“Do You Want to Know a Secret” was inspired in part by a song from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs called “I’m Wishing”, which John’s mum used to sing to him when he was a child. He wrote it shortly before his marriage to Cynthia and the secret in question is that he was in love. George Harrison, who sang the lead vocal, later admitted that the music was inspired by The Stereos’ song, “I Really Love You”.
It was included on The Beatles’ Please Please Me, and although it was not released as a single in the U.K., it reached #2 in the United States, bumping up against another Beatles hit, “Can’t Buy Me Love”. A cover version by Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas was released in the U.K. and spent two weeks at the top of the charts.
George has said he was disappointed with his vocals on this track, but chalked it up to a lack of experience. Nevertheless, the song has remained popular enough to be included on a Stars On/Starsound medley, which went to #1 in the U.S., and a hugely successful video game, The Beatles: Rock Band.
Stars On/Starsound recordings
Medley: Intro “Venus” – Sugar Sugar – No Reply – I’ll Be Back – Drive My Car – Do You Want to Know a Secret – We Can Work it Out – I Should Have Known Better – Nowhere Man – You’re Going to Lose That Girl – Stars on 45 (Jeff Barry/Martin Duiser/Jaap Eggermont/Andy Kim/Robbie van Leeuwen/John Lennon/Paul McCartney)