Sunday, November 14, 2010

I Will Sing A Lullaby

The next song on the "Huge Melody" from the Apple LP/CD "Abbey Road" is another original Lennon/McCartney song written mainly by Paul entitled "Golden Slumbers". The song was inspired by Paul's inability to read sheet music when upon seeing the words to a poem by British playwright Thomas Dekker. Paul set the melody to the words of the poem (although some of the words were modified in the lyrics). So, maybe it's really a Lennon/McCartney/Dekker composition. In any case, the song was written at Paul's father's home in Chesire on the piano to the amusement of his stepsister Ruth who had shown him the poem.

The song was played at the "Get Back/Let It Be" Twickenham rehearsals on January 09 1969.

On the LP label, the full performance is titled "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight" although the working title throughout the commercial recording was simply "Golden Slumbers'.

The basic track for the recording started on July 02 1969 at EMI studio two. The instrumentation for the song consisted of Paul on piano and guide vocal, George Harrison on bass and Ringo on drums. 15 takes were performed although it was take 13 that was used for the commercial release and the bed track.

The next day on Thursday July 03 1969, takes 13 and 15 were edited together at EMI studio two although the take continued to be referred to as take 13. Two lead vocals from Paul and the Paul, George and Ringo vocals were added to the "Carry That Weight" portion. There is also a leslie guitar played on the last riff of "Carry that Weight" that was added to the track. Also on this date, two tape reductions of the song were attempted and completed bringing the song into take 17.

The next day on Friday July 04 1969, the Lewisohn book mentions an overdub onto the "Golden Slumbers" track, but does not mention what that overdub was. In fact, the reference books I've been looking at all mention that there was an overdub session on this date at EMI studio two, but there is nothing saying what that instrument or vocal or whatever was actually done and I'm assuming it must be a vocal or the guitar and that maybe vocals were overdubbed one day and the guitar the next or visa versa.

On July 30 1969 at EMI studio three, Paul McCartney overdubbed another vocal onto the "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight". The song was then given at rough stereo mix in the control room of EMI studio two and placed within the context of the huge melody as a test run. This version of the song ( in mono ) can be heard on the bootleg "Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 05".

The next day on Thursday July 31 1969, Paul McCartney once again "punched in" his lead vocal starting at the first chorus and overdubbed the rest of the song. Also added to the track were timpani and extra drums by Ringo. The guitar solo was also added at this point. All of this taking place at EMI studio two.

Finally, on August 15 1969, the orchestra overdub was recorded onto "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight" from EMI studio one (where the orchestra was located) into EMI studio two (the control room where the mixing board was located.

Three days later on Monday August 18 1969, "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight" was mixed for stereo in two attempts from the control room of EMI studio two.

"Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight" is available on the Apple LP/CD "Abbey Road".

The song was performed live by Paul McCartney on his 1989-1990 World Tour and is available on the EMI/Capitol 3-LP/2-CD "Tripping The Live Fantastic" as well as the EMI/Capitol LP/CD "Tripping the Live Fantastic - Highlights!".

The song also appears on the "Get Back" DVD of the above tour as well as being performed at the Albert Hall in London for "The Music for Montserrat" on September 15 1997.

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