If I Fell

Album: A Hard Day's Night (1964)
Charted: 53
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  • John Lennon wrote this song, which may have been influenced by the ambivalence he felt during his first marriage. Lennon called this song "my first attempt at a ballad... it's semi autobiographical, but not consciously."
  • Lennon and McCartney sang together into the same microphone when recording this song. John sang the lead on the intro, then Paul sang in a higher lead while John sang harmony. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • The structure of the song is rather intriguing. It opens with an intro that contains no musical elements found in the rest of the song, and the body of this song has no real verse/chorus structure, just two verses that each turn halfway through on an unexpected chord.

    The song is very expressive, with large intervals between the notes in a quasi-modal way. Typical of Lennon are the emphasis on three recurrent long notes ("...give my heart..."). It has similarities with John Dunstable's motet "Quam pulchra es" from the fifteenth century. The introduction is also unusual, with four modulations - even tighter than most music from late romantic music. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Johan Cavalli, who is a music historian in Stockholm
  • At the end of the second time that they sing, "Would be sad if our new love was in vain," McCartney's voice cracks on "vain," but on newer releases of the song this mistake is covered over. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Wilmington, DE
  • There were a few demos of this song recorded in January 1964 before The Beatles came to America. The proper recording came on Thursday, February 27, 1964. The take you hear on the album is Take 15. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ben - Cheverly, MD
  • The Beatles performed this in the movie A Hard Day's Night. It was used in a scene where they perform to a group of school kids in a theater. The kids were all borrowed from nearby schools, and had no idea they would see The Beatles. On of the kids was 13-year-old Phil Collins, who didn't make the final cut, but was given outtakes with him in it years later when he contributed commentary for the DVD release of the movie.
  • This was used as the B-side of "And I Love Her."
  • During their 1964 tour, Lennon had some fun with McCartney, adding the word "over" when Paul introduced the song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 58

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaLove the MORE BANG bit always make me laugh.
  • Johan Cavalli from SwedenIn Many Years From Now, Barry Miles, 1997 McCartney said Lennon composed If I Fell.
    But for Q Magazine, May 2013, McCartney suddenly says that he composed it! That means that most of the music writers in the future will use what I call the "M c C a r t n e y p r e s u m t i o n. That means: If you are unsure who composed what,let McCartney get the credit. Why? Because he did Yesterday.
    Now it has come in You Tube a demo with Lennon alone singing the whole song: the intro,the verse and the middle part!! Could that mean that McCartney composed it? Of course not.
  • Rick Margin from Brick,njOn the 11th take,John inserted the intro with guitar only instrumentation. This would imply that the unusual intro approach was an afterthought. And, a great one at that!
  • 07sanjeewa from Kandy,sri LankaThis song possesses amusingly wonderful cruelty (Ha ha) wrapped around its seems simple but breathtakingly beautiful melody. That's John. Urging for a love to hurt his previous love:
    Don't look back in Anger like situation...!
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 26th 1970, "If I Fell" by the Beatles entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #92; and on August 30th, 1964 it peaked at #53 (for 1 week) and spent 9 weeks on the Top 100...
    And at the time it entered the Top 100 the Beatles had five other songs on the chart; "I'm Happy Just To Dance With You" (at #95, and its 1st week on the Top 100), "And I Love Her" (at #65), "I'll Cry Instead" (at #62), "Ain't She Sweet" (at #40), and at #1 was "A Hard Day's Night"...
    R.I.P. John and George.
  • Marty from Brownsville, CaSome context. Find the worst player with the worst speakers and it would be 100 times better than what we had to listen with at the time; I remember we usually couldn't tell who was singing a given Beatles song. Then listen to how beautifully they did this, not imagining that fans would be able to appreciate most of it. And another aside, when The Beatles released something the A-side was a hit for weeks, then DJs would flip that same record over and play that as a hit for weeks, as in their B-sides were the best thing out at the time. I can't think of anything/anyone even remotely like that.
  • Tex from Tucson, AzIf I Fell was the song that made me want to sing. And it taught me about harmonizing. It's an underrated gem, for reason mentioned above.

  • Steve from Princeton, NjThis lovely ballad provides an excellent example of one of the main reasons the Beatles sound continues to be so universally endearing: Chord Change. It happens right at the moment of the word "just."
  • Johan from Stockholm, SwedenLennon's If I Fell was a number one hit in Norway, the same with Lennon's I Should Have Known Better.
    Lennon's This Boy was a number one hit in Canada.
    Lennon's Do You Want to Know a Secret was number one in US.
    Lennon's Nowhere Man was number one in Australia and Canada 1966.
    These are the songs are never mentioned, when the Beatles number one hits are listid. George Martin and McCartney never do PR for them.
  • Megan from Stevenson, AlI love this song more than air! I adore the beatles! They're the best band...Ever. I love that my other favorite band did this too, maroon 5!
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvSeacopac, they're saying "That you would love me more than her", meaning that the bloke who's singing it was hurt by a bird in the past and he wants his new bird to love him and not leave him like the old one did. That's why Julie Taymore used it in Across the Universe, because it works in a woman's mouth aswell like a double meaning that the guy (Jude in Across the Universe) has been with other girls and she doesn't want to be hurt like the other girl was. You know it's a bit of a sad song when you think about it, the singer's been hurt and is very causious of love now because of it and wondering if the love is right, thank you Mr. Lennon and Mr. McCartney for a sad song that seems happy just like I Want to Hold Your Hand.
  • Julia from Rio De Janeiro, BrazilI heard somewhere that John once said "it was a love song, but not for Cynthia."
  • Jessica from Chisago, MnThis song is a lesson to be learned. Be careful with your boyfriend.
  • John from Sydney, AustraliaA song of extraordinary beauty. There are no songs like this ... it has a magic all it's own ... a rare flower from the beautiful garden of John Lennon's heart.
  • Jack from Ames, IaThe D9 chord use is unique in that John and Paul are also emphasizing the D9 chord in their vocal harmonies: John sings a C and Paul sings an E -- which is a very different effect than just a plain D dominant 7th ... it becomes a bonafide D9 because not only is George playing a D9 (while John is most likely playing the only D7 in C position between the 3rd and 5th frets), but the vocals are screaming D9 themselves...)
    so Carlos from Milpitas is right, and sorry David from New City you just fell over. ;] ~ (get it ... If I Fell... over...) heh heh heh -- hey who threw that bulldog at my kite!?
  • K from Nowhere, Onyeah, i think he tried to sit down on the amp :P it's actually pretty funny to hear paul crack. i mean, when does that ever happen? (rhetorical.) i like the first time you hear it in AHDN, because he's singing to ringo ^_^
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Moim watching the video clip...did george just knock over an amp? HA!
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Mosuch a beautiful song...makes me feel very calm and mellow. i love this site because of all the crazy fun facts it has on the pages- i laughed so hard at the one about john announcing it as "if i fell over." its so corny and....john-ish.
  • John from Cranston, RiI'm listening to this song right now as I write this. Beautiful absolutley beautiful. It gets better with time. The Beatles are phenomenal.
  • Kathy from Fresno, CaDefinitely one of the very best of the Beatles. Brilliant harmony and haunting melody. The best of times for them...and me!
    Kathy - Frenso, CA
  • John from Cranston, RiSeacopac from Dallas. They're not saying "love me more than YOU love her". They are saying "love me more than her". In other words he is saying to the girl. I must be sure from the very start that you will love me more than she loves me.
  • Seacopac from Dallas, TxCan anyone please explain why they say, "I must be sure that you will love me more than you love her"? It's really bothering me. I've got to know what their talking about.
  • Alyson from Beaver Dam, WiI love If I Fell alot because it's one of the good songs that The Beatles wrote. It's a very good song to harmonize on, and my dad is very good with music, so we sang it together when he played his guitar!
  • Kayla from Nashville, Tni like this song, its funny when John starts singing to Ringo about his drums in the movie Hard Day's Night!
  • Tony from Red Deer, AbThis song is one of my personal favorites. Unbelievable harmony by Lennon, very tricky to sing.
  • Jeff from Austin, TxUnbelievable song!! One of the most underrated Beatles gems!!
  • John from Cranston, RiOne of the things I love about the Beatles is that these boys sure could harmonize.
  • Ron from Auburndale, FlHard to believe this song charted so low. It STILL gets played alot on oldies channels. I guess chart positions didn't even matter as far as Beatles music was concerned because it was so great. One of my favorites. I love the harmonies on this one.
  • Forrest from Rochester, MnThe first time I played this song for my wife, she laughed because she thought they meant "I must be sure that you will love me more than you love her" so she thought the Beatle singer was trying to snag a girl away from another girl.
  • Jasmine from Ponca City, OkThis is a good song. I like relating songs to my life and hearing this I think about how scared I was to fall in love with the boyfriend I am with now. In my mind I would tell myself that I would "love to love him". It's wonderful. There will never be another like The Beatles. No matter how hard anyone ever tries.
  • Kenny from Clydebank, ScotlandI saw the country singer, Reba MacIntyre, sing it a while back on a Beatles tribute programme on British tv. What can you say? another gem from The Beatles' repertoire. It's all about trust, opening up, learning to love, the dangerous stuff, the perilous waters of romance. What a performance!
  • Krissy from Boston, MaI love this song. http://youtube.com/watch?v=YQsvDpC55o8
    U can watch it at that link.
  • Doug from Vernon, CanadaMy 9 year old son loves this song so I finally learned it on guitar including the unusual intro chord progression. Amazing tune - Lennon's so called first 'attempt' at a ballad. Not bad for a beginner I'd say.
  • Sarah from Pittsburgh, Pamaroon 5 covered this song and it's really nice version. i don't know if it's on an album but it was done live somewhere. look for it on limewire. :]
  • Rich from Spring Lake Hgts, NjThis is one of the Beatle Songs that shows how great of a team John and Paul were.There Vocals
    in this song are just Super...
  • John from Gainesville, FlThe first time I heard this song--after opening the "Hard Day's Night" album in 1964, I almost had to sit down--it was so beautiful. I am heavily involved in music, and after all these years, "If I Fell" is still my very favorite song of all time. Yes, the D9 chord helps, but the melody, incredible harmonies, haunting lyrics and guitar work make this one of John's very best songs.
  • Paul Isn't Dead from Irvine, CaThis is one of their best early works. It tears your heart with its honest and pleading lyrics. "...That you, won't hurt my pride like her, Cos I couldn't stand the pain, and I, would be sad if our new love, was in vain..." Truly, beautiful.
  • Bryan from Charlotte, NcI agree with all of the comments here. This song is pure brilliance. Following John's voice from the low harmony, then quickly going to the higher melody, then back to the low harmony...that's tricky! Plus: isn't this song changing keys all over the place? I'm not musically edumacated enough to know for sure. I think it's key changes that make singing John's (probably Paul's, too) parts so tricky.

    And if this song wasn't brilliant enough...has anyone noticed John/the Beatles got all of this packaged up in ONLY TWO MINUTES AND TWENTY-TWO SECONDS?!?!?!?!?
  • Steve from Fenton, MoIf you are a new Beatles fan and have only a Greatest Hits package (Red and Blue CDs), buy the Hard Day's Night CD. This one song is SO good, it is worth the price of the whole CD. And don't worry, there are 8 or 9 great songs on the CD, but this song is probaby one of John Lennon's five greatest songs.
  • Michelle from Antigonish, CanadaThis is one of the most Beautiful songs I've ever heard in my life. Not only does this just increase my insane love for the Beatles but it gives me hope to laugh, love and live!! It's amazing, and when I heard Paul's voice crack I thought it was unique, and I felt special that I could tell it was Paul's voice!
  • Vickie from Sydney, AustraliaI woke up one morning to this song playing on my clock radio. I will never forget it as it was the most lovely way to be woken up.
    PS I love George Harrison!
  • Adalia from Brisbane, Australialady madonna
  • Adalia from Brisbane, AustraliaPeople say that "If I fell" is slightly autobiographical of John and his troubles with Cynthia. Also, if that is true, then perhaps it is evident in a later song "Don't let me down" with John reflecting on Yoko at the time.
  • Mike from Newark, NdI love this song. The Beatle harmony of Paul and John singing lead together forming one voice is spectacular and the lyrics are pure poetry. Great one.
  • Jon from Danville, CaI'm pretty sure in the film they dont play this to a group of kids, but alone on the stage when they are cheering ringo up, before he "goes parading".
  • Lee from Clearwater, FlToby. My mom passed away a few months ago too. She loved music, and was good with harmony as well. We used to sing Misery together, please see the comments I wrote in "Misery". Those two songs will always remind us of something special between a boy and his mother.

    This is a good song for hearing that crystal clear sound of their voices. It has such an innocent sound to it.
  • Carlos from Milpitas, CaThe "cool chord" (technically) isn't a dominant seventh chord. It's actually a D9 chord (Composed of the notes D, F#, A, C and E), which is an extension of a D7 chord, and isn't very common. Sorry, that just bothered me. :D.
  • David from New City, NyIt's a cool chord change but it's not unique. What you're describing is a dominant seventh chord and is very common.
  • John from Columbus, OhThe first time I heard this song I was stunned. It is among the most beautiful songs ever composed, and John and Paul's harmony is simply awesome. The chord progressions are unique, especially that great chord on the word "her" before "cause I couldn't stand the pain." I love many songs--especially Lennon's, but this one is my all-time favorite.
  • Melissa from Fairborn, OhThis is one of my favorite sad Beatles song because it has a slightly jazzy touch. I have an instrumental version of the song from Bite of The Apple that Beatlejazz did. Everytime when I hear an vocal version from A Hard Day's Night album or an instrumental version from Bite of the Apple album it makes me cry and fall asleep.
    You can waltz to this song.
  • Charlie from Cape Girardeau, MoRe: the harmony-it is tricky to sing the lower harmony line in the duet portion but sing the melody line in the other parts. Also, the opening 8 bars of intro set up the rest of the song perfectly.
  • Nessie from Sapporo, Japan(Nick: "When listening to this song try to figure out what level John is singing at,try to sing along at Johns tone,I bet ya you won't be able too...") I do this with my brother. Not outrageously hard. This is one of their best. Maroon 5 cover this when they play live. Their version is jazzier but inferior to the original.
  • Mike from New Point, VaPhil Collins' mother was either the casting director or on the casting staff for the movie. Can't remember which.
  • Ryab from Lackawanna, NyThis Is Kurt Cobains Favorite Beatle Song, He Sometimes Sang This When He Felt The Concert Wasn't Going Good.
  • Alan from City, MiGreat acoustic guitar by George!
  • Toby from Pittsburgh, PaMy Mom and I used to sing this together....she passed away just a few months ago- She loved music (she had a lovely voice) and she loved the beatles and she really liked this song.
    She could nail any/ all harmonies.
    Whenever i hear this song, I automatically think of her.
  • Liliana from Huntley, Ilwhy is there only one comment for this song? it's awesome!!
  • Nick from Buffalo, NyThe harmonizing in this song is out of hand. When listening to this song try to figure out what level John is singing at,try to sing along at Johns tone,I bet ya you won't be able too...
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