The Paul McCartney Project

I'm So Tired

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’m So Tired” is a song by the Beatles from their double-disc album The Beatles (also known as The White Album). It was written and sung by John Lennon, though credited to Lennon–McCartney.

Composition

Lennon wrote the song at a Transcendental Meditation camp when he could not sleep; the Beatles had gone on a retreat to study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India. After three weeks of constant meditation and lectures, Lennon missed Yoko Ono, who he’d yet to start a relationship with, and was plagued by insomnia, which inspired the song. One of dozens of songs the Beatles wrote in India, “I’m So Tired” detailed Lennon’s fragile state of mind. It was also an open letter to Ono, whose postcards to Lennon in India were a lifeline. “I got so excited about her letters,” he said. “I started thinking of her as a woman, and not just an intellectual woman.” Lennon later said of it: “One of my favourite tracks. I just like the sound of it, and I sing it well“.

The theme of insomnia complements Lennon’s earlier song “I’m Only Sleeping” on the Revolver album.

The song is in the key of A major and features Lennon singing the main tune in a slow, flowing fashion while the rest of the band sings the chorus, which is repeated twice and yelled at the end of the second time.

Recording

An early demo of the song was recorded at George Harrison’s Esher home, in May 1968. It was basically identical to the released version, in terms of verse, but it does include a spoken section reminiscent of a similar section in “Happiness Is A Warm Gun“. It goes as such:

When I hold you, in your arms,
When you show me, each one of your charms,
I wonder should I get up, and go to the funny farm.
No, no, no!

This section was probably improvised at the time, as it was never used again. The song was recorded on 8 October 1968 and was completed including all overdubs in this one session. The Beatles also started and completed “The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill” during the same recording session. The chorus of the monaural mix of the song features louder backing vocals from Paul McCartney than the stereo mix.

“Paul is dead” conspiracy

At the very end of the song, what seems to be nonsensical mumbling can be heard in the background. The mumbling, if played backwards can be imagined as something along the lines of “Paul is a dead man. Miss him. Miss him. Miss him.” This only adds to the many supposed references to the “Paul is dead” conspiracy scattered throughout the White album. Mark Lewisohn has said that the nonsensical mumbling is actually Lennon muttering, “Monsieur, monsieur, how about another one?” […]

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

I’m So Tired is very much John’s comment to the world, and it had that very special line, ‘And curse Sir Walter Raleigh, he was such a stupid get.’ That’s a classic line and it’s so John that there’s no doubt that he wrote it. I think it’s 100 per cent John. Being tired was one of his themes; he wrote I’m Only Sleeping. I think we were all pretty tired but he chose to write about it.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 15 Oct 1968.
    UK: Apple PMC 7067 white album 1968.
  • [b] stereo 15 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.

Paul’s harmony at the first “You’d say” is louder in mono [a]. The muttering after the song is part of this recording.

From the Anthology 3 liner notes:

Into the fifth month of the recording the White Album, two more John Lennon songs – I’m So Tired and The Continuing Story Of Bungalow Bill – were added to the collection during a through-the-night Abbey Road session that ended at 8am. Now using eight-track recording machines on a regular basis for the first time, I’m So Tired was taped live, the master (Take 14) including minimal overdubbing. John would often perform a vocal with every take, and all the outtakes of I’m So Tired have one – presented here is an amalgam of takes 3, 6 and 9 that embrace all the best moments.

Last updated on May 13, 2017

Lyrics

I'm so tired, I haven't slept a wink
I'm so tired, my mind is on the blink
I wonder, should I get up and fix myself a drink?
No no no

I'm so tired, I don't know what to do
I'm so tired, my mind is set on you
I wonder, should I call you? But I know what you would do

You'd say I'm putting you on, but it's no joke
It's doing me harm, you know I can't sleep
I can't stop my brain, you know it's three weeks
I'm going insane

You know I'd give you everything I've got
For a little peace of mind

I'm so tired, I'm feeling so upset
Although I'm so tired, I'll have another cigarette
And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
He was such a stupid git

You'd say I'm putting you on, but it's no joke
It's doing me harm, you know I can't sleep
I can't stop my brain, you know it's three weeks
I'm going insane

You know I'd give you everything I've got
For a little peace of mind
I'll give you everything I've got
For a little peace of mind
I'll give you everything I've got
For a little peace of mind

Officially appears on


The Beatles (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1968

2:04 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Electric piano, Harmony vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Lead guitar, Organ, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 08, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

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


The Beatles (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1968

2:04 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Electric piano, Harmony vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Lead guitar, Organ, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 08, 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

2:14 • OuttakeC • Stereo • Takes 3, 6 and 9. [...] Now using eight-track recording machines on a regular basis for the first time, I'm So Tired was taped live, the master (Take 14) including minimal overdubbing. John would often perform a vocal with every take, and all the outtakes of I'm So Tired have one - presented here is an amalgam of takes 3, 6 and 9 that embrace all the best moments.

George Martin:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 08, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

2:04 • Studio versionR2018 • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Electric piano, Harmony vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
John Lennon:
Acoustic guitar, Lead guitar, Organ, Vocals
George Harrison:
Lead guitar
George Martin:
Producer
Ken Scott:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Oct 08, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

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


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Demo

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


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Outtake • Take 7


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Outtake • Take 14

Bootlegs


Complete Acetate Collection 1961-1970

Unofficial album

2:23 • Studio version


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

3:11 • Studio version


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

2:11 • Studio version • Edit Of Takes 3 & 6 & 9 stereo


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

2:05 • Studio version • Rough Mixes A Of Take 14 Mono


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

2:16 • Studio version • Rough Mixes B Of Take 14 Mono


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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