With a Little Help from My Friends

Highly Appreciated

"With a Little Help from My Friends"  is a song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney from the album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band issued worldwide in June 1967.  The song was written for and sung by the Beatles' drummer Ringo Starr as the character "Billy Shears".  "With a Little Help from My Friends" was ranked No. 311 on Rolling Stone's list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.  (More from Wikipedia)
In Sgt. Pepper's title song, the album opens with a framing device that, despite being "the band you've known for all these years", serves to introduce the Beatles as "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band", along with "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)" near the end of the album.  There were even rumors that the band was going to officially change its name, but of course that never happened.  Before launching into their second song, the singer is introduced as "Billy Shears"; then Ringo Starr begins singing "With a Little Help from My Friends". 
Wikipedia reports:  "To date, [Ringo] Starr has closed every concert performed by each version of his All Starr Bandwith this song ['With a Little Help from My Friends'].  After he is done singing, Starr tells the audience, 'Peace and love . . . peace and love is the only way . . . and good night', then walks off the stage. . . .
"[Paul] McCartney and Ringo Starr . . . performed the song ['With a Little Help from My Friends'] together on The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles, a commemorative show on 27 January 2014, that marked 50 years after the band's first appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show." 
Perhaps because of the possible LSD reference in "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds", rumors of drug references in other lyrics by the Beatles also became manifest.  Wikipedia reports:  "Concerns that some of the lyrics in Sgt. Pepper refer to recreational drug use led to the BBC banning several songs from British radio, such as 'A Day in the Life' because of the phrase 'I'd love to turn you on', with the BBC claiming that it could 'encourage a permissive attitude towards drug-taking.' . . .  They also banned 'Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!' because of the lyric which mentions 'Henry the Horse', a phrase that contains two common slang terms for heroin.  Fans speculated that Henry the Horse was a drug dealer, and 'Fixing a Hole' was a reference to heroin use.  Others noted lyrics such as 'I get high' from 'With a Little Help from My Friends', 'take some tea' – slang for cannabis use – from 'Lovely Rita', and 'digging the weeds' from 'When I'm Sixty-Four'."  I had heard about "Horse" but not "Henry"; maybe any word starting with "H" could refer to heroin. 
(June 2015)
Last edited: March 22, 2021