Harvard Says Paul McCartney Didn't Write The Beatles' "In My Life"

Harvard Says Paul McCartney Didn't Write "In My Life"

You know you've made it when scientists are studying your songs.

A study by a pair of mathematicians says it's doubtful The Beatles' "In My Life," from its 1965 Rubber Soul, album was written by anyone but John Lennon, contrary to statements by Paul McCartney himself.

McCartney recalled in interviews for a 1997 biography that Lennon brought the lyrics to him after struggling to come up with a melody. 

"And I went down to the half-landing, where John had a mellotron, and I sat there and put together a tune," McCartney said at the time. "I recall writing the whole melody. And it actually does sound very like me, if you analyze it."

And that's where the research comes in. Harvard senior statistics lecturer Mark Glickman and Dalhousie University mathematics professor Jason Brown did, indeed, analyze the melody.

The pair broke down Lennon/McCartney tunes written between 1962 and 1966, looking at melody movement and chord transitions to determine which Beatle is most likely to have written the majority of "In My Life," NME reports.

Glickman and Brown concluded that McCartney most likely "misremembers" the session.

"The probability that 'In My Life' was written by McCartney is .018," Glickman said. "Which means it's pretty convincingly a Lennon song."

Glickman describes their method as "decomposing a color," like how one would determines how much blue, yellow and red makes up a particular shade of green.

An account by Lennon himself credits McCartney with writing the song's bridge, complete with producer George Martin's piano solo. 

McCartney is currently gearing up for the release of his Egypt Station solo album September 7. 

Photo: Getty Images

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content