If I Fell

"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 United States, and on the North American album Something New. Written primarily by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney.[2][3] "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. Paul McCartney stated that he contributed to the song: "We wrote 'If I Fell' together."[4]

"If I Fell"
US picture sleeve (reverse)
Single by the Beatles
from the album A Hard Day's Night
A-side"And I Love Her"
Released20 July 1964 (US)
Recorded27 February 1964,
EMI Studios, London
Producer(s)George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"A Hard Day's Night"
""And I Love Her" /
"If I Fell"
"I'll Cry Instead"


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 (a.k.a. Bridge 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 alternative 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 flat minor to D major at the end of the introduction, which is played with a series of descending barre chords). The rest of the composition 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."[5]

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".[6]

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.[7] It reached number 28 in Canada.[8] The song was also released as a single in Norway, where it hit number one.[9]

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.[10] It did not chart there and is generally not considered an "official" UK single.


Personnel per Ian MacDonald[11]

Cover versions

According to Robert Fontenont of About.com, this was Kurt Cobain's favourite Beatles song, and was played by Nirvana whenever there were technical problems at their concerts.[12]


  1. Ingham 2003, p. 32.
  2. Miles 1997, p. 162–163.
  3. MacDonald 2005, p. 112.
  4. Compton 2017, p. 81.
  5. "26 -- 'If I Fell'". Rolling Stone. 100 Greatest Beatles Songs.
  6. The Beatles Bible 2008.
  7. "'The Beatles' Billboard Hot 100". billboard.com.
  8. "Item: 9282 - Library and Archives Canada". Bac-lac.gc.ca. Retrieved 27 September 2016.
  9. VG-lista 2009.
  10. "If I Fell". beatlesbible.com.
  11. MacDonald 2005, p. 111.
  12. Fontenont 2008.
  13. "Head to Head overview". Allmusic.com.
  14. Sings the Beatles 2010.
  15. Deming, Mark. B-Sides the Beatles at AllMusic. Retrieved 27 December 2016.
  16. Let It Be Roberta - Roberta Flack Sings The Beatles, 429 Records, 7 February 2012, retrieved 29 March 2018
  17. Carolina Crown Drum and Bugle Corps#Show summary (1990–2018)


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