The Mamas and the Papas – “I Saw Her Again”

This has to be one of the most memorable songs of the 60s. It rings 60s, and I absolutely love it, and this group!  They had such great voices, but with many bands there was also drama.
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 (also a Mamas And Papas member), which ultimately led to Michelle Phillips’ unceremonious dismissal from the band and John and Michelle’s divorce. Ironically enough, Doherty received a songwriting credit. The sessions for this album must have been as uncomfortable as were the sessions when Fleetwood Mac was recording the Rumours album 10 years later and the personal relationships in that band were imploding. “I Saw Her Again” was released in 1966 on the album titled “The Mamas and the Papas.” The song peaked at #5 on the US billboard and #11 in the UK.
 
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.”
 

Song Lyrics –

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

Writer/s: DENNIS DOHERTY & JOHN EDMUND ANDREW PHILLIPS

Credit: Songfacts, YouTube & Yahoo.com/images

4 thoughts on “The Mamas and the Papas – “I Saw Her Again”

    1. Their harmonies were great together. Cass Elliott had an amazing voice. OMG…if she had not passed away, she could have continued her solo career. Her voice wasn’t forced, it was just natural, like Karen Carpenters voice. Some artists force their notes,but these two women never had to. It just came naturally.

      1. Yes she did have a great great voice. She also influenced so many people and took a lot of artists in her home at the time….a really nice lady who endured a lot.