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"Not A Second Time"

Categories: Beatles songs

Lennon in fine, bluesy, double-tracked voice again, "not a second time", nor even a third: but — unusually — he's all on his ownsome here, there's not a harmony to be heard throughout. I remember reading somewhere or other that George Harrison didn't actually play on the track, though have no way of verifying the claim (comments welcomed...)

Perhaps there was a bit of privacy protection going down in the decision to take the lead alone, on account of the way 'The Tough One's' hang-ups and doubts start filtering through into his lyrics. This is an early example: but by no means the last occasion that we'd find him wond'rin' 'why?'

Structurally, it's not a million miles away from "All I've Got To Do", with its complex twists and turns, although by no means "the same old line" — just another surprisingly mature piece of writing from the still young composer. George Martin's piano part, for example, adds quite a distinct dimension to the proceedings.

And let's not forget those 'Aeolian Cadences' at the close, as detected by The Times' music crit, William Mann, upon With The Beatles' release. 'A twit', according to John (who thought Aeolian Cadences were exotic birds) — but a twit who gave the band their first taste of 'respectable' credibility, nonetheless...
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