Golden Slumbers, 1938 and 1969

I was an enormous Beatles fan as a teenager (well, I still am). In fact, they’re the reason I live in Liverpool now. I came up here for a University Open Day twenty-two years ago, spent all of ten minutes in the history department, then took the rest of the day off to look for another kind of history – old Beatles haunts around the city.

I remember reading about how their song Golden Slumbers from the 1969 album Abbey Road came about. Paul McCartney was saying he had seen a music book at his dad’s house with a old song of that name in it. He liked the title and, as he couldn’t read music to find out how the tune went, he wrote his own melody instead.

This is the original, from The Weekend Book, 1938. As you can see, Paul kept part of the lyric mostly intact.


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