Good Night

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


Other Beatles songs with no contribution from McCartney



She Said She Said

Officially appears on Revolver (UK Mono)


Julia

Officially appears on The Beatles (Mono)


Revolution 9

Officially appears on The Beatles (Mono)


What's The New Mary Jane

Officially appears on Anthology 3

Related interviews



Interview with Radio Luxembourg

Nov 21, 1968 • From Radio Luxembourg

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Good Night” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1968 double album The Beatles (also known as the “White Album”). It was written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The lead vocalist on the recording is Ringo Starr, who was the only Beatle to appear on the track. The music was provided by an orchestra arranged and conducted by George Martin. Written for Lennon’s five-year-old son Julian, “Good Night” is the final song on the White Album.

Composition and recording

John Lennon wrote the song as a lullaby for his five-year-old son Julian.

The original version of “Good Night” featured Starr on lead vocal, George Harrison and John Lennon playing the melody on guitars, and Paul McCartney singing a harmony. Take 10 with a guitar part from take 5 was released on the 2018 50th Anniversary box set of The Beatles.

During rehearsals for the song on 28 June, the band arrangement was reduced to Lennon on piano and Harrison playing percussion. A fragment from this rehearsal and take 22 of the song, along with an overdub of the orchestra from the close of the released version, is heard on the Beatles’ 1996 compilation album Anthology 3.

Lennon recalled asking George Martin to give the song a lush orchestral arrangement in the style of old Hollywood films and admitted, “Yeah, corny.” The orchestra consisted of 12 violins, three violas, three cellos, one harp, three flutes, one clarinet, one horn, one vibraphone, and one string bass, played by 26 musicians. Eight members of the Mike Sammes Singers also took part in the recording, providing backing vocals.

With “Good Night”, Starr became the third Beatle, after McCartney and Harrison, to record a song credited to the group without the other members performing (Lennon was the fourth with “Julia“). The song ends with Starr whispering: “Good night … Good night, everybody … Everybody, everywhere … Good night.”

Reception

In musicologist Walter Everett’s view, “Good Night” uses chords that are uncharacteristic of Lennon’s writing, and its countermelodies and musical interludes are more typical of Martin’s music, particularly the compositions that show the influence of Maurice Ravel, his favourite composer. Everett concludes: “I have difficulty settling into ‘Good Night’ after ‘Revolution 9‘ dies away, but most no doubt take it as a welcome bromide.” […]

Love

The song makes three appearances on the Beatles’ soundtrack to the Cirque du Soleil production of Love. It is used as a transition between “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” and “Octopus’s Garden“. It can be heard a minor third lower than originally recorded. After the orchestral intro to the third verse of “Good Night“, the same orchestral accompaniment is played over a sample of Starr freely, slowly singing the opening words to “Octopus’s Garden“. Later, at the end of the show, after the strains of “All You Need Is Love” have faded out, the orchestral coda of “Good Night“, in its original key, G major (as well as the last bits of dialogue in the Beatles’ fan club-exclusive Christmas album) brings the album to a close.

The final track I suppose is a wrap-up to the LP, and to the show tonight. And I would imagine that alot of people are probably going to record this track.

Yes. Umm, it’s very much that kind of track, you know. John wrote it, mainly. It’s his tune, uhh, which is surprising for John– ‘cuz he doesn’t normally write this kind of tune. It’s a very sweet tune, and Ringo sings it great, I think. The arrangement was done by George Martin, uhh, ‘cuz he’s very good at that kind of arrangement, you know– very sort of lush, sweet arrangement. And that’s all I can say about it. It’s very sweet. And in fact, it’s ‘Good Night.’

Paul McCartney – from interview with Radio Luxembourg, 1968

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

I think John felt it might not be good for his image for him to sing it but it was fabulous to hear him do it, he sang it great. We heard him sing it in order to teach it to Ringo and he sang it very tenderly. John rarely showed his tender side, but my key memories of John are when he was tender, that’s what has remained with me; those moments where he showed himself to be a very generous, loving person. I always cite that song as an example of the John beneath the surface that we only saw occasionally… I don’t think John’s version was ever recorded.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

[a] mono 11 Oct 1968.
UK: Apple PMC 7068 white album 1968.

[b] stereo 11 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.

Stereo [b] fades in; [a] does not.

From Anthology 3 liner notes:

Written by John as a lullaby for his five years old son Julian, and sung by Ringo, Good Night endowed the White Album with a lush finale. On the evidence of this eavesdrop into song’s first session, the transferral of composition to tape was very much a united effort, with all four Beatles and producer George Martin pitching in ideas and opinions. The performance was not numbered “take” but, rather, a rehearsal that happened to be recorded. Because it meandered to an indefinite close the piece has been suffixed here by a crossfade into the final master, Take 34, enhanced by a George Martin orchestral score played by a 26-piece ensemble the best part of a month later.

Last updated on May 24, 2021

Lyrics

Now it's time to say good night
Good night, sleep tight
Now the sun turns out his light
Good night, sleep tight

Dream sweet dreams for me
Dream sweet dreams for you

Close your eyes and I'll close mine
Good night, sleep tight
Now the moon begins to shine
Good night, sleep tight

Dream sweet dreams for me
Dream sweet dreams for you

Close your eyes and I'll close mine
Good night, sleep tight
Now the sun turns out his light
Good night, sleep tight

Dream sweet dreams for me
Dream sweet dreams for you

Good night
Good night everybody
Everybody everywhere good night

Officially appears on


The Beatles (Mono)

LP • Released in 1968

3:14 • Studio versionA • Mono

Ringo Starr :
Vocals
George Martin :
Celesta, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
Peter Bown :
Recording engineer
Ingrid Thomas :
Backing vocals
Val Stockwell :
Backing vocals
Ross Gilmour :
Backing vocals
Ken Barrie :
Backing vocals
Unknown musician(s) :
Clarinet, Double bass, French horn, Harp, Three cellos, Three flutes, Three violas, Twelve violins, Vibraphone
Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 11, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (Stereo)

LP • Released in 1968

3:14 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Ringo Starr :
Vocals
George Martin :
Celesta, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
Peter Bown :
Recording engineer
Ingrid Thomas :
Backing vocals
Val Stockwell :
Backing vocals
Ross Gilmour :
Backing vocals
Ken Barrie :
Backing vocals
Unknown musician(s) :
Clarinet, Double bass, French horn, Harp, Three cellos, Three flutes, Three violas, Twelve violins, Vibraphone
Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 11, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Anthology 3

Official album • Released in 1996

2:38 • OuttakeC • Stereo • Rehearsal and take 34. [...] On the evidence of this eavesdrop into song's first session, the transferral of composition to tape was very much a united effort, with all four Beatles and producer George Martin pitching in ideas and opinions. The performance was not numbered "take" but, rather, a rehearsal that happened to be recorded. [...]

George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Jun 28, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


The Beatles (Mono - 2009 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2009

3:14 • Studio versionA2009 • Mono • 2009 mono remaster

Ringo Starr :
Vocals
George Martin :
Celesta, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
Peter Bown :
Recording engineer
Ingrid Thomas :
Backing vocals
Val Stockwell :
Backing vocals
Ross Gilmour :
Backing vocals
Ken Barrie :
Backing vocals
Paul Hicks :
Remastering
Guy Massey :
Remastering
Sean Magee :
Remastering
Allan Rouse :
Project co-ordinator
Unknown musician(s) :
Clarinet, Double bass, French horn, Harp, Three cellos, Three flutes, Three violas, Twelve violins, Vibraphone
Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 11, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (Stereo - 2009 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2009

3:14 • Studio versionB2009 • Stereo • 2009 stereo remaster

Ringo Starr :
Vocals
George Martin :
Celesta, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
Peter Bown :
Recording engineer
Ingrid Thomas :
Backing vocals
Val Stockwell :
Backing vocals
Ross Gilmour :
Backing vocals
Ken Barrie :
Backing vocals
Guy Massey :
Remastering
Steve Rooke :
Remastering
Allan Rouse :
Project co-ordinator
Unknown musician(s) :
Clarinet, Double bass, French horn, Harp, Three cellos, Three flutes, Three violas, Twelve violins, Vibraphone
Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 11, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (Mono - 2014 vinyl)

LP • Released in 2014

3:14 • Studio versionA2014 • Mono • 2014 remaster

Ringo Starr :
Vocals
George Martin :
Celesta, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
Peter Bown :
Recording engineer
Ingrid Thomas :
Backing vocals
Val Stockwell :
Backing vocals
Ross Gilmour :
Backing vocals
Ken Barrie :
Backing vocals
Sean Magee :
Remastering
Unknown musician(s) :
Clarinet, Double bass, French horn, Harp, Three cellos, Three flutes, Three violas, Twelve violins, Vibraphone
Steve Berkowitz :
Remastering
Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 11, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Anthology 3 (2016 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2016

2:38 • OuttakeC2016 • Stereo • Rehearsal and take 34. [...] On the evidence of this eavesdrop into song's first session, the transferral of composition to tape was very much a united effort, with all four Beatles and producer George Martin pitching in ideas and opinions. The performance was not numbered "take" but, rather, a rehearsal that happened to be recorded. [...]

George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Jun 28, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

3:14 • Studio versionD • Stereo • 2018 stereo mix

Ringo Starr :
Vocals
George Martin :
Celesta, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Giles Martin :
Producer
Ken Scott :
Recording engineer
Pat Whitmore :
Backing vocals
Irene King :
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas :
Backing vocals
Mike Redway :
Backing vocals
Peter Bown :
Recording engineer
Ingrid Thomas :
Backing vocals
Val Stockwell :
Backing vocals
Ross Gilmour :
Backing vocals
Ken Barrie :
Backing vocals
Sam Okell :
Mixing engineer
Unknown musician(s) :
Clarinet, Double bass, French horn, Harp, Three cellos, Three flutes, Three violas, Twelve violins, Vibraphone
Mike Sammes Singers :
Backing vocals

Session Recording:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 22, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

0:39 • OuttakeE • Unnumbered rehearsal


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

2:31 • OuttakeF • Take 10 with a guitar part from Take 5

Session Recording:
Jun 28, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Recording:
Jul 02, 1968
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Bootlegs


White Album Sessions Volume 2

Unofficial album

2:38 • Studio version • Edit of rehearsal take and take 34 stereo


White Album Sessions Volume 2

Unofficial album

0:22 • Studio version • Unknown Take Video Mix Stereo


White Album Sessions Volume 2

Unofficial album

0:22 • Studio version • Unknown Take DVD Mix Stereo


White Album Sessions Volume 2

Unofficial album

3:06 • Studio version • RM6 From Take 34 Mono


Unsurpassed Masters Vol. 4 (1968)

Unofficial album • Released in 1989

3:08 • Alternate take • tk 34 RM 6

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.