The Beatles, album "The Beatles 1967-1970 (The Red Album)"
Lyrics of the album
Listen the album
LP - collections - Studio Apple Corps - 1970
'Strawberry Fields was a place near us that happened to be a Salvation Army home.
But Strawberry Fields – I mean, I have visions of Strawberry Fields.
And there was Penny Lane, and the Cast Iron Shore, which I've just got in some song now, and they were just good names – just groovy names.
Just good sounding.
Because Strawberry Fields is anywhere you want to go.'PAUL 1974:
'That wasn't 'I buried Paul' at all – that was John saying 'Cranberry sauce.' It was the end of Strawberry Fields.
Thatīs Johnīs humor.
John would say something totally out of sync, like cranberry sauce.
If you donīt realize that Johnīs apt to say cranberry sauce when he feels like it, then you start to hear a funny little word there, and you think, 'Aha!''JOHN 1980:
'Strawberry Fields is a real place.
After I stopped living at Penny Lane, I moved in with my auntie who lived in the suburbs… not the poor slummy kind of image that was projected in all the Beatles stories.
Near that home was Strawberry Fields, a house near a boys' reformatory where I used to go to garden parties as a kid with my friends Nigel and Pete.
We always had fun at Strawberry Fields.
So that's where I got the name.
But I used it as an image.
Strawberry Fields Forever.
'Living is easy with eyes closed.
Misunderstanding all you see.' It still goes, doesn't it? Aren't I saying exactly the same thing now? The awareness apparently trying to be expressed is – let's say in one way I was always hip.
I was hip in kindergarten.
I was different from the others.
I was different all my life.
The second verse goes, 'No one I think is in my tree.' Well, I was too shy and self-doubting.
Nobody seems to be as hip as me is what I was saying.
Therefore, I must be crazy or a genius – 'I mean it must be high or low,' the next line.
There was something wrong with me, I thought, because I seemed to see things other people didn't see.
I thought I was crazy or an egomaniac for claiming to see things other people didn't see.
I always was so psychic or intuitive or poetic or whatever you want to call it, that I was always seeing things in a hallucinatory way.
Surrealism had a great effect on me, because then I realized that the imagery in my mind wasn't insanity; that if it was insane, I belong in an exclusive club that sees the world in those terms.
Surrealism to me is reality.
Psychic vision to me is reality.
Even as a child.
When I looked at myself in the mirror or when I was 12, 13, I used to literally trance out into alpha.
I didn't know what it was called then.
I found out years later there is a name for those conditions.
But I would find myself seeing hallucinatory images of my face changing and becoming cosmic and complete.
It caused me to always be a rebel.
This thing gave me a chip on the shoulder; but, on the other hand, I wanted to be loved and accepted.
Part of me would like to be accepted by all facets of society and not be this loudmouthed lunatic musician.
But I cannot be what I am not.'
03:01 Penny Lane (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 17.01.1967
'We really got into the groove of imagining Penny Lane – the bank was there, and that was where the tram sheds were and people waiting and the inspector stood there, the fire engines were down there.
It was just reliving childhood.'JOHN 1980:
'Penny Lane is not only a street but it's a district… a suburban district where, until age four, I lived with my mother and father.
So I was the only Beatle that lived in Penny Lane.'PAUL circa-1994:
'John and I would always meet at Penny Lane.
That was where someone would stand and sell you poppies each year on British Legion poppy day… When I came to write it, John came over and helped me with the third verse, as often was the case.
We were writing childhood memories – recently faded memories from eight or ten years before, so it was recent nostalgia, pleasant memories for both of us.
All the places were still there, and because we remembered it so clearly we could have gone on.'
'Paul had the line about 'a little help from my friends.' He had some kind of structure for it, and we wrote it pretty well fifty-fifty from his original idea.'JOHN 1980:
'That's Paul, with a little help from me.
'What do you see when you turn out the light/ I can't tell you but I know it's mine' is mine.'PAUL circa-1994:
'This was written out at John's house in Weybridge for Ringo… I think that was probably the best of our songs that we wrote for Ringo actually.
I remember giggling with John as we wrote the lines, 'What do you see when you turn out the light/ I can't tell you but I know it's mine.' It could have been him playing with his willie under the covers, or it could have been taken on a deeper level.
This is what it meant but it was a nice way to say it – a very non-specific way to say it.
I always liked that.'
'My son Julian came in one day with a picture he painted about a school friend of his named Lucy.
He had sketched in some stars in the sky and called it 'Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,' Simple.
The images were from 'Alice in Wonderland.' It was Alice in the boat.
She is buying an egg and it turns into Humpty Dumpty.
The woman serving in the shop turns into a sheep and the next minute they are rowing in a rowing boat somewhere and I was visualizing that.
There was also the image of the female who would someday come save me… a 'girl with kaleidoscope eyes' who would come out of the sky.
It turned out to be Yoko, though I hadn't met Yoko yet.
So maybe it should be 'Yoko in the Sky with Diamonds.' It was purely unconscious that it came out to be LSD.
Until somebody pointed it out, I never even thought it, I mean, who would ever bother to look at initials of a title? It's NOT an acid song.
The imagery was Alice in the boat and also the image of this female who would come and save me – this secret love that was going to come one day.
So it turned out to be Yoko… and I hadn't met Yoko then.
But she was my imaginary girl that we all have.'PAUL circa-1994:
'I went up to John's house in Weybridge.
When I arrived we were having a cup of tea, and he said, 'Look at this great drawing Julian's done.
Look at the title!' So I said, 'What's that mean?' thinking Wow, fantastic title! John said, 'It's Lucy, a freind of his from school.
And she's in the sky.' …so we went upstairs and started writing it.
People later thought 'Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds' was LSD.
I swear – we didn't notice that when it first came out.'
'I was writing the song with the 'Daily Mail' propped up in front of me on the piano.
I had it open to the 'News In Brief' or whatever they call it.
There was a paragraph about four thousand holes being discovered in Blackburn Lancashire.
And when we came to record the song there was still one word missing from that verse… I knew the line had to go, 'Now they know how many holes it takes to – something – the Albert Hall.' For some reason I couldn't think of the verb.
What did the holes do to the Albert Hall? It was Terry Doran who said 'fill' the Albert Hall.
And that was it.
Then we thought we wanted a growing noise to lead back into the first bit.
We wanted to think of a good end and we had to decide what sort of backing and instruments would sound good.
Like all our songs, they never become an entity until the very end.
They are developed all the time as we go along.'JOHN 1968:
''A Day in the Life' – that was something.
I dug it.
It was a good piece of work between Paul and me.
I had the 'I read the news today' bit, and it turned Paul on.
Now and then we really turn each other on with a bit of song, and he just said 'yeah' – bang bang, like that.
It just sort of happened beautifully, and we arranged it and rehearsed it, which we don't often do, the afternoon before.
So we all knew what we were playing, we all got into it.
It was a real groove, the whole scene on that one.
Paul sang half of it and I sang half.
I needed a middle-eight for it, but Paul already had one there.'JOHN 1980:
'Just as it sounds: I was reading the paper one day and I noticed two stories.
One was the Guinness heir who killed himself in a car.
That was the main headline story.
He died in London in a car crash.
On the next page was a story about 4000 holes in Blackburn, Lancashire.
In the streets, that is.
They were going to fill them all.
Paul's contribution was the beautiful little lick in the song 'I'd love to turn you on.' I had the bulk of the song and the words, but he contributed this little lick floating around in his head that he couldn't use for anything.
I thought it was a damn good piece of work.'PAUL 1984:
'That was mainly John's, I think.
I remember being very conscious of the words 'I'd love to turn you on' and thinking, Well, that's about as risque as we dare get at this point.
Well, the BBC banned it.
It said, 'Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall' or something.
But I mean that there was nothing vaguely rude or naughty in any of that.
'I'd love to turn you on' was the rudest line in the whole thing.
But that was one of John's very good ones.
I wrote… that was co-written.
The orchestra crescendo and that was based on some of the ideas I'd been getting from Stockhausen and people like that, which is more abstract.
So we told the orchestra members to just start on their lowest note and end on their highest note and go in their own time… which orchestras are frightened to do.
That's not the tradition.
But we got 'em to do it.'PAUL 1988:
'Then I went around to all the trumpet players and said, 'Look all you've got to do is start at the beginning of the 24 bars and go through all the notes on your instrument from the lowest to the highest – and the highest has to happen on that 24th bar, that's all.
So you can blow 'em all in that first thing and then rest, then play the top one there if you want, or you can steady them out.' And it was interesting because I saw the orchestra's characters.
The strings were like sheep – they all looked at each other: 'Are you going up? I am!' and they'd all go up together, the leader would take them all up.
The trumpeters were much wilder.'
'We had been told we'd be seen recording it by the whole world at the same time.
So we had one message for the world – Love.
We need more love in the world.'PAUL circa-1994:
''All You Need Is Love' was John's song.
I threw in a few ideas, as did other members of the group, but it was largely ad libs like singing 'She Loves You' or 'Greensleeves' or silly little things like that at the end, and we made those up on the spot.'
04:35 I Am the Walrus (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 29.09.1967
'Everyone keeps preaching that the best way is to be 'open' when writing for teenagers.
Then when we do we get criticized.
Surely the word 'knickers' can't offend anyone.
Shakespeare wrote words alot more naughtier than knickers!'JOHN 1967:
'We chose the word (knickers) because it is a lovely expressive word.
It rolls off the tongue.
It could 'mean' anything.'GEORGE 1967:
'People don't understand.
In John's song, 'I Am The Walrus' he says: 'I am he as you are he as you are me.' People look for all sorts of hidden meanings.
It's serious, but it's also not serious.
It's true, but it's also a joke.'JOHN 1968:
'We write lyrics, and I write lyrics that you don't realize what they mean till after.
Especially some of the better songs or some of the more flowing ones, like 'Walrus.' The whole first verse was written without any knowledge.
With 'I Am the Walrus,' I had 'I am he as you are he as we are all together.' I had just these two lines on the typewriter, and then about two weeks later I ran through and wrote another two lines and then, when I saw something, after about four lines, I just knocked the rest of it off.
Then I had the whole verse or verse and a half and then sang it.
I had this idea of doing a song that was a police siren, but it didn't work in the end (sings like a siren) 'I-am-he-as-you-are-he-as…' You couldn't really sing the police siren.'JOHN 1980:
'The first line was written on one acid trip one weekend.
The second line was written on the next acid trip the next weekend, and it was filled in after I met Yoko.
Part of it was putting down Hare Krishna.
All these people were going on about Hare Krishna, Allen Ginsberg in particular.
The reference to 'Element'ry penguin' is the elementary, naive attitude of going around chanting, 'Hare Krishna,' or putting all your faith in any one idol.
I was writing obscurely, a la Dylan, in those days.
It's from 'The Walrus and the Carpenter.' 'Alice in Wonderland.' To me, it was a beautiful poem.
It never dawned on me that Lewis Carroll was commenting on the capitalist and social system.
I never went into that bit about what he really meant, like people are doing with the Beatles' work.
Later, I went back and looked at it and realized that the walrus was the bad guy in the story and the carpenter was the good guy.
I thought, Oh, shit, I picked the wrong guy.
I should have said, 'I am the carpenter.' But that wouldn't have been the same, would it? (singing) 'I am the carpenter…''
'That's another McCartney.
An attempt to write a single.
It wasn't a great piece.
The best bit was at the end, which we all ad-libbed in the studio, where I played the piano.
Like 'Ticket To Ride,' where we just threw something in at the end.'PAUL circa-1994:
''Hello Goodbye' was one of my songs.
There are Geminian influences here I think – the twins.
It's such a deep theme of the universe, duality – man woman, black white, high low, right wrong, up down, hello goodbye – that it was a very easy song to write.
It's just a song of duality, with me advocating the more positive.
You say goodbye, I say hello.
You say stop, I say go.
I was advocating the more positive side of the duality, and I still do to this day.'
'Now that's Paul.
Another good lyric.
Shows he's capable of writing complete songs.'PAUL circa-1994:
''Fool On The Hill' was mine and I think I was writing about someone like the Maharishi.
His detractors called him a fool.
Because of his giggle he wasn't taken too seriously… I was sitting at the piano at my father's house in Liverpool hitting a D6 chord, and I made up 'Fool On The Hill.''
02:18 Lady Madonna (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 06.02.1968
'It sounds like Elvis, doesn't it? No, it doesn't sound like Elvis… it IS Elvis.
Even those bits where he goes very high.'JOHN 1980:
Good piano lick, but the song never really went anywhere.
Maybe I helped him on some of the lyrics.'PAUL 1986:
''Lady Madonna' is all women.
How do they do it? – bless 'em.
Baby at your breast, how do they get the time to feed them? Where do they get the money? How do you do this thing that women do?'PAUL circa-1994:
'The original concept was the Virgin Mary, but it quickly became symbolic of every woman – the Madonna image but as applied to ordinary working-class women.
'Lady Madonna' was me sitting down at the piano trying to write a bluesy boogie-woogie thing.
It reminded me of Fats Domino for some reason, so I started singing a Fats Domino impression.
It took my voice to a very odd place.'
07:11 Hey Jude (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 12.08.1968
'Well, when Paul first sang 'Hey Jude' to me… or played me the little tape he'd made of it… I took it very personally.
'Ah, it's me,' I said, 'It's me.' He says, 'No, it's me.' I said, 'Check.
We're going through the same bit.' So we all are.
Whoever is going through a bit with us is going through it, that's the groove.'JOHN 1972:
'That's his best song.'PAUL 1974:
'I remember I played it to John and Yoko, and I was saying, 'These words won't be on the finished version.' Some of the words were: 'The movement you need is on your shoulder,' and John was saying, 'It's great!' I'm saying, 'It's crazy, it doesn't make any sense at all.' He's saying, 'Sure it does, it's great.''JOHN 1980:
'He said it was written about Julian.
He knew I was splitting with Cyn and leaving Julian then.
He was driving to see Julian to say hello.
He had been like an uncle.
And he came up with 'Hey Jude.' But I always heard it as a song to me.
Now I'm sounding like one of those fans reading things into it… Think about it: Yoko had just come into the picture.
He is saying.
'Hey, Jude' – 'Hey, John.' Subconsciously, he was saying, 'Go ahead, leave me.' On a conscious level, he didn't want me to go ahead.
The angel in him was saying, 'Bless you.' The devil in him didn't like it at all, because he didn't want to lose his partner.'PAUL 1985:
'I remember on 'Hey Jude' telling George not to play guitar.
He wanted to do echo riffs after the vocal phrases, which I didn't think was appropriate.
He didn't see it like that, and it was a bit of a number for me to have to 'dare' to tell George Harrison – who's one of the greats – not to play.
It was like an insult.
But that's how we did alot of our stuff.'PAUL circa-1994:
'There is an amusing story about recording it… Ringo walked out to go to the toilet and I hadn't noticed.
The toilet was only a few yards from his drum booth, but he'd gone past my back and I still thought he was in his drum booth.
I started what was the actual take – and 'Hey Jude' goes on for hours before the drums come in – and while I was doing it I suddenly felt Ringo tiptoeing past my back rather quickly, trying to get to his drums.
And just as he got to his drums, boom boom boom, his timing was absolutely impeccable.'
03:25 Revolution (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 12.07.1968
'On 'Revolution' I'm playing the guitar and I haven't improved since I was last playing, but I dug it.
It sounds the way I wanted it to sound.'JOHN 1972:
'I should never have put that in about Chairman Mao.
I was just finishing off in the studio when I did that.'JOHN 1980:
'The statement in 'Revolution' was mine.
The lyrics stand today.
It's still my feeling about politics.
I want to see the plan.
That is what I used to say to Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin.
Count me out if it is for violence.
Don't expect me to be on the barricades unless it is with flowers.
For years, on the Beatles' tours, Brian Epstein had stopped us from saying anything about Vietnam or the war.
And he wouldn't allow questions about it.
But on one of the last tours, I said, 'I'm going to answer about the war.
We can't ignore it.' I absolutely wanted the Beatles to say something about the war.'
'Chuck Berry once did a song called 'Back In The USA,' which is very American, very Chuck Berry.
Very sort of, uhh… you know, you're serving in the army, and when I get back home I'm gonna kiss the ground.
And you know – Can't wait to get back to the States.
And it's a very American sort of thing, I've always thought.
So this one is like about… In my mind it's just about a spy who's been in America a long long time, you know, and he's picked up… And he's very American.
But he gets back to the USSR, you know, and he's sort of saying, 'Leave it till tomorrow, honey, to disconnect the phone,' and all that.
And 'Come here honey,' but with Russian women.
It concerns the attributes of Russian women.'JOHN 1980:
I play the six-string bass on that.'PAUL 1984:
'I wrote that as a kind of Beach Boys parody.
And 'Back in the USA' was a Chuck Berry song, so it kinda took off from there.
I just liked the idea of Georgia girls and talking about places like the Ukraine as if they were California, you know? It was also hands across the water, which I'm still conscious of.
'Cuz they like us out there, even though the bosses in the Krelmin may not.
The kids do.'PAUL 1986:
'I'm sure it pissed Ringo off when he couldn't quite get the drums to 'Back In The U.S.S.R.' and I sat in.
It's very weird to know that you can do a thing someone else is having trouble with.
If you go down and do it, just bluff right through it, you think, 'What the hell, at least I'm helping.' Then the paranoia comes in – 'But I'm going to show him up!' I was very sensitive to that.'
'I had a copy of the I Ching – the Book of Changes, which seemed to me to be based on the Eastern concept that everything is relative to everything else, as opposed to the Western view that things are merely coincidental.
The idea was in my head when I visited my parents' home in the North of England.
I decided to write a song based on the first thing I saw upon opening any book – as it would be relative to that moment, at that time.
I picked up a book at random, opened it – saw 'gently weeps' – than laid the book down again and started the song.
Some of the words to the song were changed before I finally recorded it.'GEORGE 1987:
'I worked on that song with John, Paul, and Ringo one day, and they were not interested in it at all.
And I knew inside of me that it was a nice song.
The next day I was with Eric Clapton, and I was going into the session, and I said, 'We're going to do this song.
Come and play on it.' He said, 'Oh no.
I can't do that.
Nobody ever plays on the Beatles records.' I said, 'Look, it's my song, and I want you to play on it.' So Eric came in, and the other guys were as good as gold – because he was there.
Also, it left me free to just play the rhythm and do the vocal.
So Eric played that, and I thought it was really good.
Then we listened to it back, and he said, 'Ah, there's a problem though; it's not Beatley enough.' So we put it through the ADT (automatic double-track) to wobble it up a bit.'
'I might've given him a couple of lyrics, but it's his song, his lyric.'PAUL 1984:
'A fella who used to hang around the clubs used to say, (Jamaican accent) 'Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on,' and he got annoyed when I did a song of it, 'cuz he wanted a cut.
I said, 'Come on, Jimmy, it's just an expression.
If you'd written the song, you could have had a cut.' He also used to say, 'Nothin's too much, just outta sight.' He was just one of those guys who had great expressions, you know.'
03:12 Get Back (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 27.01.1969
'We were sitting in the studio and we made it up out of thin air.
We started to write words there and then… When we finished it, we recorded it at Apple Studios and made it into a song to rollercoast by.'JOHN 1980:
''Get Back' is Paul.
That's a better version of 'Lady Madonna.' You know, a potboiler rewrite.'
(to Ringo, regarding the cymbal smash in the intro) 'Give me a big 'kzzzsshhhh!' Give me the courage to come screaming in.'JOHN 1980:
'That's me, singing about Yoko.'PAUL circa-1994:
'It was a very tense period.
John was with Yoko, and had escalated to heroin and all the accompanying paranoias and he was putting himself out on a limb.
I think that, as much as it excited and amused him, at the same time it secretly terrified him.
So 'Don't Let Me Down' was a genuine plea, 'Don't let me down, please, whatever you do.
I'm out on this limb…' It was saying to Yoko, 'I'm really stepping out of line on this one.
I'm really letting my vulnerability be seen, so you must not let me down.' I think it was a genuine cry for help.
It was a good song.
We recorded it in the basement of Apple for 'Let It Be' and later did it up on the roof for the film.
We went through it quite alot for this one.
I sang harmony on it, which makes me wonder if I helped with a couple of the words, but I don't think so.
It was John's song.'
GEORGE 1980: '…written at a time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen – all this signing accounts, and 'sign this' and 'sign that.' Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever; by the time spring comes you really deserve it.
So one day I decided, 'I'm going to sag-off Apple,' and I went over to Eric Clapton's house.
I was walking in his garden.
The relief of not having to go and see all those dopey accountants was wonderful.
And I was walking around the garden with one of Eric's acoustic guitars, and wrote 'Here Comes The Sun.'
04:19 Come Together (John Lennon – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 24.07.1969
'On the new album I like 'Come Together,' which is a great one of John's.'JOHN 1980:
''Come Together' is me – writing obscurely around an old Chuck Berry thing.
I left the line 'Here comes old flat-top.' It is nothing like the Chuck Berry song, but they took me to court because I admitted the influence once years ago.
I could have changed it to 'Here comes old iron face,' but the song remains independent of Chuck Berry or anybody else on earth.
The thing was created in the studio.
It's gobbledygook – 'Come Together' was an expression that Tim Leary had come up with for his attempt at being president or whatever he wanted to be, and he asked me to write a campaign song.
I tried and I tried, but I couldn't come up with one.
But I came up with this, 'Come Together,' which would've been no good to him – you couldn't have a campaign song like that, right? Leary attacked me years later, saying I ripped him off.
I didn't rip him off.
It's just that it turned into 'Come Together.' What am I going to do, give it to him? It was a funky record – it's one of my favorite Beatle tracks, or, one of my favorite Lennon tracks, let's say that.
It's funky, it's bluesy, and I'm singing it pretty well.
I like the sound of the record.
You can dance to it.
I'll buy it!' (laughs)
'I like George's song 'Something.' For me I think it's the best he's written.'GEORGE 1969:
'I wrote the song 'Something' for the album before this one, but I never finished it off until just recently.
I usually get the first few lines of words and music together, both at once… and then finish the rest of the melody.
Then I have to write the words.
It's like another song I wrote when we were in India.
I wrote the whole first verse and just said everything I wanted to say, and so now I need to write a couple more verses.
I find that much more difficult.
But John gave me a handy tip.
He said, 'Once you start to write a song, try to finish it straight away while you're still in the same mood.' Sometimes you go back to it and you're in a whole different state of mind.
So now, I do try to finish them straight away.'GEORGE 1980:
''Something' was written on the paino while we were making the White Album.
I had a break while Paul was doing some overdubbing so I went into an empty studio and began to write.
That's really all there is to it, except the middle took some time to sort out.
It didn't go on the White Album because we'd already finished all the tracks.'
''Octopus's Garden' is Ringo's song.
It's only the second song Ringo has ever written, mind you, and it's lovely.
Ringo gets bored with just playing drums all the time, so at home he sometimes plays a bit of piano, but unfortunately he only knows about three chords.
He knows about the same on guitar too.
This song gets very deep into your consciousness, though because it's so peaceful.
I suppose Ringo is writing cosmic songs these days without even realizing it.'RINGO 1981:
'He (a ship captain) told me all about octopuses – how they go 'round the sea bed and pick up stones and shiny objects and build gardens.
I thought, 'How fabulous!' because at the time I just wanted to be under the sea, too.
I wanted to get out of it for a while.'
03:52 Let It Be (Paul McCartney – John Lennon and Paul McCartney) - 04.01.1970
'That's Paul… I think it was inspired by 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.' That's my feeling, although I have nothing to go on.
I know he wanted to write a 'Bridge Over Troubled Water.''PAUL 1986:
'I had alot of bad times in the '60s.
We used to lie in bed and wonder what was going on and feel quite paranoid.
Probably all the drugs.
I had a dream one night about my mother.
She died when I was fourteen so I hadn't really heard from her in quite a while, and it was very good.
It gave me some strength.'PAUL circa-1994:
'One night during this tense time I had a dream I saw my mum, who'd been dead ten years or so.
And it was great to see her because that's a wonderful thing about dreams, you actually are reunited with that person for a second… In the dream she said, 'It'll be alright.' I'm not sure if she used the words 'Let it be' but that was the gist of her advice, it was 'Don't worry too much, it will turn out okay.' It was such a sweet dream I woke up thinking, 'Oh, it was really great to visit with her again.' I felt very blessed to have that dream.'
'One of my best songs.
Not one of the best recordings, but I like the lyrics.'JOHN 1980:
'I was a bit more artsy-fartsy there.
I was lying next to my first wife in bed, (song originally written in 1967) you know, and I was irritated.
She must have been going on and on about something and she'd gone to sleep – and I kept hearing these words over and over, flowing like an endless stream.
I went downstairs and it turned into a sort of cosmic song rather than an irritated song – rather than 'Why are you always mouthing off at me?' or whatever, right? …and I've sat down and looked at it and said, 'Can I write another one with this meter?' It's so interesting.
'Words are flowing out like endless rain into a paper cup/ They slither while the pass, they slip away across the universe.' Such an extraordinary meter and I can never repeat it! It's not a matter of craftsmanship – it wrote itself.
It drove me out of bed.
I didn't want to write it… and I couldn't get to sleep until I put it on paper… It's like being possessed – like a psychic or a medium.
The thing has to go down.
It won't let you sleep, so you have to get up, make it into something, and then you're allowed to sleep.
That's always in the middle of the night when you're half-awake or tired and your critical facilities are switched off.'
'The album was finished a year ago, but a few months ago American record producer Phil Spector was called in by John Lennon to tidy up some of the tracks.
But a few weeks ago, I was sent a re-mixed version of my song 'The Long And Winding Road' with harps, horns, an orchestra, and a women's choir added.
No one had asked me what I thought.
I couldn't believe it.
The record came with a note from Allen Klein saying he thought the changes were necessary.
I don't blame Phil Spector for doing it, but it just goes to show that it's no good me sitting here thinking I'm in control because obviously I'm not.
Anyway, I've sent Klein a letter asking for some things to be altered, but I haven't received an answer yet.'JOHN 1980:
He had a little spurt just before we split.'PAUL circa-1994:
'It's rather a sad song.
I like writing sad songs, it's a good bag to get into because you can actually acknowledge some deeper feelings of your own and put them in it.
It's a good vehicle, it saves having to go to a psychiatrist.
Songwriting often performs that feat – you say it, but you don't embarrass yourself because it's only a song, or is it? You are putting the things that are bothering you on the table and you are reviewing them, but because it's a song, you don't have to argue with anyone… It's a sad song because it's all about the unattainable; the door you never quite reach.
This is the road that you never get to the end of.'
Songs of Beatles