The Paul McCartney Project

Good Night

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the The Beatles (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1968
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other Beatles songs with no contribution from McCartney

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Good Night” is a song by the Beatles on their 1968 album The Beatles (also known as the White Album). It is the last song on the album. It is sung by Ringo Starr, the only Beatle to appear on the track. The music is provided by an orchestra arranged and conducted by George Martin.

Composition

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

George Martin’s arrangement is lush, and intentionally so. Lennon is said to have wanted the song to sound “real cheesy”, like a Gordon Jenkins-esque Old Hollywood production number. The musicians play the following instruments: twelve violins, three violas, three cellos, one harp, three flutes, one clarinet, one horn, one vibraphone, and one string bass. The Mike Sammes Singers also took part in the recording, providing backing vocals.

Starr became the third member of the group (after Paul McCartney and George 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 the words: “Good night… Good night, everybody… Everybody, everywhere… Good night.

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.

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.

FromĀ 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 13, 2017

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)

Official album • Released in 1968

3:14 • Studio versionA • Mono

Ringo Starr:
Vocals
George Martin:
Celesta, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
Pat Whitmore:
Backing vocals
Irene King:
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas:
Backing vocals
Mike Redway:
Backing vocals
Peter Bown:
Engineer
Ingrid Thomas:
Backing vocals
Val Stockwell:
Backing vocals
Ross Gilmour:
Backing vocals
Ken Barrie:
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)

Official album • Released in 1968

3:14 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Ringo Starr:
Vocals
George Martin:
Celesta, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
Pat Whitmore:
Backing vocals
Irene King:
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas:
Backing vocals
Mike Redway:
Backing vocals
Peter Bown:
Engineer
Ingrid Thomas:
Backing vocals
Val Stockwell:
Backing vocals
Ross Gilmour:
Backing vocals
Ken Barrie:
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:
Engineer
Ken Scott:
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 versionR2018 • Stereo

Ringo Starr:
Vocals
George Martin:
Celesta, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Ken Scott:
Engineer
Pat Whitmore:
Backing vocals
Irene King:
Backing vocals
Fred Lucas:
Backing vocals
Mike Redway:
Backing vocals
Peter Bown:
Engineer
Ingrid Thomas:
Backing vocals
Val Stockwell:
Backing vocals
Ross Gilmour:
Backing vocals
Ken Barrie:
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 (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Outtake • Unnumbered rehearsal


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Outtake • Take 10 with a guitar part from Take 5


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Outtake • Take 22

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.


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