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(Credit: Bent Rej)

Music

The dispute over The Beatles song 'And I Love Her'

@TylerGolsen

‘And I Love Her’ was one of The Beatles’ most touching and sincere numbers. As the central ballad on A Hard Day’s Night, the song established a softer side to The Beatles’ sound and solidified Paul McCartney as the band’s ballad-writing extraordinaire.

“It was the first ballad I impressed myself with,” McCartney told Barry Miles in the book Many Years From Now. “It’s got nice chords in it, ‘Bright are the stars that shine, dark is the sky…’ I like the imagery of the stars and the sky. It was a love song really. The ‘And’ in the title was an important thing. ‘And I Love Her,’ it came right out of left field, you were right up to speed the minute you heard it. The title comes in the second verse and it doesn’t repeat. You would often go to town on the title, but this was almost an aside, ‘Oh… and I love you.’ It still holds up and George played really good guitar on it. It worked very well.”

John Lennon was complimentary of the song, although he clearly didn’t think much of it when it was brought up by interviewer David Sheff in 1980. “‘And I Love Her’ is Paul again. I consider it his first ‘Yesterday’,” Lennon explained. “You know, the big ballad in A Hard Day’s Night. The middle eight, I helped with that.”

Despite Lennon’s claim, McCartney opinioned that the song was completely his, specifying that he alone wrote the middle eight section that Lennon claimed at least partial credit for. “I’m not sure if John worked on that at all… The middle eight is mine,” McCartney told Miles. “I would say that John probably helped with the middle eight, but he can’t say ‘It’s mine’. I wrote this on my own. I can actually see Margaret Asher’s upstairs drawing room. I remember playing it there, not writing it necessarily.”

Dick James, the owner of the band’s publishing company Northern Songs, was in the studio during the recording of the song and recalls, to his knowledge, how the middle eight to ‘And I Love Her’ was written and who specifically wrote it. According to James, Lennon and McCartney shared the workload to create the song’s middle section.

“They were laying down the tracks and doing the melody lines of the song ‘And I Love Her’,” James would later recall. “It was a very simple song and quite repetitive. George Martin and I looked at each other and the same thought sparked off in both of our minds. It was proving to be, although plain and a warm and sympathetic song, just too repetitive, with the same phrase oft repeating. George Martin told the boys, ‘Both Dick and I feel that the song is just lacking the middle. It’s too repetitive, and it needs something to break it up.’”

“I think it was John who shouted, ‘OK, let’s have a tea break’, and John and Paul went to the piano and, while Mal Evans was getting tea and some sandwiches, the boys worked at the piano,” James continued. “Within half an hour they wrote, there before our very eyes, a very constructive middle to a very commercial song. Although we know it isn’t long, it’s only a four bar middle, nevertheless, it was just the right ingredients to break up the over repetitive effect of the original melody.”

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