The Paul McCartney Project

Watching Rainbows

Written by • Unreleased song

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Watching Rainbows” is an unreleased song by the Beatles recorded on 14 January 1969 during the massive Get Back sessions at Twickenham Studios. It features John Lennon on lead vocal and electric piano, Paul McCartney on lead guitar, and Ringo Starr on drums; bass guitar is absent from the song because Paul McCartney is playing the absent George Harrison’s usual role as lead electric guitar. George Harrison had temporarily left the group at this stage of the sessions.

Origins

It was improvised by Lennon while he, Starr and McCartney were running through two other songs of his, the future Abbey Road‘s “Mean Mr. Mustard” and the unreleased song “Madman”, which the Beatles ultimately abandoned after a few run-throughs.

The song is very often associated with three other songs by the Beatles:

  1. The first song associated with it is the structurally similar McCartney tune “I’ve Got a Feeling”, which the Beatles eventually released.
  2. One of the most intelligible pieces of lyric in the whole song is the oft-repeated line “Standing in the garden, waiting for the sun to shine,” which is reminiscent of a line from an earlier Beatles tune, “I Am the Walrus“, which contains the line “Sitting in an English garden, waiting for the sun.” Because of this slight similarity, the song is often interpreted as being derived or loosely inspired by “I Am the Walrus“.
  3. The third song connected to it, because it was being played right before they went off into “Watching Rainbows“, is “Mean Mr. Mustard“.

Watching Rainbows” appeared as one of the three songs that made “I’ve Got a Feeling“. The other two songs were “I’ve Got a Feeling“, and Lennon’s “Everyone Had a Hard Year“, which is another unreleased song from the Get Back sessions.

Bootlegs


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 14th, 1969 - 3 & 4

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

4:30 • Rehearsal • Jan.14 - D3-03 - Watching Rainbows 14.33

Session Recording:
Jan 14, 1969
Studio :
Twickenham Film Studios, London, UK


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 14th, 1969 - 3 & 4

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

0:59 • Rehearsal • Jan.14 - D3-05 - Watching Rainbows 14.35

Session Recording:
Jan 14, 1969
Studio :
Twickenham Film Studios, London, UK


No. 3 Abbey Road N.W. 8

Unofficial album • Released in 2011

Studio version

Paul McCartney :
Lead guitar
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Electric piano, Lead vocals

No. 3 Abbey Road N.W. 8

Unofficial album • Released in 2011

Studio version

Paul McCartney :
Lead guitar
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Electric piano, Lead vocals

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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