The Paul McCartney Project

I Will

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

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

I Will” is a song by the Beatles that was released on The Beatles. It was written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and features him on lead vocal, guitar, and “vocal bass”.

Background

I Will” was one of the songs worked on by the Beatles and their associates while in Rishikesh, India. Although the music came together fairly easily, the words were worked on in India, and remained unfinished even as recording began back in London.

Recording

This quiet song required 67 takes, and George Harrison did not play (during The Beatles sessions, the Beatles often recorded in separate studios). However, the reason for Harrison’s absence from the session has never been clarified.

During take 19 of “I Will“, McCartney ad-libbed an untitled and uncopyrighted song (referred to as “Can you take me back?” by author Ian MacDonald), a 28-second segment of which ended up on side 4 of the album The Beatles as what MacDonald described as “a sinister introduction to “Revolution 9”. Also ad-libbed by McCartney was “Los Paranoias“, released, together with take 1 of “I Will“, in 1996 on Anthology 3.

Anthology

In the televised documentary The Beatles Anthology, McCartney, Harrison, and Starr are shown relaxing on a blanket outside. Starr asks McCartney what he wrote in India and McCartney answers, “I Will.” Then Harrison begins playing this on his ukulele while he and McCartney harmonize with it.

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

I was doing a song, I Will, that I had as a melody for quite a long time but I didn’t have any lyrics to it. I remember sitting around with Donovan, and maybe a couple of other people. We were just sitting around one evening after our day of meditation and I played him this one and he liked it and we were trying to write some words. We kicked around a few lyrics, something about the moon, but they weren’t very satisfactory and I thought the melody was better than the words so I didn’t use them. I kept searching for better words and I wrote my own set in the end; very simple words, straight love-song words really. I think they’re quite effective. It’s still one of my favourite melodies that I’ve written. You just occasionally get lucky with a melody and it becomes rather complete and I think this is one of them; quite a complete tune.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 26 Sep 1968.
    UK: Apple PMC 7067 white album 1968.
  • [b] stereo 14 Oct 1968.
    UK: Apple PCS 7067 white album 1968.
    US: Apple SWBO 101 white album 1968.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46443 2 white album 1987.

This started as 4 track and was copied to 8 track, so it’s 2d generation. The “bass” (vocal) starts later in mono [a], after the first verse.

Last updated on August 20, 2016

Lyrics

Who knows how long I've loved you
You know I love you still
Will I wait a lonely lifetime?
If you want me to, I will

And if I ever saw you
I didn't catch your name
But it never really mattered
I will always feel the same

Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart

And when at last I find you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
For the things you do endear you to me
Oh, you know I will

Love you forever and forever
Love you with all my heart
Love you whenever we're together
Love you when we're apart

And when at last I found you
Your song will fill the air
Sing it loud so I can hear you
Make it easy to be near you
All the things you do endear you to me
Oh, you know I will
Oh, you know I will
Oh, you know I will
Oh, you know I will

Officially appears on


The Beatles (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1968

1:46 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Bongos, Cymbals, Maracas
John Lennon:
Percussion
Chris Thomas:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer

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

Session Overdubs:
Sep 17, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Sep 26, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1968

1:46 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Bongos, Cymbals, Maracas
John Lennon:
Percussion
Chris Thomas:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer

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

Session Overdubs:
Sep 17, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 14, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Anthology 3

Official album • Released in 1996

1:55 • OuttakeC • Stereo • Take 1. From the same session as the Step Inside Love and Los Paranoias jams, this is Take 1 of I Will, in which Paul sang and played acoustic guitar while John and Ringo added a percussive accompaniment. Paul would have realised quite early on - if not beforehand, indeed - that this performance would not be the master (which turned out to be Take 67) but as a first run-through it captures all the essential ingredients.

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Percussion
John Lennon:
Percussion
Chris Thomas:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer

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


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

1:46 • Studio versionR2018 • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Bongos, Cymbals, Maracas
John Lennon:
Percussion
Chris Thomas:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer

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

Session Overdubs:
Sep 17, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Oct 14, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Outtake • Take 13


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Outtake • Take 29

Bootlegs



On the Run in Montreal

Unofficial live

3:02 • Live

Concert From the concert in Montreal, Canada on Jul 26, 2011


Live In Iowa 2005

Unofficial live

4:25 • Live

Concert From the concert in Des Moines, USA on Oct 27, 2005


Meet The Threetles

Unofficial album

0:29 • Demo


Yellow Submarine Sessions

Unofficial album

1:47 • Outtake • RS From Take 68 Stereo


Live performances

“I Will” has been played in 42 concerts.

Latest concerts where “I Will” has been played





London • O2 Arena

Dec 05, 2011 • Part of On The Run Tour


Koln • Laxness Arena

Dec 01, 2011 • Part of On The Run Tour



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