Who wrote it, Lennon or McCartney? Take our Beatles songs quiz.

Who Wrote It, Lennon Or McCartney? Take Our Quiz.

Who Wrote It, Lennon Or McCartney? Take Our Quiz.

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Brow Beat
Slate's Culture Blog
June 28 2013 10:00 AM

Quiz: Who Wrote It, Lennon Or McCartney? 

Brow Beat is following the Beatles in “real time,” 50 years later, from their first chart-topper to their final rooftop concert. 50 years ago this month, the Beatles were touring in support of their debut album, Please Please Me, the subject of our first “Who Wrote It?” quiz.

This week Blogging the Beatles is starting a new regular feature: The “Who Wrote It?” quiz, which will ask you who wrote the songs on each album the Beatles made.

Of course, determining the authorship of Beatles songs can be a little tricky—especially since so much of their best songwriting was collaborative—but we’ve checked all our answers against the words of the songwriters themselves. Note that, when it comes to Lennon-McCartney collaborations, we’re asking for the primary author. For example, a song written 95 percent by McCartney is a McCartney song. For a true 50-50 collaboration, written (as Lennon described the process) “eyeball to eyeball,” the correct answer is “both.” (And in very rare cases where the answer is disputed, we’ve been nice enough to allow for more than one correct answer.)

How to tell the difference? One hint: Lennon’s melodies tend to be “horizontal,” in the sense that they move up and down very little, while McCartney’s are generally “vertical,” taking great leaps up and down the scale. Good luck!

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Interactive by Chris Kirk

Forrest Wickman is Slate’s culture editor.

Chris Kirk is a web developer at New York magazine and Slate’s former interactives editor. Follow him on Twitter.