If I Fell

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the A Hard Day's Night (Mono) Official album.
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

If I Fell” is a song by English rock band the Beatles which first appeared in 1964 on the album A Hard Day’s Night in the United Kingdom and on the North American album Something New. It was written by John Lennon, and credited to Lennon–McCartney. “That’s my first attempt at a ballad proper….It shows that I wrote sentimental love ballads way back when“, Lennon stated in his 1980 Playboy interview.

Structure

The song opens with an unrepeated introductory section sung by Lennon, followed by a standard “Tin Pan Alley” AABA form. Each verse preceding the B section (or middle-eight) has a slightly different ending which creates a seamless transition between the two. The demo version (just John alone on acoustic guitar) from early 1964, does include the introduction, as well as an alternate ending. The remainder of the song features a two-part harmony, with Lennon singing the lower harmony while McCartney sings the higher one. It also features Lennon’s intricate chord changes. The key changes from D sharp minor to D major between the introduction (a series of descending barre chords) and the main song, which uses mainly open chords, including an unusual D ninth.

Recording and performance

Lennon and McCartney shared a single microphone “for their Everly Brothers-like close harmonies.

Like much of the Beatles’ early work, the song was released in two different mixes for mono and stereo. Lennon’s opening vocal is single-tracked in mono but double-tracked in the stereo mix.

If I Fell” was a part of the Beatles repertoire during their US and Canadian tour in 1964. The group typically performed the song faster than the studio version, and Lennon and McCartney often sang it with barely suppressed laughter. On more than one occasion it was introduced as “If I Fell Over“.

Single releases

If I Fell” was released as the B-side of the US single “And I Love Her” on Capitol 5235. As the B-side, it reached number 53 on the Billboard Hot 100. It reached number 28 in Canada. The song was also released as a single in Norway, where it hit number one.

In the UK, it was released on 4 December 1964 as the A-side of a single (b/w “Tell Me Why“) on Parlophone DP 562. The single was intended for export, but some retailers sold it in the UK anyway. It did not chart there and is generally not considered an “official” UK single. […]

Paul McCartney in Many Years From Now, Barry Miles:

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 in Q Magazine, May 2013:

I was a big fan of the preamble in my early days, which you find in lots of ’50s songs. A first verse that goes: ‘I was living in Kentucky when I did, did, did and I dud-dud-dud, and then I said…’ [breathes in deeply]… then you break into the bit of the song you want everyone to know. One song I wrote a little after Please Please Me was my best attempt at a preamble: If I Fell. [Sings] ‘If I fell in love with you, would you promise to be truuue…’ Then after the line, ‘just holding hands’, the song properly gets going. [Raises voice] That’s it, everyone!

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 3 mar 1964. edited.
    UK: Parlophone PMC 1230 Hard Day’s Night 1964.
    US: United Artists UAL 3366 Hard Day’s Night 1964, Capitol 5235 single 1964, Capitol T 2018 Something New 1964.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46437 2 Hard Day’s Night 1987.
  • [a1] mono made from [a] 1964, by United Artists.
    US: United Artists UAS 6366 Hard Day’s Night 1964.
  • [b] stereo 22 Jun 1964.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 3058 Hard Day’s Night 1964.
    US: Capitol ST 2018 Something New 1964.

Stereo [b] has a double track John on the intro, unlike mono [a], with a slight lag in one track at the first word “if” and at “and” in “and I’ve found”. Paul misses the high note the second time on the word “vain” (“our new love was in vain”), as heard in stereo [b], but corrected in mono [a] by editing in the same word from the first time round (based on listening).

[a1] has the intro toward the left but all the rest centered.

Lyrics

If I fell in love with you
Would you promise to be true?
And help me understand
'Cause I've been in love before
And I've found that love was more
Than just holding hands

If I gave my heart to you
I must be sure from the very start
That you would love me more than her

If I trust in you, oh please
Don't run and hide
If I love you too, oh please
Don't hurt my pride like her

'Cause I couldn't stand the pain
And I would be sad
If our new love was in vain

So I hope you see
That I would love to love you
And that she will cry
When she learns we are two

'Cause I couldn't stand the pain
And I would be sad
If our new love was in vain

So I hope you see
That I would love to love you
And that she will cry
When she learns we are two
If I fell in love with you

Officially appears on


A Hard Day's Night (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:19 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Electric guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 27, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 03, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Something New (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:22 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Electric guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 27, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 03, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


A Hard Day's Night (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:22 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Electric guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 27, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 03, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


A Hard Day's Night (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:20 • Studio versionA1 • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Electric guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 27, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 03, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Extracts from the Film A Hard Day's Night

EP • Released in 1964

2:24 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Electric guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 27, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Mar 03, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


Something New (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:22 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Electric guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 27, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 22, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


A Hard Day's Night (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1964

2:19 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic rhythm guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Electric guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Norman Smith:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 27, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 22, 1964
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


On Air - Live at the BBC Volume 2

Official live • Released in 2013

2:09 • Live • A high point of A Hard Day’s Night, "If I Fell" was coupled with Paul’s ballad "And I Love Her" on an American single and also featured on the British EP Extracts From The Film A Hard Day's Night.

Concert From "Top Gear" in London, United Kingdom on Jul 16, 1964

Bernie Andrews:
Producer

Bootlegs


Complete Acetate Collection 1961-1970

Unofficial album

2:26 • Studio version


The BBC Archives Volume 10

Unofficial album

2:11 • Radio show


The BBC Archives Volume 11

Unofficial album

2:13 • Radio show


Complete Home Recordings 1964-66

Unofficial album • Released in 2002

0:16 • Demo • 1


Complete Home Recordings 1964-66

Unofficial album • Released in 2002

2:34 • Demo • 2

Concerts where “If I Fell” has been played

“If I Fell” has been played in 57 concerts.

Latest concerts where “If I Fell” has been played




Sheffield • City Hall

Nov 09, 1964 • Part of 1964 Autumn UK Tour


Sheffield • City Hall

Nov 09, 1964 • Part of 1964 Autumn UK Tour


Tours where “If I Fell” has been played



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