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“If I Needed Someone”

Listen to “If I Needed Someone”
  • Published on 1965
  • Author: Harrison
  • Track 13 on “Rubber Soul

About “If I Needed Someone”

“If I Needed Someone” was written by George Harrison and recorded on October 16 and October 18, 1965, the basic track being recorded right after sessions for “Day Tripper“.

The song was heavily influenced by the music of The Byrds. Reportedly, Harrison sent an acetate of the song to Roger McGuinn on which he had written, “This is for Jim because the riff in ‘If I Needed Someone’ was based on McGuinn’s riff in The Bells of Rhymney.”

The song’s introduction and coda are also very similar to those of The Byrds’ song. Coincidentally, The Byrds’ own use of electric 12-string guitar was influenced by George Harrison’s use of the instrument in the film A Hard Day’s Night.

The song as recorded by the Beatles is in the key of A mixolydian, switching to B minor during the breaks. The verses are heavily harmonized, with George Harrison taking the lead line on the first two lines, and John Lennon and Paul McCartney singing above him throughout on each subsequent verse. Harrison sings the break solo, but double tracked in the studio with himself as was customary during the period the Beatles recorded “Rubber Soul“.

“If I Needed Someone” was the only Harrison composition played during any of the Beatles’ tours; The Quiet Beatle otherwise only sang covers onstage. “If I Needed Someone” is included in the Beatles’ Tokyo concerts in July 1966. It was also performed on the Beatles’ very last concert in Candlestick Park on August 29, 1966. It is suspected, but not confirmed, that “If I Needed Someone” was performed at every Beatles concert in 1966.

Meaning of “If I Needed Someone”

The lyrics of “If I Needed Someone” convey a sense of assurance and comfort. The narrator expresses that if he was ever in need, he would know there’s someone reliable and trustworthy he could turn to. The song suggests a deep level of trust and reliance on this person.

The opening lines of the song give a good indication of its meaning:

If I needed someone to love You’re the one that I’d be thinking of If I needed someone

Overall, the song can be interpreted as an expression of gratitude for having a dependable person in one’s life. It’s a sentiment of knowing that there’s someone there who cares and would be willing to help if needed.


  • George Harrison – double-tracked lead vocal, lead guitar
  • John Lennon – harmony vocal, rhythm guitar
  • Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine
  • George Martin – harmonium

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