I Don’t Want To Spoil The Party had been written mainly by John with a few lines from Paul as a country and western song for Ringo but something about the tune resonated deeply with John so he took it for himself. Ringo was left to sing a very half hearted version of Carl Perkins “Honey Don’t” which fortunately we won’t be covering as we only re-record compositions by The Beatles.
John said: “That was a very personal one of mine. In the early days I wrote less material than Paul because he was more competent on the guitar than I. He taught me quite a lot of guitar really.”
Paul sings the high lead during the middle eight, while John does the low harmony. Almost the same thing happened with If I Fell; with John singing the intro all by himself, but for the remainder of the song he’ sings the low harmony. With Beatle songs from this period it is often difficult to distinguish the lead from the harmony. The best example of this is “Baby’s In Black”.
The lyrics revisit Lennon’s familiar themes of alienation and inner pain. In this song, he is at a party, waiting for his girl to show up. When it becomes clear that she has stood him up, he decides to go, rather than spoil the party for everyone else. I sense an anger underneath the lyric. Where is he going? He’s had a drink or two but maybe he needs more. Maybe there is another woman he will be visiting as his first choice is not available.
Both the lyrics and melody share a melancholy sound and theme with previous songs on Beatles for Sale, such as "No Reply" and "I’m a Loser"
The party that should have been a blast but which turned out to be a supremely hurtful confrontation with romantic disappointment or betrayal is one of the archetypal scenarios of the Top-40 pop-song genre. The most famous of which was the teen classic “It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To”
The Ukulele Version by the Nu-Utopians is a melancholy affair. I should think that this particular party is not wild, maybe a dinner party where the guests all know the history of the sad couple who love each other but simply can not make their relationship work. The empty seat at the table was too much for the protagonist to bear and after an almost silent starter and several glass of wine he can take no more and makes his excuses and leaves to the sad silence of his and his soon to be ex-wife’s friends.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
One of the most unique and compelling interpretations of the late John Lennon’s compositions comes from The Nu-Utopians (formerly The John Lennon Song Project), a 7-piece ensemble created and led by Rex Fowler of Aztec Two-Step and Tom Dean of Devonsquare. Together they have produced a thoughtfully re-imagined tribute that celebrates the genius and artistry of the icon’s music.