The Paul McCartney Project

Album This song officially appears on the Let It Be Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1970
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Related songs

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Dig It” is a song by the Beatles featured on their album Let It Be. The song is credited to Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey. It is one of the few songs to be credited to all of the Beatles. This song and the 39-second “Maggie Mae” appear on the Let It Be album, but are not included on the Let It Be… Naked album, instead being replaced with “Don’t Let Me Down“. Glyn Johns’ May 1969 version of the album, then titled Get Back, had a 3:59 excerpt of “Dig It“, which was later reduced to the much shorter version in the final album.

Recording

Several versions were recorded during the Get Back/Let It Be sessions, on 24, 26, 27, 28, and 29 January 1969, at Apple Studio. The 51-second version on the album is an extract taken from the 26 January version, which was a 15-minute jam that evolved from a loose “Like a Rolling Stone” jam. A segment of the jam session, 4 minutes and 30 seconds in length, appears in the documentary film Let It Be. The participants in that session are John Lennon on vocals and 6-string bass, George Harrison on guitar, Paul McCartney on piano, Ringo Starr on drums, George Martin on maracas and Billy Preston at the organ; also participating in the jam, but not heard on the released version, was Linda Eastman’s six-year-old daughter Heather. Eastman later became McCartney’s wife.

In the early part of the jam, Lennon sings the main lyric with interjections from Harrison, while Heather adds wordless vocals. As the performance winds down, Lennon exhorts the others to continue. McCartney adds a baritone backup vocal of “dig it up, dig it up, dig it up” and variations, and Lennon begins to repeat “Like a rolling stone“, then goes into the “famous persons” part (mentioning “the FBI“, “the CIA“, “the BBC“, “B.B. King“, “Doris Day“, and “Matt Busby“).

The excerpt on the Let It Be album fades in on Lennon’s second “Like a rolling stone” and concludes with Lennon speaking in a falsetto: “That was ‘Can You Dig It?’ by Georgie Wood, and now we’d like to do ‘Hark, the Angels Come’.” The second sentence of that line is cut off in Let It Be‘s film recording of the jam session. (“Wee Georgie Wood” was a 4’9″ music-hall performer and child star.) The interjection actually comes from the first version, recorded on the 24th. This version was much different, described by Beatles bootleg scholars Doug Suply and Ray Schweighardt as “sounding like a cross between the traditional ‘Sailor’s Hornpipe’ and a slowed down rendition of Neal Hefti’s ‘Batman,’ as played on slide guitar.” An excerpt from this version can be heard on the “Fly on the Wall” bonus disc to Let It Be… Naked.

FromĀ The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] stereo 27 Mar 1970. crossfaded.
    UK: Apple PXS 1 and PCS 7096 Let It Be 1970.
    US: Apple AR 34001 Let It Be 1970.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46447 2 Let It Be 1987.

This segment of an 8 minute song was crossfaded into “That was can you dig it . . .hark the angels come”, recorded 24 Jan 1969 at Apple after a very different improvisation also featuring the words “dig it!”.

Last updated on November 30, 2016

Lyrics

Like a rolling stone
Like a rolling stone
Like a rolling stone

Like the FBI and the CIA
And the BBC, BB King
And Doris Day, Matt Busby

Dig it, dig it, dig it
Dig it, dig it, dig it
(That was 'Can You Dig It' by Georgie Wood)
Dig it, dig it, dig it
(And now we'd like to do 'Hark The Angels Come')

Officially appears on


Let It Be

Official album • Released in 1970

0:51 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Piano
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Six-string bass guitar, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer, Shaker
Glyn Johns:
Engineer
Billy Preston:
Hammond organ

Session Recording:
Jan 26, 1969
Studio:
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Session Additional recording:
Jan 24, 1969
Studio:
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Session Mixing:
Mar 27, 1970
Studio:
EMI Studios, Room 4, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


Yellow Submarine Sessions

Unofficial album

3:20 • Outtake • 26.55 BBC Beatles Today Mono


Rehearsals at 3 Savile Row

Unofficial album

14:04 • Rehearsal


Let It Be Sessions

Unofficial album

8:19 • Alternate take • 26.55 1.5 mix mono


Let It Be Sessions

Unofficial album

4:23 • Alternate take • 26.55+24.85 3rd mix stereo


Let It Be Sessions

Unofficial album

3:38 • Alternate take • 26.55+24.85 movie mix mono


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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