Tuesday, May 26, 2009

I'll Get You

Did everyone have an excellent Memorial Day weekend? Me, I feel as though I enjoyed a fair mix of productivity and fun-- my weekend included a sausage-themed birthday cookout, coming in second in a brutal bout of bar trivia, watching and cheering as other people ran a half-marathon (I was partially cheering for it not being me), mostly cleaning out my apartment (again) for out-of-towners coming this weekend, and watching my favorite movie in a room packed with other rabid fans singing along wholeheartedly. And, of course, no matter what happened, there was always a Beatles song to listen to every day-- which is a light in the darkness, as it were, a beacon of hope in a potentially cruel world.

And hope is something it turns out I desperately need today. It's a super-busy day-- I'm going to New York again tomorrow for work-- and I have a zillion things to take care of, including finishing up presentations that I pray don't make me look like a moron and delegating all kinds of things, since I won't actually be in the office again until NEXT Friday, which is weird. The fact that I'm taking the time to share all this with you, dear readers, is clearly proof that my already middling time management skills have finally abandoned me altogether.

Anyway, today I need a happy, hopeful song with youthful sexy undertones. How about "I'll Get You"? Rock. John can get me anytime.

Don't mind the weird picture in the video above, as it clears up quickly. This is once again taken from one of our favorite shows, Ready Steady Go!, this time from the closing credits. Check out the Beatles-haircut-sporting, vivaciously dancing kid at about 1:40. That is a guy who knows how cool this song is.

I don't know if this was intentional or not, but "I'll Get You"'s presence as the B-side to the "She Loves You" single makes it sound as though John and Paul (who wrote this together) took inspiration from the "yeah yeah yeah"s of the more famous song as they wrote. "Oh yeah, oh yeah" begins the B-side, once more setting the kids to squealing and the parents to rolling their eyes. But in this one John and Paul, who interestingly sing together in unison on much of this, are speaking directly to us-- none of this "She Loves You" third-person business-- and telling us, with an irresistible swagger, that we will find them irresistible. They will get us. And they do! Zow!

Man, there are so many reasons to love this song, one of which is how damned singable it is. As I'm playing it now, I'm literally having a hard time not singing along as I listen-- it's a more noticeable issue here than I think with any song I've listened to so far for this blog. The verse has such a sweet legato melody, doesn't it? And then they sing "it's not like me to pretend" and it goes someplace you might not have expected. But what makes it really fun to sing is that sly, cocky tone that's telling me that I might as well resign myself to John and/or Paul-- this would be obnoxious coming from anyone else, but it's just adorable here.

The other awesome thing about it is John's harp, which is always a welcome addition to the mix. Rather than give it a real melody, John uses it for a nice sustained sound throughout, which he obviously did via overdub. I also want to point out that it's pretty early in the Beatles' career for Paul's bass to sound as good as it does. Check out how he's doing the fast eighth notes in the lead-in to the refrain ("it's not like me to pretend") and then goes right into the cool "bummmm bum BUM bum" figure (sorry, I can't figure out another way to write it). I like that line. I swear the bass is the most active instrument in this texture at all, which, again, is not exactly typical for Beatles songs this early.

Since John couldn't sing and hold the harmonic notes at the same time, they were hampered from performing it live much (I think), but they did do it at least once, on Val Parnell's Sunday Night at the Palladium, another English TV show. I don't think there's video of this performance, or at least not readily finable on YouTube, but there is a version on Anthology 1. And I love this version. To make up for the lack of harmonica, they do some different stuff with the guitar, and for some reason they're also doing the whole thing in a higher key that seems to make it that much more exciting.

This video combines some tracks from Anthology 1, so you get some bonus "I Saw Her Standing There," but I couldn't find anything more suited to the purpose. Enjoy!

And finally, since we need one more listen before we start out our hellacious day, let's remember that this unlikely little B-side is still one of Paul's favorite early songs. Which means there's some concert footage of him doing it! Yay!

Oh, you sure will, Paul. Sigh. Call me!

"I'll Get You," released in the U.K. as B-side to "She Loves You," August 23, 1963; in the U.S. on the Swan label September 16, 1963.


  1. Just wondering; has he called you yet?

  2. No. (pout)

    But I can keep trying, right? (He'd hate this blog anyway-- I make fun of him so. See the Teddy Boy post.)