It Won't Be Long

Album: With The Beatles (1963)

Songfacts®:

  • In a 1980 interview with Playboy, John Lennon said that after some London critic remarked that "It Won't Be Long" contained "Aeolian cadences," their popularity increased because they attracted the brainy set. Lennon confesses that to this day, he has no idea what an "Aeolian cadence" is. The Aeolian is also known as the natural minor scale, beginning on A.
  • This song has been covered by House of Heroes on a Beatles' cover album, and also by Franz Ferdinand, The Quick, Richard Thompson, and the Beatles tribute supergroup Yellow Matter Custard - who are named after a line from "I Am The Walrus."
  • This song repeats the distinctive "yeah, yeah" chorus first popularized in "She Loves You." In "It Won't Be Long," the "yeah" shows up 56 times.
  • The wordplay here between "belong" and "be long" was explained by Paul McCartney: "I was doing literature at school, so I was interested in plays on words and onomatopoeia. John didn't do literature but he was quite well read, so he was interested in that kind of thing. Like the double meaning of 'please' in a line like 'Please, lend a little ear to my pleas' that we used in Please Please Me. We'd spot the double meaning. I think everyone did, by the way, it was not just the genius of us! In 'It won't be long till I belong to you' it was that same trip. We both liked to try and get a bit of double meaning in, so that was the high spot of writing that particular song. John mainly sang it so I expect that it was his original idea but we both sat down and wrote it together."

    Another Beatles song to use "be long" repeatedly is "Blue Jay Way."
  • This was the first song Neil Young performed for an audience. He played it at his high school cafeteria.
  • John Lennon's vocal was double-tracked, something The Beatles did on some of their early recordings to make it pop.

Comments: 21

  • Ken from Philadelphia, PaBy all accounts, "It Won't Be Long" was going to be the Beatles next single in the Fall of 1963. Then Paul and John got together that September and wrote a little ditty you might have heard of: "I Want To Hold Your Hand", which was recorded in October and instead became the next single in the U.K., released in late November 1963. The rest, as they say, is history.
  • Rambletamble from San Antonio, TxI am very fortunate to live in an area where four very talented musicians play 2 1/2 hours of nothing but Beatles songs once a month at a local establishment. "it Won't Be Long" Is a song they learned at my request. What's really cool is that dancing and singing along are patrons that are 1 or 2 generations younger than original fans. I think that says everything about the 'staying power' and musical importance of the eight-year worldwide phenomenon known as The Beatles.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn March 20th 1964, the Beatles performed "It Won't Be Long" on the British TV program 'Ready Steady Go!; it was the quartet's first appearance on the show and they also performed "Can't Buy Me Love" and "You Can't Do That"...
    "It Won't Be Long" was track one of side one on the quartet's second studio album, 'With the Beatles', and on February 9th, 1964 the album peaked at #1* {for 11 weeks} on Billboard's Top 200 Albums chart...
    * The album that knocked it out of the top spot was 'The Beatles' Second Album'; it remained at #1 for five weeks...
    R.I.P. John and George.
  • AnonymousFun and easy-listening great tune.
  • Zero from Nowhere, NjSo who owns the Beatles Catalogue NOW?
  • Michael from Alta Loma, CaThe echoing harmonies during the chorus, where John sings, "Oh since you left me I'm so alone, now you're coming, you're coming on home", while Paul and George answer with, "You left me here on my on, and now you're coming on home, yes you're coming on home, OM, OM" are far ahead of their time musically,
  • Tom from Standrews, United KingdomHi Laura yes It's COOL and has been for a lot of years !!!!!!
  • Lauren from Quesnel, BcI really like Jonh's old glasses, before he did How We Won the War. I think they made him look so innocent
  • Claire from Miller's, MdMe and my one friend have some really good but sad memories about this song.
  • Claire from Miller's, MdLaura I'm 14 almost 15. My Birthday iz in September and I'm deeply in love w/The Beatles. and my younger sister iz 12 her birthdayiz in December
  • Faith from Liverpool, --This song seems like John could be a girl singing about his boyfriend coming home from the war. I like how Across the Universe used this song.
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmI like this song It makes me Happy! :)))))))
  • Alisa from Franklin, WiFranz Ferdinand did a cover of this song.
  • Jesus from Here, Ireland:) my smiley face says enough .hehe
  • Ben from Cheverly, MdKeep in mind, that Michael Jackson owns this beautiful song.............
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScThis song is fun and has a lot of energy.
  • Gussy from New Delhi , IndiaThe bridge goes through great chord changes for that time.
  • Ben from Cheverly, MdThis is truly a wonderful song.
  • Adam from Rochester, Nyjust very fun and one of those beatles tunes you will be singing all day
  • Laura from Santa Fe, NmI love this song it just sounds so cool. *sings* IT wont be long yeah (yeah) yeah (yeah). IT's used for te credits in the rockumentary The Beatles: First U.S. Visit. I'm 12 anyone here remotely close to my age?
  • Nessie from Sapporo, JapanAll the energy of the early Beatles, plus better than usual early songwriting.
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