Song facts: If I Fell, And I Love Her

If I Fell was written by John Lennon in 1964 for The Beatles' A Hard Day's Night album. It also appears on the US album Something New. In a 1980 interview Lennon described the song as his first real attempt at writing a love ballad.

"That's my first attempt to write a ballad proper. That was the precursor to In My Life. It has the same chord sequence as In My Life: D and B minor and E minor, those kinds of things. And it's semi-autobiographical, but not consciously. It shows that I wrote sentimental love ballads, silly love songs, way back when." - John Lennon
"People tend to forget that John wrote some pretty nice ballads. People tend to think of him as an acerbic wit and aggressive and abrasive, but he did have a very warm side to him really which he didn't like to show too much in case he got rejected. We wrote If I Fell together but with the emphasis on John because he sang it. It was a nice harmony number, very much a ballad." - Paul McCartney
 A Hard Day's Night album cover. 

A Hard Day's Night album cover. 

Recording

The Beatles recorded If I Fell on February 27th 1964. Paul McCartney and John Lennon sang into the same microphone, giving the song its intimate feel. The track was completed in 15 takes.

Earlier that day, prior to recording If I Fell, The Beatles recorded and completed another John Lennon song Tell My Why, which was completed in only eight takes. 

Personnel

  • John Lennon – lead vocal, acoustic rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – lead vocal, bass
  • George Harrison – twelve-string lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums

Release

Album 

If I Fell was released in the UK on July 10th 1964 on A Hard Day's Nightand in the US on Something New on July 20th.

Single 

The song was issued as the B-side to And I Love Her in the US on July 20th 1964; it peaked at number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100.

 John Lennon photographed for A Hard Day's Night, 1964. 

John Lennon photographed for A Hard Day's Night, 1964. 

And I Love Her

And I Love Her was written primarily by Paul McCartney with some minor input from John Lennon. It features on the band's A Hard Day's Night album and was also released as a single in the US.  

"It was the first ballad I impressed myself with. It's got nice chords in it, 'Bright are the stars that shine, dark is the sky...' I like the imagery of the stars and the sky. It was a love song really. The 'And' in the title was an important thing. 'And I Love Her,' it came right out of left field, you were right up to speed the minute you heard it. The title comes in the second verse and it doesn't repeat. You would often go to town on the title, but this was almost an aside, 'Oh... and I love you.' It still holds up and George played really good guitar on it. It worked very well." - Paul McCartney
"And I Love Her is Paul again. I consider it his first Yesterday. You know, the big ballad in A Hard Day's Night. The middle eight, I helped with that." - John Lennon
"I'm not sure if John worked on that at all... The middle eight is mine. I would say that John probably helped with the middle eight, but he can't say 'It's mine'. I wrote this on my own. I can actually see Margaret Asher's upstairs drawing room. I remember playing it there, not writing it necessarily." - Paul McCartney

Recording

The Beatles recorded And I Love Her over a three day period at Studio Two of Abbey Road. 

On February 25th 1964 two takes were recorded; one was incomplete and the other wasn't deemed satisfactory; this second take was eventually released on the Beatles Anthology 1 album in 1995. 

The following day on February 26th The Beatles recorded a further seventeen takes of the song. But it wasn't until February 27th that they were happy with how things sounded. Take 20 was used as the master for overdubbing. 

 Paul McCartney on the set of A Hard Day's Night, 1964.

Paul McCartney on the set of A Hard Day's Night, 1964.

Personnel

  • Paul McCartney – vocal, bass
  • John Lennon – acoustic rhythm guitar
  • George Harrison – classical lead guitar
  • Ringo Starr – bongos, claves
  • George Martin – producer

Single release

Although not released as a single in the UK, Capitol Records issued And I Love Her as a single in the US on July 20th 1964, backed by John Lennon's If I Fell. The song failed to make it into the Top Ten on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at number 12. 

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