The Paul McCartney Project

Carry That Weight

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Abbey Road Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1969
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

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 features vocals from all four Beatles (a rarity in their songs). It is preceded by “Golden Slumbers“, and segues into “The End“.

The middle bridge, featuring brass instruments, electric guitar and vocals, reprises the beginning of “You Never Give Me Your Money“, but with different lyrics. The ending also reprises the arpeggiated guitar motif from the end of that track, similar to the figure featured prominently in the George Harrison written tracks “Here Comes the Sun” and “Badge” (co-written by Harrison and Eric Clapton). The song was written by Paul McCartney, but credited to Lennon–McCartney.

Interpretation

Music critic Ian MacDonald interpreted the lyric as an acknowledgement by the group that nothing they would do as individual artists would equal what they had achieved together, and they would always carry the weight of their Beatle past. McCartney said the song was about the Beatles’ business difficulties and the atmosphere at Apple at the time. In the film Imagine: John Lennon, Lennon says that McCartney was “singing about all of us.

Recording

They began recording “Golden Slumbers“/”Carry That Weight” as one piece on 2 July 1969. McCartney, Harrison and Starr recorded 15 takes of the two songs while Lennon was in the hospital recovering from a car accident in Scotland.

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 3 July. That day and the next, McCartney overdubbed his lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Harrison added lead guitar, and all three sang the chorus.

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

Paul McCartney in "Many Years From Now", by Barry Miles:

I’m generally quite upbeat but at certain times things get to me so much that I just can’t be upbeat any more and that was one of the times. We were taking so much acid and doing so much drugs and all this Klein shit was going on and getting crazier and crazier and crazier. Carry that weight a long time: like for ever! That’s what I meant.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] stereo 18 Aug 1969. crossfaded 19 Aug 1969.
    UK: Apple PCS 7088 Abbey Road 1969.
    US: Apple SO-383 Abbey Road 1969.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46446 2 Abbey Road 1987.

The 2d generation was an edit of two takes.

The crossfade joins this to the following song, The End; the join is in the guitar work after the last “carry that weight a long time”.

Last updated on November 28, 2016

Lyrics

Once there was a way to get back homeward,
Once there was a way to get back home,
Sleep little darling, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.

Golden slumbers fill your eyes,
Smiles awake when you rise,
Sleep little darling, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.

Once there was a way to get back homeward.
Once there was a way to get back home,
Sleep little darling, do not cry,
And I will sing a lullaby.

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight,
Carry that weight a long time.
Boy, you're gonna carry that weight,
Carry that weight a long time.

I never give you my pillow,
I only send you my invitations.
And in the middle of the celebrations
I break down.

Boy, you're gonna carry that weight,
Carry that weight a long time.
Boy, you're gonna carry that weight,
Carry that weight a long time.

Oh yeah, alright,
Are you gonna be in my dreams tonight.
Love you, love you, love you, love you.
Love you, love you, love you, love you.

And in the end the love you take
Is equal to the love you make.

You never give me your money
You only give me your funny paper
And in the middle of negotiations
You break down

I never give you my number
I only give you my situation
And in the middle of investigation
I break down

Out of college, money spent
See no future, pay no rent
All the money's gone, nowhere to go
Any jobber got the sack
Monday morning turning back
Yellow lorry slow nowhere to go
But oh, that magic
Feeling, nowhere to go
Oh, that magic feeling
Nowhere to go

I never give you my pillow
I only send you my invitation
And in the middle of the celebrations
I break down

Boy, you gotta carry that weight
Carry that weight a long time
Boy, you gonna carry that weight
Carry that weight a long time

You never give me your money
You only give me your funny paper
And in the middle of negotiations
You break down

Officially appears on


Abbey Road

Official album • Released in 1969

1:37 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Piano, Rhythm guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Timpani, Vocals
John Lennon:
Vocals
George Harrison:
Bass, Lead guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Phil McDonald:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 02, 1969
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
3, 4, 30, 31 Jul, 15 Aug 1969
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Aug 18, 1969
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Tripping the Live Fantastic: Highlights!

Official live • Released in 1990

6:42 • LiveL1 • Medley with "Golden Slumbers / The End"

Concert From the concert in Toronto, Canada on Dec 07, 1989


Tripping The Live Fantastic

Official live • Released in 1990

6:42 • LiveL1 • Medley with "Golden Slumbers / The End"

Performed by:
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartneyRobbie McIntoshHamish StuartPaul WickensChris Whitten
Paul McCartney:
Producer
Eddie Klein:
Assistant engineer
Matt Butler:
Assistant engineer
Peter Henderson:
Producer
Bob Clearmountain:
Mixing engineer, Producer
Jeff Cohen:
Recording engineer
Geoff Foster:
Assistant engineer
Scott Hull:
Assistant engineer
George Cowan:
Assistant engineer
Paul Rushbrook:
Assistant engineer

Concert From the concert in Toronto, Canada on Dec 07, 1989


Back In The U.S.

Official live • Released in 2002

3:06 • LiveL2 • Medley with "You Never Give Me Your Money"

Paul McCartney:
Executive producer
Performed by:
Paul McCartneyRusty AndersonAbe Laboriel Jr.Paul WickensBrian Ray
David Kahne:
Producer
Michael Brauer:
Engineer
Ricardo Chavarria:
Assistant engineer

Concert From the concert in Tampa, USA on May 15, 2002


Back In The World

Official live • Released in 2003

3:06 • LiveL2 • Medley with "You Never Give Me Your Money"

Paul McCartney:
Executive producer
Performed by:
Paul McCartneyRusty AndersonAbe Laboriel Jr.Paul WickensBrian Ray
David Kahne:
Producer
Michael Brauer:
Engineer
Ricardo Chavarria:
Assistant engineer

Concert From the concert in Tampa, USA on May 15, 2002

Live performances

“Carry That Weight” has been played in 396 concerts and 3 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “Carry That Weight” has been played




Krakow • Tauron Arena

Dec 03, 2018 • Part of Freshen Up Tour


Copenhagen • Royal Arena

Nov 30, 2018 • Part of Freshen Up Tour




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