Tell Her No

Album: The Zombies (1964)
Charted: 42 6
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Songfacts®:

  • In this song, a guy knows that his girl is likely to cheat on him, and he's telling another guy to reject her advances. He's pretty emphatic about this, as the word "No" is repeated 65 times in the song. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Eaken - Berkley, MI
  • This was written by Zombies guitarist Rod Argent. The group had a big hit with their first single, "She's Not There," but followed it up in the UK with "Leave Me Be," which flopped. "They put out a song called 'Leave Me Be,' which we all thought was absolutely the wrong choice, and absolutely not a hit," Argent said in his Songfacts interview. "But the producer and all the people that were making the decisions wouldn't listen to us, and just sort of threw it out there."

    The Zombies then recorded "Tell Her No," which became their second single in the US and third in the UK. In America, it did very well, but in the UK it fared worse as the band had lost some momentum by releasing "Leave Me Be."

Comments: 9

  • Jj from IllinoisThe last line is wrong here on Songfacts and several other sites. Many have it right:
    Tell her no no no no no-no-no-no
    No no no no no-no-no-no
    (Don't take her love from my arms)
    Oh, oh, oh, oh,
    Don't leave me now for her love belongs to me.

    Yes, that last line seems a little strange. But that is what he sings. I always wondered if the last line was to her, and should have been:
    "Don't leave me now for your love belongs to me." and maybe the lead singer just sang it "her love" instead of "your love" because of repetition of "her."
    Despite my question, this line does make some sense as it is....He tells her not to leave him, and to himself (or another) "her love belongs to me!"
    Regardless, the last line is clearly "don't leave me now" Not "don't hurt me now"
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 27th 1965, the Zombies performed "Tell He No" on the ABC-TV weekly program 'Shindig!'...
    At the time the song was at #24 on Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; just under four weeks later on February 21st it would peak at #6 for two weeks...
    {See second post below}
    R.I.P. Jimmy O'Neill {Shindig's host; 1940 - 2013}.
  • Don from Sevierville, TnJuice Newton covered this song in 1983. She's a country singer, but I think the synthesizer riff in her version makes it sound like new wave.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn January 3rd, 1965 "Tell Her No" by the Zombies entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on February 21st it peaked at #6 (for 2 weeks) and spent 11 weeks on the Top 100...
    It also reached #6 on the Canadian RPM Top Singles chart but in their native U.K. it only peaked at #42...
    Between 1964 and 1969 the group had only five records to make Top 100; but three of them reached the Top 10, beside this one there was "She's Not There" (#2 for one week) and "Time Of The Season" (#3)...
    Rod Argent, the group's keyboard player, wrote their three Top 10 hits and in 1972 wrote "Hold Your Head Up", which reached #5 by his self-named band, Argent.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyIn 1959 a duo named Travis and Bob released a record title 'Tell Him No'; it peaked at No. 8 and stayed in the Top 100 for 13 weeks!!! {It basically had the same message}
  • Martin from Rostock, GermanyI counted 26 ;)
  • Jim from Monore, LaBill Withers says "i know" 27 straight times in the recording. count em!
  • Scott from Chelan, WaNot a commentary on the song ... just trivia:

    The old 60's classic "nobody but me", by the Human Beinz, has even more "no's'.

    I think Bill Withers "Ain't No Sunshine" also beats it with "I knows" - not the same word, but just sayin' :)
  • Neil from Skokie, IlRod Argent was the Zombies keyboard player.
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