The Mamas & The Papas – I Saw Her Again

I never was a huge fan of The Mamas and Papas but I did like some of their songs like this one. This song was written by  John Phillips, the leader of the Mamas And The Papas, about the affair between his wife, Michelle Phillips (a Mamas And Papas member), and Denny Doherty (a Mamas And Papas member).

After that Michelle had an affair with Gene Clark of the Byrds which ultimately led to Michelle Phillips’  dismissal from the band temporarily.

Ironically enough, Doherty received a songwriting credit. The sessions for this album must have been as uncomfortable.

I found this researching the song. The two women of the group were Michelle Phillips and Cass Elliott were opposite…one had model looks and insecure and Cass Elliott was heavy and outgoing making friends with everyone. This is a quote from Michelle Phillips…the lone survivor of the band.

“People assume that there must have been tension between us, but the truth is I wanted to be just like Cass,” says Phillips. “Cass liberated me; she stopped John trying to have too much control over me. She taught me a lot about feminism, and she always encouraged me, although I was obviously inferior to her as a singer.”

Elliot died of a heart attack in 1974, aged 32. Phillips died of heart failure in 2001, and Doherty died of an abdominal aneurysm in 2007.

This song peaked at #5 in the Billboard 100 in 1966 and #11 in the UK. This was their second album called The Mamas and Papas.

Jill Gibson took Michelle’s place in the band for a few weeks when this album was being recorded and then Michelle was asked back to finish out the album. Some songs have both of their voices on them.

From Songfacts.

Lou Adler produced this song, and Bones Howe was the engineer for the session. According to Bones, the part around the 2:45 mark where “I saw her” is repeated twice was a happy accident. Said Bones: “We were punching vocals in, and when we came to that part where the rhythm stops and the group goes, ‘I saw her again last night,’ I just punched in early. They came in early, and so we stopped. And then we went back and started again, and I punched in at the beginning of the vocal, they started two bars later or whatever it was. And when I played it back, the vocal went, ‘I saw her – I saw her again.’ It was a mistaken punch. And Lou said, ‘I love it! Leave it in.’ It was an error, it was a mistake. But Lou was wise enough, it caught his ear and he left it. And I learned something from that. You go with your gut. If something catches – they could be – there are wonderful mistakes that happen in the studio and you have to learn to catch those when they happen and use them.”

I Saw Her Again

I saw her again last night
And you know that I shouldn’t
To string her along’s just not right
If I couldn’t I wouldn’t

But what can I do, I’m lonely too
And it makes me feel so good to know
You’ll never leave me
I’m in way over my head

Now she thinks that I love her
Because that’s what I said
Though I never think of her
But what can I do, I’m lonely too

And it makes me feel so good to know
You’ll never leave me
Every time I see that girl
You know I want to lay down and die

But I really need that girl
Don’t know why I’m livin’ a lie
It makes me want to cry
I saw her again last night

And you know that I shouldn’t
To string her along’s just not right
If I couldn’t I wouldn’t
But what can I do, I’m lonely too

And it makes me feel so good to know
You’ll never leave me

But what can I do, I’m lonely too
And it makes me feel so good to know
You’ll never leave me
Every time I see that girl

You know I want to lay down and die
But I really need that girl
Don’t know why I’m livin’ a lie
It makes me want to cry

I saw her again last night
And you know that I shouldn’t
To string her along’s just not right
If I couldn’t I wouldn’t

I’m in way over my head
Now she thinks that I love her
Because that’s what I said
Though I never think of her

Author: badfinger20

Guitar, Bass, song writer,

14 thoughts on “The Mamas & The Papas – I Saw Her Again”

  1. ‘Ham sandwich’ I thought for Mama Cass, but that was proved untrue. The same article mentioned the flat in London was owned by Harry Nilsson and the room would four years later also see the death of Keith Moon. I had to check a few sources so hopefully that’s right. There are some wonderful stories where Wiki articles are changed immediately after a celebrity death and lazy journalists include them, without double checking, in their own versions of the obituary.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are correct…Moon was renting it from Nilsson and it was the same room where Cass died. Keith died of an overdose of Clomethiazole (Heminevrin) to help him stop drinking.

      Yes I stopped getting chart info from Wiki and go to Billboard now…

      Like

  2. Cass had a unique voice. She died way too soon. I’ve read the rumours about all of the band members and don’t have time to sift fact from fiction there are so many. Great song and the voices mesh well with each others’.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. The mistake is what takes the song to a whole other level of greatness. To quote Paul McCartney when he first heard the repeated vocal punch “That has to be a mistake because nobody is that clever”

    Liked by 1 person

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