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The Beatles Lyrics that Defined Generations

The Beatles burst onto the scene in 1962 and immediately made a splash with their first hit, “Please Please Me,” written by John Lennon. This was just the start as they went on to churn out hit after hit, pushing the boundaries of sonic elements, songwriting, and genres to become the iconic band we know today. Adam McCann dug into the data to see who wrote the Beatles’ biggest hits—John, Paul, George, and sometimes, Ringo—all with a distinct style, but all distinctly The Beatles.

Explore the Visualization

  • See which Beatle’s lyrical genius brought us the anthem “Let it Be” (released in 1970) by typing it into the “Find Song” search bar.
  • Two band members worked together to form a distinct writing style. One of their songs had 135 unique words. Explore the “largest vocabulary” chart to see which one.
  • The most commonly-used words in Beatles’ lyrics were Love and Know—except for Ringo’s songs. Explore his aquatic song themes in the lyrical analysis.

I made this viz because I was personally curious about how Paul and John’s songwriting contributions differed over time.

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