“One After 909” (sometimes titled “The One After 909” in early recordings) is a song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon, with input from Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney), and originally released in 1970 on the album Let It Be. The album version is the live performance from the rooftop concert which took place on 30 January 1969. This performance is also included in the Let It Be film. The song was written no later than spring 1960 and perhaps as early as 1957, and is one of the first Lennon–McCartney compositions. “One After 909” is perhaps more reminiscent of early American rock ‘n’ roll than any of the other songs from the rooftop show, and as a joke for the rooftop chatter, Lennon sings a variant on the opening line of “Danny Boy” after the song is finished.
In his 1980 Playboy interview Lennon explained, “That was something I wrote when I was about seventeen. I lived at 9 Newcastle Road. I was born on the ninth of October, the ninth [sic] month. It’s just a number that follows me around, but, numerologically, apparently I’m a number six or a three or something, but it’s all part of nine.”
McCartney said, “It’s not a great song but it’s a great favourite 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.”
On 5 March 1963, the Beatles recorded a version of the song in 5 takes during the same session that produced their third single, “From Me to You”, and its B-side “Thank You Girl”. They were unhappy with the result and that version was not released at the time. Various takes from the 5 March session, and an edit of them, were released in 1995 on the Anthology 1 compilation.
John Lennon – vocals, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney – backing vocals, bass guitar
George Harrison – lead guitar
Ringo Starr – drums
Billy Preston – electric piano