Etcetera (lost Beatles recording; 1968)

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Paul McCartney during The Beatles recording sessions, 1968.

Status: Lost

"Etcetera" is an unreleased song written by Paul McCartney. It was recorded during the sessions for The Beatles' self-titled double album (also known as The White Album).


In 1965, English singer Marriane Faithful told McCartney she planned to record the then-unreleased The Beatles song "Yesterday", wanting to help her career, he wanted to promote her recording and made an offer to write her another song, which would become a ballad named "Etcetera". Faithful would turn down “Etcetera” but would still record her version of “Yesterday" (released October 1965). [1] McCartney still promoted Faithful by performing "Yesterday" with her on The Beatles' TV special The Music of Lennon and McCartney in December.

20 August 1968 recording

Paul would later revisit the song during the recording sessions for The Beatles on 20 August 1968. During that day, The Beatles had recorded "Yer Blues", "Wild Honey Pie" and would record further overdubs for "Mother Nature’s Son". During the session for "Mother Nature’s Son", McCartney recorded an acoustic version of "Etcetera" in one single take. After the take was recorded, the tape was taken away by George Martin's assistant, Chris Thomas. [2][3]

Composition and arrangement

According to McCartney, the song was written with a "baroque" arrangement in mind, like "Yesterday".  It has also been reported that the recording had lyrics, a bridge, and soft introduction like McCartney's song "Here, There and Everywhere" from The Beatles album Revolver.


Reports of “Etcetera” from those that had heard it have varied.  McCartney himself has been uncharacteristically, highly critical of the song.  On reflecting on his offering, the song to Faithful:

"Even then I seem to remember thinking it wasn't very good. There was always the temptation to keep your better songs for yourself and then give your next-best songs to other established people, so when it was someone like Marianne, who at that time was a newcomer, those people would tend to end up with fairly dreadful offerings of mine … it's a bad song. I think it's a good job that it's died a death in some tape bin.". – Paul McCartney. Many Years From Now [4]

However, the recording engineer present at the 20 August 1968 session, Alan Brown, had high praise for the ballad:

“This was a very beautiful song. I recall it was a ballad and had the word ‘etcetera’ several times in the lyric. I only heard it twice: when he recorded it and when we played it back to him. The tape was taken away and I’ve never heard of it since.” - Alan Brown, engineer. The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn [5]

Lost status

Unlike many unheard Beatles recordings, it has never been officially confirmed if the master tape is still within the Abbey Road archive or has been one of the few master tapes to have been lost. According to music critic, Ritchie Unterberger, it is "apparently no longer in EMI's vaults".[6]

Rumored acetate

During the 2000s, McCartney worked with HP to have his media archive catalogued.  It is rumoured that an acetate disc of “Etcetera” was found. According to reports, the song was an early version of another McCartney composition "Thingumybob", which was recorded by the Black Dyke Mills Band. "Thingumybob" was an instrumental tune recorded for the sitcom of the same name that debuted on August 2nd, 1968 on ITV – London Weekend Television (ironically, the show itself would become lost media as no episodes survive)[7][8]

The recording of the Black Dyke Miles Band version took place on 30 June 1968 with McCartney producing.  Given that “Thingumybob” was recorded two months before the “Etcetera” recording, it’s possible that “Thingumybob” was a reworked version of “Etcetera” before Paul revisited and committed the original to tape.  Nothing officially from The Beatles nor McCartney’s representatives have confirmed these reports.


When the 50th Anniversary edition of The Beatles was released in 2018, no recordings of “Etcetera” appeared on the Super Deluxe 6 CD Edition.  The reissues Producer Giles Martin has not commented on the song or its nonappearance on the set.  To date, no versions official or otherwise have leaked or been released.  No lyrics or sheet music have been made public. McCartney has never released any recordings of the song since 1968 nor any other artist have not released a cover of the song.


Thingumybob (Stereo Version/2010 Remaster) · The Black Dyke Mills Band.

See Also


  1. Barry Miles, Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now. (London, 1997 ISBN 0-8050-5249-6)
  2. Recording, mixing, editing: Yer Blues, Mother Nature’s Son, Etcetera, Wild Honey Pie - The Beatles Bible
  3. Etcetera - The Paul McCartney Project
  4. Barry Miles, Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now. (London, 1997 ISBN 0-8050-5249-6)
  5. Mark Lewisohn, The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions (London 1988 ISBN 0-600-55798-7)
  6. Rumored - Richie Unterberger
  7. “Thingumybob” series premieres on UK TV - The Paul McCartney Project
  8. Thingumybob - The Paul McCartney Project