Roll Over Beethoven

“Roll Over Beethoven” is a 1956 hit single by Chuck Berry originally released on Chess Records, with “Drifting Heart” as the b-side. The lyrics of the song call mention rock and roll and the desire for rhythm and blues to replace classical music. The song has been covered by many other artists and Rolling Stone ranked it #97 on their list the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.

“Roll Over Beethoven” was a favourite of John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison even before they had chosen “The Beatles” as their name, and they continued to play it live right into their American tours of 1964. Their version of “Roll Over Beethoven” was recorded on 30 July 1963 for their second British LP, With the Beatles, and features George Harrison on vocals and guitar. In the United States, it was released 10 April 1964 as the opening track of The Beatles’ Second Album.

In 1994, the Beatles released a live version of “Roll Over Beethoven” on Live at the BBC. This live version was recorded on 28 February 1964 and broadcast on 30 March 1964 as part of a BBC series starring the Beatles called From Us To You.

Well gonna write a little letter
Gonna mail it to my local D.J.
It’s a rockin’ little record
I want my jockey to play
Roll over Beethoven
I gotta hear it again today

You know my temperature’s risin’
and the jukebox’s blowin’ a fuse
My hearts beatin’ rhythm
and my soul keeps singing the blues
Roll over Beethoven
and tell Tchaikovsky the news

I got a rockin’ pneumonia
I need a shot of rhythm and blues
I think I got it off the writer
sittin’ down by the rhythm review
Roll over Beethoven
we’re rockin’ in two by two

Well if you fell you like it
Well get your lover and reel and rock it
roll it over and move on up
just jump around and reel and rock it
roll it over
Roll over Beethoven
a rockin’ in two by two , oh

Well early in the mornin’
I’m a givin’ you the warnin’
Don’t you step on my blue suede showes
Hey little little
gonna play my fiddle
Ain’t got nothing to lose
Roll over Beethoven
and tell Tchaikovsky the news

You know she winks like a glow worm
Dance like a spinnin’ top
She got a crazy partner
oughta see ’em reel an rock
Long as she’s got a dime
the music will never stop
Roll over Beethoven
Roll over Beethoven
Roll over Beethoven
Roll over Beethoven
Roll over Beethoven
and dig these rhythm and blues

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~ by Rajeev on May 22, 2007.

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