This track contains the first three takes of “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight” recorded on July 2nd, 1969. The Beatles had been a trio that day, with John still in hospital in Scotland; that’s George on bass as Paul plays piano.

For the first take Paul throws a curveball by launching into “Fool on the Hill” instead (the resemblance is striking). The second take is abandoned after about two minutes, perhaps because Paul’s vocal is not up to snuff. Before the third take you can hear Paul coaching himself: “Lighter,” he says, and goes a bit softer on the piano keys. He quits this take in mid-chorus for no apparent reason; maybe one of the others made a mistake that I can’t hear?

The eventual master track was a combination of two later takes, 13 and 15. It was to this edited version that George Martin added strings and brass, which are also included on the Abbey Road Super Deluxe Edition:

People get sentimental about “Golden Slumbers,” especially the line “Once there was a way to get back home.” One YouTube viewer comments, “This song is make me cry for everytime.” But it might have been ruined for me because I first heard it in the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band movie, as performed by the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton. A minor historical tragedy, that, but you can’t go back, can you?

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