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I Should Have Known Better
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14 November 2014
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Joe
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hard-days-night-200x200.jpg

Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 25, 26 February 1964
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Norman Smith

Released: 10 July 1964 (UK), 26 June 1964 (US)

John Lennon: vocals, acoustic rhythm guitar, harmonica
Paul McCartney: bass
George Harrison: lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums

Available on:
A Hard Day's Night

Memorably performed during a train carriage scene in the A Hard…

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5 February 2017
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Wonderful. My second favourite song off AHDN (after I'm Happy Just To Dance With You ), as well as being high up in my overall favourite Beatles songs. I might try and attempt to learn tab for the song. a-hard-days-night-john-6a-hard-days-night-paul-8a-hard-days-night-george-9a-hard-days-night-ringo-10

"Duit On Mon Dei"

 2017: 

 
5 February 2017
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The Hole Got Fixed
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This is a good song, but it does drag a bit by the end, in my opinion.

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5 February 2017
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sir walter raleigh
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This is a beautiful song. Apparently a demo exist with John playing and singing a slower, more intimate version on piano. I think that fits the lyrics and tune well. 

Too often forgotten about, this is one of the greatest love songs The Beatles released. 

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-Bob Dylan, Subterranean Homesick Blues

"We could ride and surf together while our love would grow"

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30 December 2017
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I was singing this song to myself, and thought I was forgetting a line in the middle eight, as the line “you’re gonna say you love me too” is said twice. For some reason it didn’t seem right to me at all, and now that I think about, its very rare to hear the Beatles rhyme one line with the exact same line. 

Was it laziness? I Should Have Known Better is sill one of my all time favorite songs, but its an odd series of lines nonetheless. 

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30 December 2017
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Von Bontee
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You're right, it is very strange (and yeah, possibly kinda lazy) to reuse a whole line like that. I don't think I even noticed that before now! (Partially because until earlier this year I thought the rhyming line was "...Love Me Do ", as if in homage to their first hit, recorded less than two years earlier and already an artifact.) 

I guess it's because the line is phrased so differently the second time, and the chord sequence resolves so naturally, that the repetition isn't as obvious. At least, not to me.

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30 December 2017
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annyskod
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sir walter raleigh said
I was singing this song to myself, and thought I was forgetting a line in the middle eight, as the line “you’re gonna say you love me too” is said twice. For some reason it didn’t seem right to me at all, and now that I think about, its very rare to hear the Beatles rhyme one line with the exact same line. 

Was it laziness? I Should Have Known Better is sill one of my all time favorite songs, but its an odd series of lines nonetheless.   

 

As you also said, I think it's kind of 'laziness'. Many times John referred to his songs as "fillers", songs they wrote with no particular meaning just to finish the album. 

30 December 2017
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Von Bontee said
I guess it's because the line is phrased so differently the second time, and the chord sequence resolves so naturally, that the repetition isn't as obvious. At least, not to me.  

I agree. It took me so long to notice it because it sounds so natural and wastes no time leading into the verse, which is quite clever, if not brilliant. 

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30 December 2017
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sir walter raleigh said
I was singing this song to myself, and thought I was forgetting a line in the middle eight, as the line “you’re gonna say you love me too” is said twice. For some reason it didn’t seem right to me at all, and now that I think about, its very rare to hear the Beatles rhyme one line with the exact same line. 

Was it laziness? I Should Have Known Better is sill one of my all time favorite songs, but its an odd series of lines nonetheless.   

It doesn't bother me as it does others here. I hear the repeated lines contextually: the guy (John) is asking two different questions of his girl, but both questions basically the same, rhetorically:

"Can't you see that when I tell you that I love you, you're gonna say you love me too...?"

"And when I ask you to be mine, you're gonna say you love me too...?"

Especially when you remember that for the second question, the same beginning part of the 1st question is implied:

"And can't you see that when I ask you to be mine, you're gonna say you love me too...?"

 I think the repetition is on purpose: Can't you see that?a-hard-days-night-john-3

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30 December 2017
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On another note, while I'm a Paul fan, it's nice to hear Lennon singing all by himself -- but his voice seems duplicated, to give it more punch. Am I right?  Instead of just adding Paul as a second layer, I think John recorded his voice over, or had the engineers duplicate it.  Anyway, I like the pure John sound for this song.

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31 December 2017
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The duplicate line was noted in Steve Turner's 'A Hard Day's Write' when he wrote that the line suggested that while the girl loved John she was not willing to commit solely to him, there is a cleverly hidden disappointment in the lyrics. 

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31 December 2017
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Pineapple Records said

It doesn't bother me as it does others here. I hear the repeated lines contextually: the guy (John) is asking two different questions of his girl, but both questions basically the same, rhetorically:

"Can't you see that when I tell you that I love you, you're gonna say you love me too...?"

"And when I ask you to be mine, you're gonna say you love me too...?"

Especially when you remember that for the second question, the same beginning part of the 1st question is implied:

"And can't you see that when I ask you to be mine, you're gonna say you love me too...?"

 I think the repetition is on purpose: Can't you see that?a-hard-days-night-john-3  

John could have made the lines rhyme: And when I ask you to be mine, you're gonna say that you'll be true, for example.  Took 10 seconds.

 

annyskod said

 

As you also said, I think it's kind of 'laziness'. Many times John referred to his songs as "fillers", songs they wrote with no particular meaning just to finish the album.   

You got it.

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31 December 2017
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Heath said

John could have made the lines rhyme: And when I ask you to be mine, you're gonna say that you'll be true, for example.  Took 10 seconds.

 

annyskod said
 

As you also said, I think it's kind of 'laziness'. Many times John referred to his songs as "fillers", songs they wrote with no particular meaning just to finish the album.   

You got it.  

It depends on what John was looking to say in the song, it's perfectly possible he wasn't looking for the simple rhyme, as most others would. If you take in to account the underlying disappointment in the girl's second reply, the title also takes the song in a different direction. 

It's been written on here with other songs that such a line is lazy and needs changed, yet, if you do, a whole separate level of meaning is gone. 'I Should Have Known Better ' can look like a straight love song, start searching tho and not everything is as rosy as it may be; that's not laziness, it's the skill of a songwriter.

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31 December 2017
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meanmistermustard said
The duplicate line was noted in Steve Turner's 'A Hard Day's Write' when he wrote that the line suggested that while the girl loved John she was not willing to commit solely to him, there is a cleverly hidden disappointment in the lyrics.   

There were always double and triple blinds in place where John entices you to the dark places, if you dare...  The beauty of the 'A Hard Day's Night ' album is witnessing the departure by John Lennon from the huggable Beatle shell for seemingly the very first time...  While there's "cleverly hidden disappointment in the lyrics" here, there's downright "confession" during 'I'll Cry Instead ' with "I've got a chip on my shoulder that's bigger than my feet"...  John dominates creatively on this record, in much the same way he does on the 'White Album '...  "The duplicate line" is almost certain to be by design...  John has said that the double use of the word "Please" was THE inspiration for the song 'Please Please Me ' and I have no doubt that this was an expansion on this play with words...  'In His Own Write' is a Major Influence on a lot of his material around this time...  He was being anything but "lazy" in the writing department in 1964...  Bob Dylan lit a creative fire in John that raged for a stretch here...

 

The 'I Should Have Known Better ' record itself has to be rated amongst their Very Best of 1964...  What a sound!  and an absolutely Riveting Vocal Performance by John...  Fantastic Solo by George...  Paul & Ringo could only hang back on this one and consequently create the atmosphere for John & George to shine here...  Kudos to George Martin for capturing the essence of their sound on this recording...  People go on how the 'Strawberry Fields Forever '/'Penny Lane ' single is a "Double A-Side" but what about 'A Hard Day's Night '/'I Should Have Known Better ' on the Capitol orange/yellow swirl label?!  Definitely their best 45rpm released up until then...  This one silenced just about everyone who'd dismissed them as a "passing fad" after they'd first arrived to the U.S....  They were here to stay...  'The Beatles 4-Ever' was no joke...  and one not need to look any farther than the "b-side" of the 'A Hard Day's Night ' single for confirmation...:-)

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2 January 2018
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I agree, @Billy Rhythm . This song is them at the peak of their pure pop abilities. In its fun and simplicity it's what every good pop single should be (as opposed to album tracks which are free to be more experimental).

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2 January 2018
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QuarryMan said
I agree, @Billy Rhythm . This song is them at the peak of their pure pop abilities. In its fun and simplicity it's what every good pop single should be (as opposed to album tracks which are free to be more experimental).  

So much fun. Just watch the scene on the train where they are singing it with all of the girls. Everybody looks so jubilant (and not just pattie-boyd_02_gif while she’s next to ahdn_george_08)

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2 January 2018
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@QuarryMan said
I agree, @Billy Rhythm . This song is them at the peak of their pure pop abilities. In its fun and simplicity it's what every good pop single should be (as opposed to album tracks which are free to be more experimental).  

That said, it was an album track (not a single in the UK), and was experimental - in that John was experimenting with where Dylan was leading him, and it could be considered an early attempt at folk-rock.

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Ron Nasty said

That said, it was an album track (not a single in the UK), and was experimental - in that John was experimenting with where Dylan was leading him, and it could be considered an early attempt at folk-rock.  

Wasnt it the B side to A Hard Day's Night ? I just checked and it was for the US at least. Not as experimental as say You Can't Do That or A Hard Day's Night from the same period though.

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QuarryMan said

Wasnt it the B side to A Hard Day's Night ? I just checked and it was for the US at least.

The UK had 'Things We Said Today ' as the flip, I believe...  Another interesting choice for it serves as a very nice microcosm of the 'A Hard Day's Night ' album, as released in Britain...  but whomever over at Capitol that chose 'I Should Have Known Better ' instead deserves credit...  Even here in 2018...  there appears to be a shift towards emphasis back on the singles...  Forget the U.S./U.K. comparisons...  How about how other countries viewed their works as being released upon them?...  I just learned recently that 'I Need You ' was featured on an Italian single/promo release for 'Help !'...  yet we're always lead to believe that 'The Inner Light' was the first time a George tune was to be featured on a single...  This one even saw George land the A-Side, favoured over their riveting version of Larry Williams' classic 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy '...:-) 

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Billy Rhythm said

QuarryMan said
Wasnt it the B side to A Hard Day's Night ? I just checked and it was for the US at least.

The UK had 'Things We Said Today ' as the flip, I believe...  Another interesting choice for it serves as a very nice microcosm of the 'A Hard Day's Night ' album, as released in Britain...  but whomever over at Capitol that chose 'I Should Have Known Better ' instead deserves credit...  Even here in 2018...  there appears to be a shift towards emphasis back on the singles...  Forget the U.S./U.K. comparisons...  How about how other countries viewed their works as being released upon them?...  I just learned recently that 'I Need You ' was featured on an Italian single/promo release for 'Help !'...  yet we're always lead to believe that 'The Inner Light' was the first time a George tune was to be featured on a single...  This one even saw George land the A-Side, favoured over their riveting version of Larry Williams' classic 'Dizzy Miss Lizzy '...:-)   

'Do You Want To Know A Secret ' was released in 1964 as a single on the Vee-Jay label, it hit #2 on the Billboard charts. 'The Inner Light ' was the first time in the UK, which is viewed as the release catalogue to go by. 

Image result for do you want to know a secretImage Enlarger

Apologies. You're talking about a George composition, i'm talking about a George vocal. ahdn_george_05

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