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Pauline Lerner

If I Fell

November 24, 2005 at 5:03 AM

One of my students, an 11 year old boy who is talented and smart, enjoys playing the violin, even when the piece is challenging. At his last lesson, he remarked that one of the pieces he is studying is challenging because it has so many parts, and each part sounds almost like a different piece. I told him, “If you think that is difficult, listen to something by the Beatles.” He asked who the Beatles are, and his father replied that they were a rock group popular in the 60s. I started playing “If I Fell” and showed him the score with intro, two different parts of verse, the bridge part, the coda, and lots of changes in accidentals. I played some more of it, and he said, “That doesn’t sound like rock music. Rock music just has a lot of rhythm.” He was right. The Beatles’ music is so much better than almost all rock music, and different, too. The Beatles songs have great melodies, great harmonies, great rhythms, and great words. With all those facets to these songs, one might think that they just wouldn’t sound right when played by solo violin, but they sound great. They are pure music. About a year ago, I bought “The Concise Beatles Complete,” and I’ve practically worn the book thin already. Certain songs, especially, give voice to my feelings in a way that would not have been possible when I was a teenager. I find myself playing “If I Fell” whenever I meet an appealing man and start, or hope to start, on a dating relationship with him. Just now that song called to me. In about an hour, Thanksgiving will start. I have friends to be with on this holiday, but not anyone I love and feel close to. Like many people, I feel alone and scared during the holiday season. The Fab Four expressed it so well.

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 know that love is more
Than just holding hands.

If I give my heart
To you, I must be sure
From the very start
That you will love me more than her.

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

‘Cause I couldn’t stand the pain
And I would be sad if our new love
Was in vain.

So I hope you see
That I would love to love you
And that she
Will cry when she learns we are two.
If I fell in love with you.

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