One After 909 - The Beatles

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"One After 909" - The Beatles (1969)

“One After 909” was actually one of the first songs The Beatles ever wrote back in 1959.

McCartney remembers:

“We always hated the words to it........It’s not a great song but it’s a great favorite of mine because it has great memories of me and John trying to write a bluesy freight-train song.”

Lennon said that the title comes from the fact that he lived at 9 Newcastle Road, was born on the ninth of October- the ninth month of the year.

He said:

“It’s just a number that follows me around, but, numerological, apparently I’m a number six or a three or something, but it’s all part of nine.”

Although “One After 909” is an unusually simple and straightforward song in every compositional and musical category, according to music critic Steve Handleman, the track is a minor miracle: Paul’s bad-boy bass pumps time, dallying with Billy Preston’s electric piano and Harrison’s Telecaster.

Handleman writes:

“George fills the holes between the singers’ grunts and shouts with needle-like licks, and his sixteen-bar lead rips holes in the physics of sound.”

Beatle scholar Alan Pollack adds:

“The arrangement for the song is very much in the come-as-you-are, good time, jam-session style of the ‘Get Back’ sessions of which it is so obviously a part. While there is some attention paid to the overall ensemble, on the surface the entire group seems to be playing in a continuously improvisatory style, a sort of rock equivalent of Dixieland jazz.”

The story behind the composition seems to be that of a lady who tells her boyfriend that she is leaving on the train that leaves after train number 909. He begs her not to go, but she does anyway. He packs his bags and rushes after her and discovers that she is not on “the one after 909.” He then goes home depressed and goes into the wrong house.



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