Beatles – One After 909

A pure rock and roll song by The Beatles. It’s always a joy to listen to because it goes back to their roots They played this song live in the early days before Beatlemania. When they recorded the final version on the roof you could see they were having a good time. George’s guitar playing on this is perfect.

A song that was recorded in January of 1969 but was written by John and Paul  in the 1950s. Being a very early attempt at songwriting, John Lennon reluctantly brought it forward for The Beatles to record when they were looking for new material in early 1963. They recorded it but didn’t have a take that they liked.

In 1969 John pulled out “One After 909” from his memory and presented it again. On this occasion, it was reworked with enthusiasm and with a different feel and arrangement, the result becoming a cool presentation of early Beatlemania at their final live performance on the rooftop in 1969.

John, Paul, and George were talking about the song and John said he always wanted to change the words. Paul said no…it’s great like it is so they played the song on the rooftop. It would be included on the Let It Be album released in 1970

The song was about a lady who tells her boyfriend 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,” so he goes home depressed and goes into the wrong house.

John Lennon: “I wrote it when I was about seventeen, either right before or after ‘Hello Little Girl,’ and it was resurrected for (the ‘Let It Be’) album, probably for lack of material. Nine has always been around. I’m not sure why. I was born on the ninth of October, I lived at nine Newcastle Road, ‘Revolution 9.’ Numerologically, I’m apparently a number three or six, so I’m not sure where the nine comes from…but it’s all part of nine.”

Paul McCartney:It was a number we didn’t used to do much but it was one that we always liked doing, and we rediscovered it. There were a couple of tunes that we wondered why we never put out; either George Martin didn’t like them enough to or he favored others. It’s not a great song but it’s a great favorite of mine because it has great memories for me of John and I trying to write a bluesy freight-train song. There were a lot of those songs at the time, like ‘Midnight Special,’ ‘Freight Train,’ ‘Rock Island Line,’ so this was the ‘One After 909.’ She didn’t get the 909, she got the one after it! It was a tribute to British Rail, actually. No, at the time we weren’t think British, it was much more the Super Chief from Omaha.”

One After 909

My baby said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909
I said move over honey I’m traveling on that line
I said move over once, move over twice
Come on baby don’t be cold as ice.
Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909.

I begged her not to go and I begged her on my bended knees,
You’re only fooling around, you’re fooling around with me.
I said move over once, move over twice
Come on baby don’t be cold as ice.
Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909.

I got my bag, run to the station
Railman says you’ve got the the wrong location
I got my bag, run right home
Then I find I’ve got the number wrong

Well she said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909
I said move over honey I’m traveling on that line
I said move over once, move over twice
Come on baby don’t be cold as ice.
Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909.

I got my bag, run to the station
Railman says you’ve got the the wrong location
I got my bag, run right home
Then I find I’ve got the number wrong

Well she said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909
I said move over honey I’m traveling on that line
I said move over once, move over twice
Come on baby don’t be cold as ice.
Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 9-0,
Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 9-0,
Said she’s trav’ling on the one after 909.

Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

17 thoughts on “Beatles – One After 909”

    1. Dude…it surprised me…they hadn’t played in years live plus the fact it was 30 degrees on that roof.
      If they would have had a proper rehearsal and tour….they would have done great.

      Liked by 2 people

  1. A pretty good one that slips through the cracks. Personally I like it better than ‘Dig a Pony’ and probably as much as ‘Get Back.’ funny how omnipresent American culture was/is…even in Britain, the young Paul was there thinking of the Super Chief train in the American west when he thought of the song, not his local ones whizzing by.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That kind of surprised me also. Ringo was the one really into America. He sent off for the paperwork to live and work in America before the Beatles….thank goodness he said it was too much paperwork lol.

      Like

    1. I agree with you…on the Anthology I heard the 63 studio version and didn’t like it as much
      …it didn’t have the spark this one has.

      Like

  2. That rosewood Telecaster that George is playing here was slick. And he did look like he was having a good time playing the solo, at least what we could see of it. For a song that was written when John and Paul were teens, it’s a damn good one, and that opening chord is great…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I just saw a short video on that guitar. He said he liked it but it was made of Rosewood and very heavy. I think he gave it to Delaney but the Harrison estate has it back now.
      I thought it was a very clever song for a teen

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Like Dave said in the comments…this song gets lost in the cracks. Yes….just think if it was a controlled environment and a tour…. but I’m happy with what we got.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Vestiges of the old Beatles era didn’t seem to work well for them musically in the latter stages of their career. It didn’t seem much of a challenge to play and those screaming kids were over.

    Liked by 1 person

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