Track of the Day: 'Ticket to Ride' by The Carpenters

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

I recently asked readers for their favorite Beatles covers, specifically ones that transcend the rock genre. One reader pointed to a reggae-jazz version of “She’s a Woman” while another highlighted an eclectic a cappella version of “Helter Skelter.” This next reader gets right to the point:

The Carpenters’s “Ticket To Ride.” Brilliant. Period. End of sentence.

Here’s some trivia regarding that song title, relayed by Don Short, a Daily Mirror music journalist:

The girls who worked the streets in Hamburg had to have a clean bill of health and so the medical authorities would give them a card saying that they didn’t have a dose of anything. I was with The Beatles when they went back to Hamburg in June 1966 and it was then that John told me that he had coined the phrase ‘a ticket to ride’ to describe these cards. He could have been joking – you always had to be careful with John like that – but I certainly remember him telling me that.

(Submit a song via hello@. Track of the Day archive here. Pre-Notes archive here.)