Briana Corrigan sang the verses while Dave Hemmingway delivered the chorus. Hemmingway and Corrigan tended to take control of their songs dealing with relationships while Paul Heaton took the vocal duties for the band's more political material.
The band's usual songwriters Paul Heaton (lyrics) and Dave Rotheray (music) wrote this. The video, which dramatizes the song's theme of marital strife, won the 1991 Brit Award for Best Video.
The Beautiful South was formed in 1989 by ex-Housemartins Paul Heaton (Vocals) and Dave Hemmingway (vocals) and former Housemartin roadie David Stead (drums) immediately after the break up of their former band. Dave Rotheray (guitar), Sean Welch (bass) and Briana Corrigan (female vocals) completed the lineup. The Housemartins had earned a reputation for being somewhat downbeat Northerners, so the duo chose the name Beautiful South sarcastically. They debuted in 1989 with a UK #2 hit "Song For Whoever" and their 4th release "A Little Time" became their first and so far only UK #1. They have continued enjoying UK chart success into the 21st century but they have never found a niche in America - by the middle of the 1990s, their records weren't even being released in the US. In 1992 Corrigan left the group, reportedly upset over some of Heaton's ironic lyrics, in particular "36D," a song about The Sun newspaper's topless page 3 models. She was replaced by Jacqui Abbot but in 2003 she left the band as she felt she wasn't appreciated enough. In 1994 their singles compilation Carry On Up the Charts became one of the biggest-selling albums in British history, staying at #1 for several months and going platinum many times over.
The Housemartins were a British group who enjoyed British chart success between 1986 and 1989, including a #1 single "Caravan Of Love," an a capella version of the Isley Jasper Isley song. Dave Hemmingway had formerly been the Housemartins' drummer but he abandoned his drum kit to become The Beautiful South's co-vocalist. Another former Housemartin who went on to greater success after the break up of the band was Norman Cook, who enjoyed a succession of UK hits under his aliases of Beats International, Freakpower and Fatboy Slim.
Paul Heaton: "It's a relationship song which I probably did write from personal experience. I've been in a situation myself where I said, 'I need a little time.'" Dave Rotheray, on the other hand, said, "It's still a love song, but it doesn't follow the same path as every other love song.'" Briana Corrigan added, "A Little Time is a common situation. Love's not always pretty, it can be a really horrible situation and not many people sing about that." (thanks, Edward Pearce - Ashford, Kent, England, for all above - All 3 quotes from 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh)