At this point the bits and pieces that would make up the Abbey Road Side 2 medley were mostly finished. And so, says Geoff Emerick,

It was decided to do a test edit to see how all the various components fit together. That session was a long one – for the first time since the White Album days, we worked late into the night – but everyone was really upbeat and quite pleased with the results. There was only one little bit of contention, and it had to do with the cross-fade between “You Never Give Me Your Money” and… “Sun King.” John didn’t like the idea of there being such a long gap between the two songs, but Paul felt strongly that the mood needed to be set for the listener before “Sun King” started. In the end, Paul got his way – John merely shrugged his shoulders and feigned disinterest. At first, a single held organ note was used for the crossfade. Later on, when it came time to sequence the finished mixes, Paul arrived with a plastic bag of tape loops (just as he had done when we worked on “Tomorrow Never Knows” years before) and we used several of them – including recordings of crickets and bells.

Most of the medley fit together to The Beatles’ satisfaction, with one exception that led to a historic piece of serendipity, one of those happy accidents we were just talking about. As engineer John Kurlander explained:

[Paul] said “I don’t like ‘Her Majesty,’ throw it away,” so I cut it out – but I accidentally left in the last note. He said, “It’s only a rough mix, it doesn’t matter….”

I’d been told never to throw anything away, so after he left I picked it up off the floor, put about twenty seconds of red leader tape before it and stuck it onto the end of the edit tape. The next day, down at Apple, Malcolm Davies cut a playback lacquer of the whole sequence, and, even though I’d written on the box that “Her Majesty” was unwanted, he too thought, “Well, mustn’t throw anything away, I’ll put it on at the end.”

I’m only assuming this, but when Paul got that lacquer he must have liked hearing “Her Majesty” tacked at the end…. We never remixed “Her Majesty” again, that was the mix which ended up on the finished LP.

Author William J. Dowdling — from whose book Beatlesongs I lifted the above — adds:

This is why “Her Majesty” doesn’t have a final guitar chord – it lays, unheard, at the beginning of “Polythene Pam.” And the jarring electric guitar chord that begins “Her Majesty” is actually from the end of the original “Mean Mr. Mustard.”

And so it came to pass that “Her Majesty” — which was originally sandwiched between “Mean Mr. Mustard” and “Polythene Pam,” and then theoretically deleted altogether — ended up as the last song on the last Beatles album, and thus perhaps the most famous 23-second song of all time. It’s funny how things work out.

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