The Beatles’ classic Yesterday, written by Paul McCartney - the only Beatle to feature on the song - was recorded fifty years ago, yesterday, June 14, 1965.

“We were a little embarrassed about it, “ the musician once declared about the song. “We were a rock ‘n’ roll band.”

In terms of Beatles recordings, June 14 was indeed a day of McCartney compositions, according to the Ultimate Classic Rock website. In the afternoon session, from 2.30pm to 5.30pm, the Fab Four also recorded I’ve Just Seen a Face and I’m Down, the b-side of Help! However, between  7 and 10pm the decidedly wistful ballad that is Yesterday was laid down.

The song originated after Paul McCartney woke up one morning with the bones of the melody inside his head. “It was like a jazz melody,” he said in Anthology, the Beatles documentary series. “My dad used to know a lot of old jazz tunes. I thought maybe I’d just remembered it from the past.”

McCartney played it for friends on the piano, to see if they thought it was someone else’s melody he was using. For scaffolding lyrics, as it were - before he wrote the actual lyrics-  he used the lines Scrambled eggs / Oh, my baby, how I love your legs.

When McCartney presented it to the other Beatles, they decided it should be a solo job. Producer George Martin suggested adding strings, but McCartney resisted this.

“Paul said, ‘I don’t want Mantovani,’ “ Martin told the Anthology documentary series on the Beatles. “I said, ‘What about a very small number of string players, a quartet?’”

McCartney gave in but later elaborated on how the process worked. “He’d show me how to write the song correctly and I’d try to sabotage the correct method and move towards the way I like music – make it original. I still think that’s a good way to work.”

The Beatle recorded Yesterday with his acoustic guitar the strings were overdubbed, in one take, while the singer redid his vocal.

McCartney is the only Beatle on the song, which was not released as a single in the U.K.