In My Life" is a song by The Beatles written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
The song originated with Lennon, and while McCartney contributed to the final version, the extent of his contribution is in dispute. George Martin contributed the instrumental bridge.
Released on the 1965 album Rubber Soul, it is ranked 23rd on Rolling Stone's "The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time" as well as fifth on their list of The Beatles 100 Greatest Songs. The song placed second on CBC's 50 Tracks. Mojo magazine named it the best song of all time in 2000.
According to Lennon, the song's origins can be found when the English journalist Kenneth Allsop made a remark that Lennon should write songs about his childhood.
Afterwards, Lennon wrote a song in the form of a long poem reminiscing on his childhood years. The original version of the lyrics was based on a bus route he used to take in Liverpool, naming various sites seen along the way, including Penny Lane and Strawberry Field.
However, Lennon found it to be "ridiculous", calling it "the most boring sort of 'What I Did On My Holidays Bus Trip' song"; he reworked the words, replacing the specific memories with a generalised meditation on his past. "Very few lines" of the original version remained in the finished song.
According to Lennon's friend and biographer Pete Shotton, the lines "Some [friends] are dead and some are living/In my life I've loved them all" referred to Stuart Sutcliffe (who died in 1962) and to Shotton.
Regarding authorship of the melody, Lennon's and McCartney's recollections differ. Referring to McCartney, Lennon said "his contribution melodically was the harmony and the middle-eight itself."
McCartney claimed he set Lennon's lyrics to music from beginning to end, taking inspiration for the melody from songs by Smokey Robinson & the Miracles.
"I liked 'In My Life'. Those were words that John wrote and I wrote the tune to it. That was a great one."
The song was recorded on 18 October 1965, and was complete except for the instrumental bridge.
At that time, Lennon had not decided what instrument to use, but he subsequently asked George Martin to play a piano solo, suggesting "something Baroque-sounding".
Martin wrote a Bach-influenced piece that he found he could not play at the song's tempo. On 22 October, the solo was recorded at half-tempo (one octave lower) and tape speed was doubled for the final recording, solving the performance challenge and giving the piano solo a unique, harpsichord-like timbre.