Paul McCartney was assisted in writing The Beatles’ “Hello, Goodbye” by someone who was not a musician. Paul composed the piece to send a powerful message pertaining to a “deep concept of the universe,” and listeners in the United States and the United Kingdom had comparable responses to the song.
Brian Epstein, The Beatles’ manager, had Alistair Taylor as his assistant. Taylor recounted aiding Paul create “Hello, Goodbye” in his book Yesterday, per the 1997 memoir Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now.
“Paul marched me into the dining room, where he had a marvelous old hand-carved harmonium,” Taylor recalled. “‘Come and sit at the other end of the harmonium.’
“‘You hit any note you like on the keyboard,’” he added. “‘Just hit it and I’ll do the same. Now whenever I shot out a word, you shout the opposite and I’ll make up a tune. You watch, it’ll make music.”
Paul and Taylor exchanged words. “‘Black,’ he started,” Taylor wrote. “‘White,’ I replied. ‘Yes.’ ‘No.’ ‘Good.’ ‘Bad.’ ‘Hello.’ ‘Goodbye.’”
Paul went on to talk about how he came up with the idea for “Hello, Goodbye.” “‘Hello, Goodbye’ was one of my songs,” he said. “There are Geminian influences here I think the twins. It’s such a deep theme in the universe, duality.”
Paul went into greater detail about the song’s purpose. “Man-woman, black white, ebony ivory, high low, right wrong, up-down, hello goodbye — that it was a very easy song to write,” he recalled. “It’s just a song of duality, with me advocating the more positive. You say goodbye, I say hello. You say stop, I say go. I was advocating the more positive side of the duality, and I still do to this day.”