You Won't See Me

Album: Rubber Soul (1965)


  • Paul McCartney wrote this about his tumultuous five-year relationship with the actress Jane Asher. He wrote it one night after she had walked out. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Wilmington, DE
  • Up to this point, McCartney wrote lots of "silly love songs. "You Won't See Me" was a departure lyrically, as the song was more personal and mature, and also a little bitter, which reflects how he felt about his relationship with Jane Asher. Another Rubber Soul song, "I'm Looking Through You," is also about Asher and is similarly scathing. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • A cover version by the country singer Anne Murray hit #8 US in 1974.
  • Mal Evans, The Beatles road manager, played the Hammond organ.
  • This was recorded in two takes. In their early years, The Beatles did so many live shows that they had no trouble recording quickly.
  • The melody for the Chicago hit "Saturday In The Park" is based on this song.

Comments: 36

  • Michael Childs from Mt.dora FloridaDoes anyone know why the In the Beatles song "You won’t see me" the organ played a steady Am note all the way through the last verse and Bridge. Was it planed or just overlooked?
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 16th, 1974, Ann Murray was a featured guest on Chicago's ABC-TV special ‘Meanwhile, Back at the Ranch'...
    At the time her song "You Won't See Me" was at #68 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart...
    {See next two posts below}.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn August 3rd 1974, Anne Murray was the headliner at the Schaefer Music Festival in New York City's Central Park; at the time of this appearance her covered version of "You Won't See Me" was at #44 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart {see next post below}...Oh yeah, one of her opening acts was some guy named Bruce Springsteen.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn July 5th 1974, Anne Murray performed "You Won't See Me" on the NBC-TV program 'The Midnight Special'...
    Three months earlier on April 14th, 1974 entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #83; and on July 7th, 1974 it peaked at #8 (for 2 weeks) and spent 20 weeks on the Top 100...
    And on June 16th, 1974 it reached #1 (for 2 weeks) on Billboard's Adult Contemporary Tracks chart...
    She also covered a another Beatle song, "Day Tripper", it reached #59 on the Top 100 in 1975...
    Between 1970 and 1986 she had twenty-eight Top 100 records; four made the Top 10 with one reaching #1 ("You Needed Me" for 1 week in 1978)...
    She had four songs peak at #12; "A Love Song" (1974), "I Just Fall In Love Again (1979), "Broken Hearted Me" (1979), and "Daydream Believer" (1980).
  • Michael De Lazzer from Studio City, CaThis song is one of The Beatles early technical wonders. There is A LOT going on. The song was recorded on a 4-track recorder. Paul, singing lead, double tracks the verses. But the double track is dropped in the chorus, and Paul jumps in and harmonizes with himself. John and George add the counter melody in the chorus "You won't see me" in 2 part harmony-- but the "knew I wouldn't, no I wouldn't" is now John double tracked by himself. I'm pretty sure it's John harmonizing with himself in the "Ooh, la, la, la" bits. Add to this the tempo slowdown and you've got one of those technical 'wow factor' songs few bands could pull off.
  • Eliseu from Canoas, BrazilThe Bee Gees covered this.
  • Howard from St. Louis Park, MnEven though it wasn't a major hit for The Beatles, it became a big hit for Anne Murray in 1974. Her version is one of the best Beatle remales ever.
  • Pete from Kissimmee, FlFor those who sense a tempo change in "If You Won't See Me", you're correct - it changes from 119 BPM to 113 BPM by the end.
  • Dudley from Sylvania Twp., OhI joined just so that I could humiliate myself with the fact that I thought "If you won't see me" was by Anne Murray. I feel so dumb. It makes me wonder about the kids today--- the ones who even care about the beautiful songs from the past, that is. One other thing I wanna share with you guy. I watched the Beatles performing at the Royal Variety Performance on You Tube today, and I was amazed watching Paul McCartney singing "Till there was you." Man it was just an emotional experience to see someone actually sing. You know, not bolstered by electronic doohickeys. Do yourself a favor, when you have a minute and go watch it.
  • Bando from Lima, OhA nice addition to Paul's piercing lead vocal is the line, "No, I wouldn't" (twice) by John and George at the end of the bridge when Paul sings "...if I knew what I was missing." Ringo's drumming is most solid as well.
  • Nikolai from Los Angeles, CaI really like this song, and to correct Adrian from DE, the song "Rain" was also over 3 minutes and the song "Love You To" was exactly 3, so there were a few others that went over.
  • Brian from Boston, MaI first heard this song when I was very young around 6 or 7. My sister who is older than me had the Rubber soul album.About ten years latter I myself had become a major Beatles fan.I heard this song again when a friend of mine who was also a Beatles played the Rubber soul album for me.When I heard it I was amazed.Because You wont see me is somewhat of an obscure Beatles song I had not heard it in over ten years.When I heard it again as a teenager I was suddenly overcome with memories of the past.I remembered listening to it at age 6 and how much i enjoyed it.
  • George from Belleville, NjIn this song,you could hear a growing maturity in the Beatles songwriting abilities.This is very inventive songwriting.I like the way the beat and the melody and the lyrics and the harmonies all fit together like pieces of a puzzle producing a complete musical listening experience.Another gem from 1965 at the peak of their popularity.
  • Dave from Lawrenceville, NjRick,

    I know what you mean - it's really during the later stanzas of the song that it seems "slower" but I'm pretty sure it's due to the brilliant phrasing by Paul, with the extended "seeeeemmmms like years" and with other intentional slowdowns before picking it up again on the chorus. A great song.
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxI think you want to hear a little waiver of the voice when someone is singing - it adds a human touch and makes listening to it more personal...otherwise it is like lstening to synthesised music where all the mis-pitches and mistakes are pre-recorded out. It makes music more alive when it's unpredictable. It's like the hiss and crackle of vinyl.
  • Rick from London, OnGreat song indeed!! Has anyone else noticed that the tempo seems to change throughout the song?? Near the end it seems to really slow down. I wonder if maybe i'm just hallucinating..or perhaps they did that as a gag to mess with people?? :)
  • Michael from Chicago, IlWow! Rubber Soul was an amalgamation of the rapid and brilliant growth of this band. This song is not only a sweet, impassioned, plead-out to a passing lover but also a farewell to the past. McCartney had one more British Invasion song to deliver before the influence of Dylan and the onset of Sgt. Peppers. He's down on his knees like Jackie Wilson; one more time. John & George are backing him with brotherly,sweet soul and Ringo is playing innovative drums. Sgt. Peppers is coming!
  • Miles from Washington Dc, United StatesNice example of how the beatles were maturing in 1965. This tune in my opinion is way above much of what they had done, but not as--shall we say--interesting as things on "pepper" or white album. I wish artists today would pay more attention to the art of tunesmithing.
  • Clubber Lange from Ocean Gate, NjI love the term "engaged" insted of "busy" when referring to the phone call....Silly Brits...
  • John from New York, NyCharles, The " no I wouldn't, no I wouldn't" counterpoint is my favorite part of the song too. But it sounds to me more like John singing that. Plus how often, if ever, did George have such a resonant vocal in a John or Paul song?
  • Maya from Richmond, BcThe Ooh la la la part sounds just like the kids form School of Rock
  • Linda from London, AlThis song and "I'm Looking Through You" are probably my favorite songs on Rubber Soul. Rubber Soul was the first actual Beatles album I bought (the first one I bought was a compilation album, like a Greatest Hits CD, kind of). "You Won't See Me" is such a great song. All of the Beatles songs are great! The Beatles rock!
  • Charles from Bronxville, NyMike from Kearny-
    I saw that on you tube. Pretty cool. Adrian from Wilmington, actually this was written while Jane was touring with her acting company in Wales. Paul was calling her and she was not taking his calls. The way Jane tells it, and don't get me wrong, I love Paul (and John, George & Ringo) but Paul expected her to be honored to be his girlfriend. She, however, knew him when and was haing none of it. I can see that. She meanwhile was interested in pursuing an acting career and I guess there were several ego clashes between them.
    Favorite part of the song?
    George singing a muscial and lyricial counterpoint "No I wouldn't, no I wouldn't" in rejoinder to "I wouldnt mind if I knew what I was missing"
    Frakking brilliant.
    Our band does this this song and I'm VERY particular about the harmonies. Took us months to nail it but it always gets a big round of applause.
  • Michael from Carbondale, IlI like the American release of Rubber Soul a bit better.
  • Andrew from Indianapolis, InRubber Soul is such an underrated album, even with the filler songs at the end, which are acctually quit good
  • Buzz from Towntown, MiI just love this entire album.
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScThis and "Wait" on the same album I think sound very similar.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoJohn or Paul told Anne Murray that her version of this song was the best cover version of a Beatles song. It was ok, but I think they were just being polite.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScI never heard John's background harmonies. I only heard Georgee's which sound like they were double-tracked.
  • Aimee from Boston, Mathe band the GODZ also covered this song in the 60s.
  • Steve from Liverpool, EnglandThis is a very under-rated Beatles song, I loved this record from the first time I heard it. Bryan Ferry of Roxy Music did a cover version in the 1970s but as usual nothing can beat the original.
  • Michael from Kearny, NjIt's funny that this song was written and recorded pretty much on the spot, as a filler song to complete the album. I always thought of this song as a quintessential mid-Beatles piece. If you listen closely as the track starts you can hear a cough (Paul?) just a little off microphone. John & George's background vocals are splendid, but if you listen closely there are a few cracks in their voices. I think little touches like these make Rubber Soul such a pleasureable album to listen to, even today.
    In 2004 during his European tour, Paul added this song to his set-list, performing it live for the first time ever.
  • Christopher from Greenfield Center, NyYou really don't have to listen that closely to hear it...You just have to understand that the organ is the "humming" noise you hear at the end, not something wrong with your speakers.
  • Mike from New Point, VaThe Hammond organ part played by Mal is a single note held during the last verse. You have to listen closely to hear it.
  • Shirley from Ocean, NjOne of my favorites; never get tired of hearing it; as is with most of The Beatles songs.
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeThis was one of the last tracks recorded for Rubber Soul and they needed the album out before Christmas which is why it was done in only 2 takes. The result is one of the Beatles most underrated songs in my opinion. The lyrics are great and John and George's background harmonies (which are overdubbed at least once, maybe more) add color to the track and build as the song progresses. This is also the only other track besides "Ticket to Ride" to exceed 3 minutes before Sgt. Pepper.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Fire On The Stage

Fire On The StageSong Writing

When you have a song called "Fire," it's tempting to set one - these guys did.

Bryan Adams

Bryan AdamsSongwriter Interviews

What's the deal with "Summer of '69"? Bryan explains what the song is really about, and shares more of his songwriting insights.

Jethro Tull

Jethro TullFact or Fiction

Stage urinals, flute devices, and the real Aqualung in this Fact or Fiction.

Timothy B. Schmit of the Eagles

Timothy B. Schmit of the EaglesSongwriter Interviews

Did this Eagle come up with the term "Parrothead"? And what is it like playing "Hotel California" for the gazillionth time?

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"

Ian Anderson: "The delight in making music is that you don't have a formula"Songwriter Interviews

Ian talks about his 3 or 4 blatant attempts to write a pop song, and also the ones he most connected with, including "Locomotive Breath."

Mark Arm of Mudhoney

Mark Arm of MudhoneySongwriter Interviews

When he was asked to write a song for the Singles soundtrack, Mark thought the Seattle grunge scene was already overblown, so that's what he wrote about.