on Beatles songs and a lot of it is conflicting.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I don’t remember hearing that song before, although I think I did have that album once so I probably have. Like Hans said, not a really good song but not awful either… not up there with George’s best but at least it showed he could write decently and John & Paul weren’t only ones in there who could

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I love ‘don’t bother me’ always have done. I had a ‘thing’ with this album when I first got it – I had such a big crush on George and Paul that I’d prop the album cover up on a chair at night and stare at their faces til I fell asleep (with the table-light on. I can only assume my mother turned it off during the night!!)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Val that is a classic story! I listened to it over and over again. Next thing I know my cousin talked me into buying “Paperback Writer” so I got that on a compilation album “Hey Jude”

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Oh, I thoroughly enjoyed both of those. Very surf & drag-ish! The words may appear to be dark (he was sick) but, the music certainly isn’t. Of course, as I’ve stated, before, I’m more orientated to the flow & vibration of the music than I am lyrics. If lyrics happen to speak to me in the same way the music does, all the more better for me (Ex. Shelter by Lone Justice) but, they are secondary.

    Thanks for the introduction. I’d never heard this, before. ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This was one of my introductions to them. It does have that sound you like. George was kinda like that anyway…It was a good first song though.

      Like

      1. I watched a short youtube the other day that went through all of George’s girlfriends. It was pretty interesting. One of his girlfriends said something pretty deep about him but I forgot what it was. To me he seemed shy in the context of the group, but outside of that realm, very outgoing. At least that’s the impression I got from what I’ve read and also the Scorcese movie.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. He was big on privacy…not in a mean way but he did NOT like busy body neighbors but he was very kind-hearted….and good with fans.
        When he was a kid he didn’t want the neighbors knowing what they were doing.

        He seemed like a nice guy.

        Liked by 1 person

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