Cry Baby Cry

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the The Beatles (Mono) LP.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1968

Master album


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From mid-February to March 1968

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Cry Baby Cry” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney) from their 1968 double album The Beatles (also known as “the White Album”). The coda of the song is a short segment referred to as “Can You Take Me Back”, written by Paul McCartney, which was actually an outtake from the “I Will” session.

Composition

Demos indicate that Lennon composed the song in late 1967. The original lyrics were “Cry baby cry, make your mother buy”. Lennon described to biographer Hunter Davies how he got the words from an advertisement. Some of the lyrics of the song are loosely based on the nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence”.

Recording

Engineer Geoff Emerick resigned during the recording of “Cry Baby Cry”, though his departure was precipitated by Lennon and McCartney’s obsessions over the recording of both “Revolution” and “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da“, respectively, and the overall tensions of the sessions. Emerick would not work with the Beatles again until the session for “The Ballad of John and Yoko” nine months later.

After a day-long rehearsal, on 16 July 1968 the basic tracks were laid down for Lennon’s guitar part and his vocal on the introduction, McCartney’s bass, and Starr’s drums, along with Lennon’s piano and George Martin’s harmonium, while all other parts were dubbed in two days later: Lennon’s lead vocal, Lennon/McCartney falsetto backing vocals and tambourines, Martin’s harmonium introduction, sound effects for tea, and Harrison’s guitar, a Gibson Les Paul borrowed from Eric Clapton and soon to be a permanent gift.

“Can You Take Me Back?”

The song is followed on the album by an unrelated and unlisted track, ad libbed and sung by Paul McCartney. Though the song originally had no official name, it has popularly become known as “Can You Take Me Back?” after the primary lyric of the song, and has been officially deemed so on the track listing for the 50th anniversary edition of The Beatles, where an unabridged version of the song is referred to as “Can You Take Me Back? (Take 1)” and included among the bonus tracks. The hidden track is an improvised jam recorded by McCartney during a 16 September 1968 session for “I Will“. […]

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

[a] stereo 15 Oct 1968.
UK: Apple PCS 7068 white album 1968.
US: Apple SWBO 101 white album 1968.
CD: EMI CDP 7 46443 2 white album 1987.

[b] mono 15 Oct 1968.
UK: Apple PMC 7068 white album 1968.

The US Apple release has a drop in sound level during “by the children” in the last verse, probably a tape problem.

Last updated on May 24, 2021

Lyrics

Cry baby cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better

The king of marigold was in the kitchen
Cooking breakfast for the queen
The queen was in the parlor
Playing piano for the children of the king

Cry baby cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
So cry baby cry

The king was in the garden
Picking flowers for a friend who came to play
The queen was in the playroom
Painting pictures for the children's holiday

Cry baby cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
So cry baby cry

The Duchess of Kirkcaldy always smiling
And arriving late for tea
The duke was having problems
With a message at the local bird and bee

Cry baby cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
So cry baby cry

At twelve o'clock a meeting round the table
For a seance in the dark
With voices out of nowhere
Put on specially by the children for a lark

Cry baby cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
So cry baby cry, cry, cry, cry baby
Make your mother sigh

She's old enough to know better
So cry baby cry, cry, cry, cry
Make your mother sigh
She's old enough to know better
So cry baby cry

Can you take me back where I came from?
Can you take me back?
Can you take me back where I came from?
Brother can you take me back?

Can you take me back?
Can you take me where I came from?
Can you take me back?

Officially appears on


The Beatles (Mono)

LP • Released in 1968

3:02 • Studio versionB • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Acoustic guitar, Organ, Piano, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Harmonium, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 16, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 18, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 15, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (Stereo)

LP • Released in 1968

3:02 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Acoustic guitar, Organ, Piano, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Harmonium, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 16, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 18, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 15, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Anthology 3

Official album • Released in 1996

2:47 • OuttakeC • Stereo • Take 1. The basic master of John Lennon's Cry Baby Cry was captured at the end of a mid-evening recording session in Abbey Road on 16 July 1968. Five hours earlier this Anthology selection - Take 1 - was laid down, performed live at the studio, without overdubs. Although never used, it proved that the players were immediately on the right track.

Session Recording:
Jul 16, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (Mono - 2009 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2009

3:02 • Studio versionB2009 • Mono • 2009 mono remaster

Paul McCartney :
Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Acoustic guitar, Organ, Piano, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Harmonium, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Paul Hicks :
Remastering
Guy Massey :
Remastering
Sean Magee :
Remastering
Allan Rouse :
Project co-ordinator

Session Recording:
Jul 16, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 18, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 15, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (Stereo - 2009 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2009

3:02 • Studio versionA2009 • Stereo • 2009 stereo remaster

Paul McCartney :
Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Acoustic guitar, Organ, Piano, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Harmonium, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Guy Massey :
Remastering
Steve Rooke :
Remastering
Allan Rouse :
Project co-ordinator

Session Recording:
Jul 16, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 18, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 15, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (Mono - 2014 vinyl)

LP • Released in 2014

3:02 • Studio versionB2014 • Mono • 2014 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Acoustic guitar, Organ, Piano, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Harmonium, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Sean Magee :
Remastering
Steve Berkowitz :
Remastering

Session Recording:
Jul 16, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 18, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 15, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Anthology 3 (2016 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2016

2:47 • OuttakeC2016 • Stereo • Take 1. The basic master of John Lennon's Cry Baby Cry was captured at the end of a mid-evening recording session in Abbey Road on 16 July 1968. Five hours earlier this Anthology selection - Take 1 - was laid down, performed live at the studio, without overdubs. Although never used, it proved that the players were immediately on the right track.

Session Recording:
Jul 16, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

3:02 • Studio versionD • Stereo • 2018 stereo mix

Paul McCartney :
Bass
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Acoustic guitar, Organ, Piano, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Harmonium, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Giles Martin :
Producer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Sam Okell :
Mixing engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 16, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 18, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

3:02 • OuttakeE • Unnumbered rehearsal


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

2:27 • DemoF • Esher Demo

Session Recording:
Late May 1968
Studio :
George Harrison's Home, Kinfauns, Esher, Surrey, UK

Bootlegs


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

2:34 • Studio version


White Album Sessions Volume 2

Unofficial album

2:46 • Studio versionC • Take 1 Stereo

Session Recording:
Jul 16, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Complete Home Recordings 1967-68

Unofficial album • Released in 2002

0:50 • Demo • 1


Complete Home Recordings 1967-68

Unofficial album • Released in 2002

0:49 • Demo • 2


Complete Home Recordings 1967-68

Unofficial album • Released in 2002

0:17 • Demo • 3


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

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