Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da

"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" is a song by the Beatles from their 1968 album The Beatles (often called "the White Album"). Although credited to Lennon–McCartney, the song was written solely by Paul McCartney.


Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (C)(WORD)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (C)(PDF)

Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (G)(WORD)
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da (G)(PDF)

YOU CAN PLAY ALONG WITH THE 1ST VIDEO IN GCEA TUNING using the G songsheet, IF YOU PUT YOUR CAPO ON THE 3RD FRET! That recording appears to be the remastered original version from the 1968 album "The Beatles". I've even included the unintended slip-up that Paul made in the final verse, which they retained in the recording because the other Beatles like it.

"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" was released as a single that same year in many countries, but not in their native United Kingdom, nor in the United States until 1976.

Paul McCartney wrote the song around the time that highlife and reggae were beginning to become popular in Britain. The starting lyric, "Desmond has a barrow in the market-place", was a reference to the first internationally renowned Jamaican ska and reggae performer Desmond Dekker who had just had a successful tour of the UK. The tag line "ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah" was an expression used by Nigerian conga player Jimmy Scott-Emuakpor, an acquaintance of McCartney. Another example of the term in popular culture is the 1945 song 'In the Land of Oo-Bla-Dee', which Mary Lou Williams composed for Dizzy Gillespie (heard on Dizzy Digs Paris).

In May 1968, following their return from studying Transcendental Meditation in Rishikesh, India, the Beatles gathered at George Harrison's Esher home, in Surrey, to record demos for their upcoming project. "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" was one of the twenty-seven demos recorded there. When singing the vocals over the final verse, McCartney made a slip and said "Desmond stays at home and does his pretty face" (rather than Molly), and had Molly letting "the children lend a hand". Reportedly, this mistake was retained because the other Beatles liked it. Harrison and Lennon yell "arm" and "leg" between the lines "… Desmond lets the children lend a hand" and "Molly stays at home …" "Ob-La-Di, Ob-la-Da" was released on The Beatles on 22 November 1968. In the US, in 1976, it was released as a single with "Julia" as the B-side. An alternate version, known as "Take 5", was released on Anthology 3 in which the horns are much more prominent and feature less reggae-esque style of music, focusing on acoustic guitars. The first time the song was performed live by any of the Beatles was on 2 December 2009, when McCartney played it in Hamburg, Germany on the first night of a European tour.

Share Tweet Send