"If I Fell" is a song by 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 Magazine Interview. The song was ranked as the 371st best song of all time by Q104.3.
The song is notable for its unusual structure, which includes an unrepeated introductory section sung by Lennon, followed by sequential verse sections, each having a slightly expanded form, but with no obvious chorus or bridge section. 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 flat major 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".
Norway: The song was released as a single in Norway, where it hit number one.
UK: In the UK it was released on 4 December 1964 as A-side (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.
Cilla Black performed the song, accompanied by Dudley Moore on a 1966 episode of 'Not Only... But Also'. Moore provides backing vocals, which prompts Black to burst out laughing on a few occasions. The clip was featured on a BBC archive show entitled '...Sings the Beatles", which aired on 15 January 2010.