Autograph manuscript for "If I Fell", from "A Hard Days Night", aboard a U.S airline, c. late February, 1963. Written on the back of a valentine which had been given to Paul, and which was apparently the only suitable writing surface available at 30,000 feet, the manuscript is 1 page, written on the verso of the unfolded valentine on one half of the sheet, approximately 11 1/2 x 6 in. "If I Fell" is one of John's most powerfully poignant ballads, and one of the most important and early songs to appear at auction. Ostensibly written while the Beatles were in America for a famous appearance on the Ed Sullivan show, John, sitting in the plane seat next to Paul suddenly got the inspiration for one of the best songs which would be released on 1964's landmark "A Hard Days Night." By the cadence and subtleties of the lyrics you can tell that John already has the music in his head as he fits it with the perfect words. Time stands still, something very special is coming to life as he sits working on the back of Paul's valentine. In full:
"Intro] 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.
1. If I gave [changed to give] my heart to you I must be sure From the very start that you're Gonna love me more than her
2. If I trust in you oh please Don't run and hide If I love you too oh please Don't hurt my pride like her. (she)
Cause I couldn't stand the pain /
And I would be sad /
If our new love was in vain /
3. So I hope you see that I /
Would love to love you /
I hope that she will cry /
When she hears that we are two /
If I fell
Outside of a few gramatical changes this is exactly as the song was recorded, with the fourth and fifth paragraphs repeated at the end. It really is a miracle that this manuscript has survived. It is important to note that it was not part of the cache of property that came on the market out of the studios in around 1967, spirited away by certain roadies. This predates those by four years, and appeared on the market as a single item, perhaps the only lyric and a complete one at that, from A hard Days Night.