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For No One by The Beatles

Album: RevolverReleased: 1966
  • Paul McCartney wrote this song sitting in a chalet while on holiday with his girlfriend Jane Asher in Klosters, Switzerland, March of 1966. The working title was "Why Did It Die," and there is speculation that McCartney wrote the song about Asher, who was a successful London actress.

    The theory is that Paul wanted her to cater to his schedule, tour with him, and be the "perfect Beatle wife," but Jane had a life and career of her own, hence the "She doesn't need you" lyrics. Paul has never said it was about Jane specifically, however he did say, "I guess there had been an argument. I never have easy relationships with women." He knew what he was getting into when he got involved with Jane, and being that the song was written in 1966 and they didn't break up until 1968, it's likely that if the song was about Jane, it wasn't a serious argument.
  • When he heard the title, Alan Civil, who played the French Horn on this track, thought it was an orchestral piece called "For No. One" >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Chet - Saratoga Springs, NY
  • This was recorded on May 9, 16 and 19, 1966 by only two Beatles - Paul singing and playing the keyboard and bass, and Ringo on percussion. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Dominic - Pittsburgh, PA
  • Maureen McGovern recorded this and "Things We Said Today" as a 2-song medley for her 1992 album Baby I'm Yours.
  • McCartney used this in his 1984 movie Give My Regards to Broad Street.
  • Revolver was the last Beatles album to have different US and UK versions. In 2002, Rolling Stone readers voted it the greatest album of all time. The album cover was created by artist Klaus Voormann, who became friends with the band when they were playing clubs in Hamburg, Germany in the early '60s. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
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Comments: 61

Fairly simple chord progressions on piano, like many of PM’s compositions (Hey Jude, Maybe I’m Amazed, etc.). But an incredibly poignant lyric makes the song the classic it is.Brad - Fl
Johan-Thank you for your pro-John Lennon list. It's a very appropriate addition to this column about this song (NOT).Trebor - Texas
MY song! I've always loved it, especially because it was not a smash hit, at least in France, and so you don't get bored with it as it can be the case with other wonderful songs such as Hey Jude and so many others. The most underrated Beatles song probably. Paul "en état de grâce" as we say in French, in a state of grace ? Not sure of the translation.Pierre - Pierre_colleu@hotmail.com, France
These are the top fourteen songs voted 2012 by MOJO readers and Beatles fans. For No One is no 6 :
1. Tomorrow Never Knows
2 Hey Bulldog
3. Rain
4. Happiness Is a Warm Gun
5. And Your Bird Can Sing
6. For No One
7. Dear Prudence
8. It´s All Too Much
9. Long Long Long
10.I´m Only Sleeping
11.You Know My Name
12.Helter Skelter
13.I Want You
14.She Said She Said

That is 10 Lennon, 2 Harrison! and only 2 McCartney!
Johan - Stockholm, Sweden
If you are a fan of reincarnation, I read that Paul was Antonio Vivaldi, the 18th century baroque composer. So I googled some of Vivaldi's youtube's and I kinda remember his stuff playing cello in highschool. I would say, yes it could be true, there's lots of experimental stuff going on with Vivaldi, if you could transport yourself back to his time. But what really came to mind was "For No One" as I did like baroque and The Beatles as a kid. The horn solo is definitely baroque as some of the piano. Also in most of Paul's/Beatle music he has some crazy stuff going on with the bass where it takes off on its melody unlike most rock in the 60s. Classical music is very sophisticated where as it's not strictly formated with same old bass lines in most rock. I think Vivaldi came through in Paul which gave him the freedom to break the rules and escalate the evolution of rock. OK, that is, if you believe in this stuff!Rick - Iowa City, Ia
Did George Martin play piano ??Joe - Grants Pass, Or
I love the french horn in this song, that instrument epitomizes the wistful mood of the song, and ultimately the regret of a failed relationship. a masterful song.Marty - Milwaukee, Wi
I agree with Jeff from Austin Texas.You said it,right on.The Beatles were far ahead of the other bands.George - Belleville, Nj
This song probably isn't even in my top 20 favorite Beatles songs, but is still better than any other band's best song. That's how good the Beatles were.Jeff - Austin, Tx
"You stay home...she goes out..."Bob - Berkeley, Ca
For No One is such a beautiful song with a touch of a meloncholy lonely feel to it.his is a brilliant example of true ballad writing.The thing that makes it so unique is that the style and melody sounds so distinct like it was penned by Beethoven or Bach or Mozart,something classical but with a modern sound.They were incredibly gifted in songwriting ability.Areal listening experience.George - Belleville, Nj
This is why the Beatles are the best...they have songs every type of person can listen to and like! this isnt my favorite, but it works 4 most people.Nick - Seattle, Albania
i love the bass line that follows the vocals!! listen when paul sings "no sign of love behind the tears." its also amazing how paul made a harpsichord work in a psychadelic ballad =)Michael - Gloucester, Va
One of my favorite Beatles songs, and definitely my favorite Paul composition. Very heartfelt and meaningful. COMPLETELY underrated. This is one of those songs called hidden gems that is better than most singles put out by the band, but was never a single itself and therefore wasn't a hit, despite deserving to be.Brad - Lexington, Ky
sam from nj, im not sure exactly which generation you're referring to. im thirteen, and thats what gets me through the day! what else is there to say? a brillaint song.Chloe - St. Louis, Mo
For No One is such a soothing song..McCartney's voice is just perfect..Rachita - Delhi, India
i've always loved this song. i talks about love & lose.Tay - San Diego, Ca
One of Paul's best. I love how so many different instruments in Beatles song can catch your ear even after hundreds of listenings. The bass throughout the whole song and particularly toward the end is awesome.Eric - Buffalo, Ny
great song one of mccartney's best. Revolver was Paul's peak lyrically.Jason - State Of Fitz, Nj
John Lennon at one point said this was his favorite McCartney songChris - Charleston, Sc
First time I heard this song I just had lost my girl. Needless to say it touched me deep. Nice song.Regis - Sao Paulo, Brazil
This song kind of reminds me of Ringo's relationship with the band in later years. It isn't about it, but it sounds like it. 'Words of kindness linger on when she no longer needs you...." the she is the Beatles. Ringo left the band for awhile during the White Album, feeling unimportant. THe other boy that "she" knew, kind of like Pete Best, but they don't need him anymore. He's feeling confused and stuff

Just throwing it out there

BYW, i know this was wrtiten like 2-3 years before the White Album, just REMINDS me of it.
Ryan - Penticton, Canada
George Martin was credited with playing piano on one of the Help! album tracks (Tell me what you see?). He was the earliest 'non Beatle' to be credited. The most famous non-Beatles to NOT be credited, were Eric Clapton and members of the Stones from the 66-68 period.Doug - Vernon, Canada
A very Sad and Sublime song...: it moved me and touched my soul.Elle - Montreal, United States
"For No One" is on Ava Victoria's CD KICKIN' UP LIFE. It's so simple, nylon string guitar, voice and harmonica. I bought it on CDBABY.COMMarie - Fresno, Ca
This song is something else. i cannot beging to explain how much this song reminds me of my long term relationship w my now X. this song is incredibe and as said i believe once or twice b4 lol, this song is extremly extremly underrated. briliant and perfect masterpiece preformed by paul. thank you paul!Ryan - Middlesex, Nj
This is not simply one of the Beatles' most underrated songs, it is one the most underrated songs of any artist. The lyrics are among McCartney's best, the vocal work is incredible, and yes, Civil's horn adds a great touch. I love the last verse line--"You won't forget her." Says it all...John - Gainesville, Fl
This is one of the most underrated songs in the Beatles' entire career. Exquisite and tragic in meaning, simple in melody, "For No One" is one of Macca's greatest pieces.Paul Isn't Dead - Irvine, Ca
I add my name to many who've already said this is one of the most underrated Beatles songs of all-time. A masterpiece by Paul both lyrically and musically. What more can be said?David - Youngstown, Oh
One of the best songs ever !!!
From the lyrics,and all the way to that great french horn solo. This song is absolutely amazing.
Tyler Jonathan - Toronto, Canada
This may be my favorite song by my favorite group!
(And I'm from the generation which, at the end of a day, would look forward to getting home to "play some Beatles".)

I LOVE the french horn solo!

What else is there to say? The song speaks for itself.
Sam - Gloucester Twp., Nj
this is a song my grandmother would listen to
this is the weakest song on REVOLVER
along with doctor robert... this is just weak
Ste - Manchester, England
I think this is definately one of my favorite Beatles songs. The genius that is Paul McCartney is shown at it's full in this song.Addison - Versailles, Ky
This is such a sad song, if you like this song, YOU MUST MUST MUST listen to "In my life", "If i needed someone" and pretty much everything on the Rubber Soul album...lol!Monica - San Francisco, Ca
Neat. Any average Beatles fan knows those things. But I think that this is indeed one of Macca's best efforts. It's a very sad tune if you listen to the words, and the music goes with that. Another perfect pop song from the fabulous Paul McCartney.Claire - Chicago, Il
Perfection.Jon - Tucson, Az
The horn solo is amazing!!!!!Jonathan - Johnstown, Pa
This is currently my favorite Paul McCartney song. The lyrics are very touching and, like others have said, this is a very underrated song.Robert - Los Angeles, Ca
this song is sooo good! i love the horns. paul is such a good songwriter!
sam, provo, ut
Sam - Provo, Ut
Beautiful song. If you have ever lost a love, this song really hits home...especially the line "There will be times when all the things she said will fill your head, you won't forget her." One of my favorites.Mike - Newark, Nd
Such a great melody. It feels so good to listen to. It doesn't sound strained one bit, it's great.Dan - Lee, Nh
Such a great song. Paul did some amazing work on Revolver as well with 'Here, There, and Everywhere'.Ryan - Lakewood, Oh
This song is amazing. By far the best one on revolver, and in my top five favorite beatles songs. One of my two favorite Paul songs. It's so beautiful.Laura - Lakeville, Mn
Perfection pretty much sums it up, as this song excells in almost every way a song can.

Another great thing about this is how it abruptly ends, just like the relationship it describes.
Nader - Durham, Nc
This song is just... the most underrated Beatles song indeed. It's just too beautiful. This is by far one of my favorite songs EVER.

The melody, the words, the chords, it's just perfect.
Sophia - Mesquite, Tx
There's more to a song than just lyrics and a chord progression. I think the melody is what makes this song great.Brian - Hopewell Junction, Ny
"I heard that John Lennon thought that, "For No One" was one of McCartney's best songs." Must've been for the lyrics, since the chord progression is pretty tedious and unoriginal. Ditto for the sus4 chord at the end of the refrain. It does have a certain mood, though.Nessie - Sapporo, Japan
Play the horn backwards, it sounds really good. Yes, I am the same person as Ben from Cheverly, MDBenjamin - Cheverly, Md
i dont know wat you people are talking about. the horn is the best part. they lyrics are fab too. this is one of their best songs.Jack - St. Paul, Mn
What would you have had in the horn's place?Calum - Edinburgh, Scotland
really an amazing song. one of the, if not the, best on revolver. it's just so moving and always has a profound effect on meSteve - New York City, Ny
This is nice. Mr. McCartney coming out as a lyrist. He did this on occation, too bad he couldn't hold onto it.Dwight - Calgary, Canada
When I was in graduate school, I was allowed to research the actual original manuscript for this tune. The original title, "Why Did It Die" was the original chorus and the final chorus "and in her eyes you see nothing", etc., does not appear in the original manuscript. The verses are the same as the final, but there is an additional verse on the manuscript that did not make it to the final version.Mike - New Point, Va
"Alan Civil" is credited in the Revolver liner notes, probably the first non-Beatle to receive an album credit. Other people had played before on Beatles albums but not fully credited. For instance, Brian Jones played on a few Beatle tracks, the string quartet on Yesterday, and the orchestras on Day in the Life and I Am a Walrus. Also, George Martin played piano on some tracks.Alan - New Baltimore, Mi
my favourite beatles song, definately the most under rated!Euan - Glasgow, Scotland
I love this song. I think it's my favourite song on the Revolver Album. But that's a rash statement.Brittanie - Liverpool, England
I heard that John Lennon thought that, "For No One" was one of McCartney's best songs.Mike - Jackson, Nj
John Lennon and Paul McCartney have said that this is probably the most underrated Beatles song.Jeff - Barrington, Il
Simply put. One of the top ten songs of the 20th Century.Heartfelt, visual, clean sounding, and to the point. I guess the best way to really feel the song is if you can connect to every lyric. The descention of chords almost gives a subliminal message of a soul falling, complimented by the haunting words. Very underated to say the least.Jesse - London, England
Generally, one of the finest, most touching and exquisite songs in the Beatles catalogue both lyrically and musically. Specifically, one of Paul McCartney's best vocal performances and classic, heartfelt melodies: a perfect example of his extraordinary talent. No less inspired is Alan Civil's timely horn solo.Annabelle - Alliston, Canada
This song is absolutely beautiful. The lyrics are perfect.I think every guy can relate to the lyrics of the song. Paul McCartneys brilliance as a song writer really shines in this one.Tavers - Mesa, Az
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