The Beatles' music: quotes and info

“Not a Second Time”

What the Beatles said about “Not a Second Time”

JOHN 1980: “That’s me trying to do something. I don’t remember.” (laughs)

PAUL 1984: “Influenced by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.”

Info about “Not a Second Time”

“Not a Second Time” is a song by John Lennon (credited to McCartney/Lennon) performed by The Beatles on their album With the Beatles. Lennon said he was “trying to write a Smokey Robinson or something at the time.”

This was the song that inspired the famous musical analysis from The Times, citing the “Aeolian cadences” of Lennon’s vocals as the song draws to a close, and comparing it to Mahler’s “Song Of The Earth”. Lennon, years later, remarked: “To this day, I have no idea what [Aeolian cadences] are. They sound like exotic birds.”
The song was recorded on 21 August 1963 at Abbey Road Studios.


  • John Lennon – double-tracked vocal, acoustic guitar
  • Paul McCartney – bass
  • George Harrison – acoustic guitar
  • Ringo Starr – drums
  • George Martin – producer, piano
  • Norman Smith – engineer

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