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16 April 2015
4.21pm
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Beatlebug
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This was the whole reason I got on the forum this morning, and I ended up doing everything else... ahdn_paul_01

Okay. So.

It has struck me that the tenses in this song are somewhat unorthodox-- have a look: 

If I Fell in love with you,
Would you promise to be true
And help me understand

It seems like he's using past, present, and future, all at the same time. a-hard-days-night-ringo-14!!! 

Now, don't get me wrong, this isn't a bad thing, particularly as it's a song, and the words have to flow with the melody and scan well, and here, the usage of three tenses at once certainly does work in the song. But I thought it would be interesting to see how they'd come out if it were straightened out, as a Grammar-Nazi exercise. And so we have: 

If I fall in love with you,
Will you promise to be true
And help me understand
Because I've been in love before,
And I've found that it was more
Than just holding hands.

If I give my heart to you,
I must be sure
From the very start that you
Would love me more than she did/does?

If I trust in you, oh please,
Don't run and hide
If I (will?) love you too, oh please,
Don't hurt my pride like she did,

Because I can't stand the pain, and I
Will be sad if our new love
Is in vain

So I hope you'll see that I
Would love to love you,
And that she will cry
When she learns we are two,

(repeat bridge & third verse)

If I fall in love with you.

So there we have it. For the purpose of demonstration, I just put everything in present tense, because it seemed to predominate, but one could also mould it into past tense (although that wouldn't make much sense) or even future tense.

In the process, I managed to not only straighten out the tenses, but also remove half the charm and flow of the song. So now we see why John had to use multiple tenses at the same time!

I only hope I haven't spoilt it for you. a-hard-days-night-john-1

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It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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17 April 2015
1.37pm
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georgiewood
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Very perceptive and groovy post, for a home schooler. ahdn_paul_06

I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did'.
Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake, 1997

17 April 2015
5.27pm
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Beatlebug
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@georgiewood said
Very perceptive and groovy post, for a home schooler. ahdn_paul_06

Are you saying that a home-schooler would be less likely to make perceptive and groovy posts? a-hard-days-night-john-7*grrr

It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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16 February 2018
11.07am
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Beatlebug
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*blows three years' worth of dust off of thread*

Oh my Zepps, my past is coming back to haunt me paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif

Silly Girl said

sir walter raleigh said

“But I couldn’t stand the pain” it one of their trickiest harmonies to sing, but it is so fecking beautiful.   

I know, it's crazy. Silly Sis and I used to sing it together a-hard-days-night-george-4, and we'd always do everything fine but fall into agonies over that part. I love it though, one of those mind-blowing Beatleisms. beatlemaniacs_02_gif  

So I was playing this last night and, because Silly Sis had a sore throat and didn't feel up to singing it (she usually does the higher melody while I do the lower, weirder one a-hard-days-night-george-4), Silly Dad stepped up instead. It sounded very interesting since he sang it an octave lower so the lower harmony became a higher harmony and interesting things like that but it was very beautiful, especially the 'Cause I couldn't stand the pain' parts.

-

And then I had to listen to it several times later, and it struck me that it would work very well as a dialogue between two people (I'll use John and Paul as examples because they sing the song together, and not because it's McLennony a-hard-days-night-john-7 a-hard-days-night-john-6):

John: 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 found that love was more
Than just holding hands

John: If I give my heart to you
I must be sure
From the very start
That you would love me more than her

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

John: 'Cause I couldn't stand the pain
Paul: And I would be sad if our new love was in vain

Paul: So I hope you see that I
Would love to love you
John: And that she will cry
Both in unison: When she learns we are two

John or both in unison, take your pick: If I Fell in love with you

...Sorry. You can substitute 'Paul' with anyone you like if it bothers you. a-hard-days-night-john-6 The point is that it's a largely fictitious song so it doesn't much matter who it's about, but you see that it does work well as a dialogue.

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16 February 2018
11.15am
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QuarryMan
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Silly Girl said
*blows three years' worth of dust off of thread*

Oh my Zepps, my past is coming back to haunt me paul-mccartney-facepalm_gif

I know, it's crazy. Silly Sis and I used to sing it together a-hard-days-night-george-4, and we'd always do everything fine but fall into agonies over that part. I love it though, one of those mind-blowing Beatleisms. beatlemaniacs_02_gif  

So I was playing this last night and, because Silly Sis had a sore throat and didn't feel up to singing it (she usually does the higher melody while I do the lower, weirder one a-hard-days-night-george-4), Silly Dad stepped up instead. It sounded very interesting since he sang it an octave lower so the lower harmony became a higher harmony and interesting things like that but it was very beautiful, especially the 'Cause I couldn't stand the pain' parts.

-

And then I had to listen to it several times later, and it struck me that it would work very well as a dialogue between two people (I'll use John and Paul as examples because they sing the song together, and not because it's McLennony a-hard-days-night-john-7 a-hard-days-night-john-6):

John: 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 found that love was more
Than just holding hands

John: If I give my heart to you
I must be sure
From the very start
That you would love me more than her

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

John: 'Cause I couldn't stand the pain
Paul: And I would be sad if our new love was in vain

Paul: So I hope you see that I
Would love to love you
John: And that she will cry
Both in unison: When she learns we are two

John or both in unison, take your pick: If I Fell in love with you

...Sorry. You can substitute 'Paul' with anyone you like if it bothers you. a-hard-days-night-john-6 The point is that it's a largely fictitious song so it doesn't much matter who it's about, but you see that it does work well as a dialogue.  

 

Very perceptive and groovy post.

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Tall, dark-haired QuarryMan likes basketball, music, and naturally, boys. He was a valuable participant on the track team. He is one of Freeport's great contributors to the recording world. As for the immediate future, QuarryMan has no plans, but will take life as it comes. 

 

17 February 2018
5.48am
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georgiewood
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*blows three years' worth of dust off of thread*

It is a clever grammarian who revives a thread devoted to grammatical rectitude with the use of the compound prepositional phrase “off of,” knowing the controversial history of that usage.  Only the most devout nazi would have the chutzpah to throw down that gauntlet. 

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I say in speeches that a plausible mission of artists is to make people appreciate being alive at least a little bit. I am then asked if I know of any artists who pulled that off. I reply, 'The Beatles did'.
Kurt Vonnegut, Timequake, 1997

17 February 2018
9.47am
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Beatlebug
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georgiewood said
*blows three years' worth of dust off of thread*

It is a clever grammarian who revives a thread devoted to grammatical rectitude with the use of the compound prepositional phrase “off off,” knowing the controversial history of that usage.  Only the most devout nazi would have the chutzpah to throw down that gauntlet.   

Haha, nice try. This thread is devoted to If I Fell , though. Also, I'm not a severe grammar-Nazi; I learn the rules to screw with them.

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2 May 2019
3.56am
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jamessick
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If I Fell shows how important the Mono version of an album took precedence over the Stereo version until later in the decade. If you have the stereo version and if you listen close enough, Paul's voice cracks at the second chorus with the high pitched line "our new love was in VAIN." Only John is heard singing the "in vain" part. However, if you have the Mono recordings EMI issued some 10 years ago, Paul nails it.  Frankly, I am surprised George Martin decided to use the take he did for the Stereo version. 

I have also heard that for Sgt Pepper they painstakingly mixed the mono version over weeks, but that the stereo version was hastily done in comparison.

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2 May 2019
8.52am
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Beatlebug
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I believe it was actually edited for the mono version (they took the previous 'was in vain' and used it for the second repeat), but it does go to show where their priorities were.

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2 May 2019
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When the DVD release came out a few years back, Giles Martin said that it was a mixing error back in the day. Take that how you like.

"I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of 'self' to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

2 May 2019
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They took it out?!? But that's the best part of the song!

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Love one another.

- - -

(I'm Fiddy, not Walrian)

- - -

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3 May 2019
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I like the stereo version all except for the Paul ‘vocal flub’ which is too obvious to ignore...so I prefer the mono version overall. 

1.The Beatles 2.Sgt. Pepper 3.Abbey Road 4.Magical Mystery Tour 5.Rubber Soul 6.Revolver 7.Help! 8.Let It Be
9.A Hard Day’s Night 10.Please Please Me 11.Beatles For Sale 12.With The Beatles 13.Yellow Submarine

3 May 2019
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Getbackintheussr
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50yearslate said and I repeat
They took it out?!? But that's the best part of the song!

  

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P E A C E  &  L O V E

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3 May 2019
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What a great song this is........

Somehow the two harmonies from John and Paul sometimes seem to make a third note.

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3 May 2019
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vonbontee
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Yes. l find with those two, the differing timbres of the voices combined with the note choices does sound like something more than two.

Someone said 'What were you gonna do when it's all finished,' and I said 'I don't know but it'd be good fun being a DJ.' And since then I've become a DJ, only by word of mouth, you know. SO any minute now you'll read, 'Ringo leaves to become a DJ' but it's not true. - Ringo Starr

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3 May 2019
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I always thought there were three of them harmonising on this track, so I guess that's true. 

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3 May 2019
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I've posted this before here but it's so entertaining......wont hurt to repeat it......My favourite Italians since Martin and Sinatra.

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5 May 2019
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vonbontee
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Huh, that's interesting...I never realized that for the final line, Paul sings a major melody and John's counterpoint is minor. That's so typical...

Also maybe noteworthy that the most 'distant' harmony coincides with the lyric "...two...", at which point the two voices really illustrate that notion of separation, distance, apartness, etc 

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Someone said 'What were you gonna do when it's all finished,' and I said 'I don't know but it'd be good fun being a DJ.' And since then I've become a DJ, only by word of mouth, you know. SO any minute now you'll read, 'Ringo leaves to become a DJ' but it's not true. - Ringo Starr

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8 June 2019
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Little Piggy Dragonguy
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@Beatlebug  said

It has struck me that the tenses in this song are somewhat unorthodox-- have a look: 

If I Fell in love with you, 

Would you promise to be true

And help me understand

It seems like he's using past, present, and future, all at the same time. a-hard-days-night-ringo-14!!! 

Where do you see all of these tenses in those three lines? There is nothing wrong with these lines. He's using conditional. 

 

 

We use the second conditional to talk about the possible result of an imagined situation in the present or future. We say what the conditions must be for the present or future situation to be different.

If people complained, things would change. (People don’t complain at themoment.)

 

 

The only part you corrected that did originally seem grammatically incorrect is the "love me more than her" line, but it seems that it is actually grammatically correct

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8 June 2019
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Yeah nothing about that line seemed wrong, but I didn't know how to articulate it, so thanks for doing that.

Why yes that is a picture of Paul dabbing. Deal with it.

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