Ranking the 5 Best Beatles Songs Likely Written About Paul McCartney’s ’60s Girlfriend Jane Asher

Before he met his wife Linda, Paul McCartney had a long-term girlfriend throughout some of the headiest times in Beatles history. British actress Jane Asher dated McCartney for about five years, until the relationship ended in 1968. Asher has never spoken to the press about her relationship with McCartney.

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But we do have some pretty good clues about what the relationship was like. That’s because McCartney wrote several songs that were almost definitely about his relationship with Asher, both the highs and lows of it. Here are the five best:

5. “I’m Looking Through You”

McCartney has spoken in interviews about this track being inspired by a fight with Asher. Perhaps that’s why it’s such an unflattering picture. The idea of “I’m Looking Through You” is the narrator no longer can trust his partner just based on her fetching appearance. In fact, none of his senses are working properly when it comes to her, as he can no longer believe in the evidence presented by his eyes and ears. Love has a nasty habit of disappearing overnight, he sings, which makes for a pretty good assessment of the fickle nature of romance.

4. “Things We Said Today”

This track was featured on the second side of A Hard Day’s Night, along with several other songs that were on the album but weren’t included in the movie. That’s probably why most of these songs are restrained and introspective in nature, as John Lennon and McCartney were afforded a rare opportunity in the early days to write without commercial concerns entering into the picture. “Things We Said Today” is interestingly ambivalent. While the lyrics seem loving, the narrator’s preoccupation with a far-off future suggests that maybe Macca always had an inkling that his time with Asher would be brief.

3. “You Won’t See Me”

Like “I’m Looking Through You,” this song appears on The Beatles’ 1965 album Rubber Soul. And there’s still another one to come on this list from around that same time period, suggesting that ’65 was a particularly tumultuous time in the couple’s relationship. In the case of “You Won’t See Me,” things get a bit rocky once again. The narrator gets frustrated at the lack of time the two have to spend together, which was probably a reasonable enough concern considering the busy schedules of the musician and actress. As the title implies, the possibilities for a happy reunion are trending in the wrong direction.

2. “We Can Work It Out”

This song might have been about McCartney and Asher, but Lennon’s writing contributions make for an interesting third-party assessment. If we’re to take this in conjunction with the two Rubber Soul songs about Asher, “We Can Work It Out” (also released in 1965, but as a single) can be heard as McCartney’s optimistic outlook about their ability to patch up any relationship fissures. But Lennon’s middle-eight offers another viewpoint: Life is very short and there’s no time for fussing and fighting. Even the music in that section goes to a darker place, as if Lennon is raining on this loving parade.

1. “Here, There and Everywhere”

You could say the inspiration for this all-time ballad was part Jane Asher, part Brian Wilson. Wilson, of course, influenced the music and its presentation, with the sighing backing vocals and McCartney’s falsetto getting a prime workout. But it’s Asher who lent the song the sentiment, how the narrator can shrug off the problems of the world whenever his girl is near. That kind of settled, reassuring love is something to which most people strive. And even though the McCartney/Asher union fizzled, “Here, There and Everywhere” suggests it once reached those dizzying heights.

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