“If I Fell” from A Hard Day’s Night by Tim Hatfield
John Lennon said that this was his first attempt to write a “ballad proper,” and was a precursor of “In My Life” (#40), perhaps the most popular ballad he ever wrote. Paul McCartney pointed out in Barry Miles’ Many Years from Now that although people generally thought of John as:
an acerbic wit and aggressive and abrasive, but he did have a very warm side to him…that he didn’t like to show too much in case he got rejected.
Dripping in Chords
The song was, as Paul described it, “dripping in chords,” and featured very tight two-part harmony by John and Paul, Everly Brothers-like, following an acoustic solo introduction by John. John sang the low harmony, and when recording in the studio in 1964 the pair used a single microphone for the vocals.
If I Fell Over?
On the Beatles 1964 tour it was the only ballad on the playlist, which often was a big problem because John and Paul could not hear themselves over the screaming girls in the audience. Although I’ve not seen them, there apparently are some bootleg videos of them trying to stifle laughs while singing the song, which they jokingly called “If I Fell Over.” In the film A Hard Day’s Night, the song was featured in a scene in which the band was getting ready for a concert, just one example of their playful side – John sang the sweet introduction to Ringo while he was setting up his kit.
During Hard Times
During hard times of any kind, I hope you can experience some moments of playfulness, despite whatever ongoing legitimate concerns beset you. Stay strong, all.
When We Find Ourselves in Times of Trouble: The Beatles: All Their Songs with Encouraging Words for Challenging Times
KINDLE (OR DOWNLOAD THE FREE APP TO READ ON YOUR LAPTOP)
This book addresses all the songs of the Beatles, from their earliest demos to Abbey Road, in a conversational, accessible format. Special attention is devoted to the band’s creative process and its influence on and synergistic relationship with the culture at large. The book’s genesis was the author’s hope that a daily Beatles song could provide a brief respite from the significant stress and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and beyond that, from the challenges of any personally difficult time – our times of trouble.