Carry That Weight

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"Carry That Weight"
Song by The Beatles
from the album Abbey Road
Released26 September 1969
Recorded2 July-15 August 1969
GenreSymphonic rock
Length1:36
LabelApple Records
Songwriter(s)Lennon/McCartney
Producer(s)George Martin
Abbey Road track listing

"Carry That Weight" is a song by The Beatles. Released on Abbey Road and part of the long, climactic medley that closes the album, it has vocals from all four of the Beatles (a rarity in their songs). It is after "Golden Slumbers", and transitions into "The End".

The middle bridge, featuring brass instruments, electric guitar and vocals, repeats the beginning of "You Never Give Me Your Money", but with different lyrics. The ending also repeats the arpeggiated guitar motif from the end of that song, similar to the figure featured in the George Harrison written songs "Here Comes the Sun" and "Badge" (co-written by Harrison and Eric Clapton).

Meaning[change | change source]

Music critic Ian MacDonald said that the lyrics was an acknowledgment by the group that nothing they would do as solo artists would equal what they had achieved together, and they would always carry the weight of their Beatle past.[1] McCartney said the song was about the Beatles' business difficulties and the atmosphere at Apple at the time.[2] In the film Imagine: John Lennon, Lennon says that McCartney was "singing about all of us."

Recording[change | change source]

The Beatles began recording "Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight" as one piece on July 2, 1969.[3] McCartney, Harrison and Starr recorded 15 takes of the two songs[3] while Lennon was in the hospital recovering from a car accident in Scotland.[4]

The rhythm tracks featured McCartney on piano, Harrison on bass guitar and Starr on drums. The best were takes 13 and 15, which were edited together on July 3rd.[3] That day and the next, McCartney overdubbed his lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Harrison added lead guitar, and all three sang the chorus.[3]

On July 30, they added more vocals, including Lennon, who had rejoined the sessions on July 9.[5][6] More vocals, timpani and drums were overdubbed on 31 July.[5] The orchestra was recorded on August 15.[7]

Personnel[change | change source]

Personnel per MacDonald[8] and Mark Lewisohn[7]

Cover versions[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. MacDonald 2005, p. 356.
  2. Miles 1997, p. 557–558.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Lewisohn 1988, p. 178.
  4. Lewisohn 1988, p. 177.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Lewisohn 1988, p. 183.
  6. Lewisohn 1988, p. 179.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Lewisohn 1988, p. 190.
  8. MacDonald 2005, p. 355.

Other websites[change | change source]

  • Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
  • MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-844-13828-3.
  • Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.