Left: Original lyrics of "Here Comes the Sun" by George Harrison.
According to the Beatles' official biographer, Hunter Davies, the Fab Four never seemed to have any paper in the house. "They never had stationery or notepads," he told CBS News' Mark Phillips. "The songs suddenly came to them, [and] when it came to the words, they were going 'round the house going, 'Gimme some paper. Gimme a scrap.'"
Lyrics that would become timeless classics were often scribbled on hotel stationery, envelopes, even the back of a birthday card.
Davies has now assembled those scraps (which he collected while hanging around the group) and put them into a book, "The Beatles Lyrics" (Little, Brown). Some of these relics are currently on display at the British Library - not far from the Magna Carta.
"In My Life"
Once the songs were recorded, the Beatles lost interest in the scribbled notes. Davies asked if he could save them from the cleaning lady, and so he preserved the pages that show changes that sometimes occurred during recording.
And those original lyrics tell secrets of how the songs came to be.
The scribbled lines of "Help" show what Davies said was Lennon's difficulty with the scan of the line: "When I was younger than I am today" became "When I was younger, so much younger than today."
"A Hard Day's Night"
The opening tune of the movie "A Hard Day's Night" was written on the back of a children's birthday card to John's son, Julian Lennon. But when somebody suggested a change, John agreed.
"And she says, 'Oh that line is a bit poor, 'My tiredness is through,'" said Davies. "And John says, 'You are right,' and immediately gets his pen out and crosses out 'My tiredness is through' and changes it to 'the things that you do.'"
"But when I get home to you,
I find the things that you do,
will make me feel all right."
"Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite"
"Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, from "Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band."
"A Day in the Life"
Sometimes the oddest words were mixed together. "They came into the studio at this time, at the end of 'Sgt. Pepper,' with two scraps that were not connected," said Davies.
The producer, George Martin, put together John's unfinished lament on life's banalities ("Woke up. Got outta bed. Dragged a comb across my head"), and a scrap of an idea from Paul. ("I'd love to turn you on") into what became "A Day in the Life."
"Eleanor Rigby" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
"The Fool on the Hill"
"The Fool on the Hill" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
"Good Day Sunshine"
"Good Day Sunshine" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
"Lovely Rita" by Paul McCartney.
"Michelle" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
"Octopus's Garden" by Ringo Starr.
"The Word" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
"Ticket to Ride"
"Ticket to Ride" by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
"Yesterday" by Paul McCartney.
"I Want to Hold Your Hand"
"I Want to Hold Your Hand," by John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
For more info:
"The Beatles Lyrics: The Stories Behind the Music, Including the Handwritten Drafts of More Than 100 Classic Beatles Songs" - Edited by Hunter Davies (Little, Brown); Also available in eBook format
Read an excerpt from "The Beatles Lyrics"
British Library, London
By CBSNews.com senior producer David Morgan