The Beatles

If I Fell

Song Review by

"If I Fell" was one of the best songs on the Beatles' A Hard Day's Night album (it was also performed in the A Hard Day's Night movie), and one of their best early ballads. Just as the album's other magnificent romantic ballad, "And I Love Her," had been sung and almost wholly written by Paul McCartney, "If I Fell" was mainly the work of John Lennon. Like another of his early love songs, "Do You Want to Know a Secret?," it's unusually constructed in that it begins with a slow, dramatic section before the verse that is never repeated elsewhere in the tune. "If I Fell" serves -- as if any bundle of proof is truly needed -- that John Lennon was just as capable as Paul McCartney at writing beautiful melodies, and at expressing tender lyrical sentiments. It differs somewhat from a McCartney classic like, say, "And I Love Her" in that more vulnerability and fear of rejection is expressed. It also differs from "And I Love Her" (which was sung solely by McCartney) in its use of harmony vocals that rate among the very best dual Lennon-McCartney singing of the mid-'60s. Listen out for one part in the bridge where McCartney's vocals briefly crack under the strain -- the kind of thing they didn't bother so much to correct with retakes in the studio back in 1964, even for the biggest group in the world. A brief detour to a minor key in the final line gives the song a brilliant final melancholy touch. If you're looking for a super-obscure instance in which the melody of that final line was partially lifted, check out the Strawbs' gorgeous late-'60s folk-rocker "And You Need Me," with a pre-Fairport Convention Sandy Denny on lead vocals.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Meet the Beatles! 1964 Capitol 0:00
A Hard Day's Night 1964 Capitol / EMI Records 2:22
Something New 1964 Capitol / Universal 2:22
Extracts from the Film "A Hard Day's Night" 1964 Parlophone
A Hard Day's Night [Film] 1964 MPI Home Video
No Image 1977 Capitol 2:22
Compact Disc EP Collection 1992 Apple Records
No Image 1993 Big Music 4:01
The Ultimate Box Set 1995 Capitol 2:22
EP Boxset 1999 Parlophone 2:23
The Capitol Albums, Vol. 1 2004 Capitol / EMI Records 2:22
The Beatles: Stereo Box Set 2009 Capitol 2:19
The Beatles USB 2009 Capitol / EMI 2:19
The U.S. Albums 2014 Capitol / Universal 2:22
Love Me Do [Stargrove] 2015 Stargrove 2:22