Paul McCartney has always stated that he awoke one morning with the melody to Yesterday in his head. He has also stated that he is a great admirer of Nat King Cole. These two statements may come back to haunt him.
Similarities between Yesterday and Nat King Cole's Answer Me have been raised in a new book called "101 Beatles Myths Debunked" by Spencer Leigh and Alan Clayson.
Apart from both songs containing the title of the song in the opening line and having the same number of syllables, there are other similarites too.
The following lines are from Answer Me:
You were mine yesterday
I believed that love was here to stay.
Music historian, Dominic Pedler, has this to say:
"The rhythmic phrasing makes for a great comparison. The opening three syllables and the scanning of all the verses is virtually identical.
"While the pitch of the melody notes are mostly very different, the closing verse line 'sweetheart' rises rather than falls from 5th to 3rd, an unusual stylistic touch which also appears in Yesterday."
Paul believed he'd subconsciously copied someone elses song, and consequently hawked his "Scambled Eggs" around for months, asking anyone who'd listen whether they recognised the tune. What would have happened if George Martin, or anyone else, had pointed out the similarities to Answer Me? Maybe Paul's troubles would have remained so far away!
Anyway, you can judge for yourselves because I've uploaded the track for you!
Let me know what you think - personally, apart from those lyrics I would never have drawn the comparison!