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"Cry Baby Cry"

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Cry baby cry:
Make your mother sigh...


Despite the once-upon-a-time scenario, populated by kings and queens, dukes and duchesses and their rascally royal rugrats, I've always been pretty convinced that "cry-baby" was John Winston himself: well aware that his new-found Mother Superior wasn't gonna put up with none of his crap.

She's old enough to know better,
So cry baby cry...


Though Lennon dismissed the song as "a piece of rubbish", it's a particularly elaborate piece of garbage; the complexities of the instrumentation evoking the ever-so-slightly disconcerting Brothers Grimm meet Lewis Carroll imagery of the lyric impeccably. Piano, organ and GM's harmonium blend with the guitars to weave the spell, with some magical percussion from Mr Starr. It's said that this was the track they were working on when Geoff Emerick walked out: though a severe case of revolobliditis was what had really made him sick — along with the general bad-vibe at the time.

John's wordplay works wonderfully in conjuring up the surrealistic scenes in the ivory towers of the castle: the colourful characters all coming and going without ever really doing anything at all. Even the midnight séance is just an illusion in the dark:

The voices out of nowhere
Put on specially by the children for a lark.


His dreamy vocal is a further part of the song's enchantment.

Paul's "Can You Take Me Back" coda — conspicuous by its absence on the Anthology first take — was actually a segment from a jam around "I Will" and is now considered as a track in its own right by certain sources. Whatever the case, it does provide a fittingly creepy close to "Cry Baby", as well as bridging it into the following wodge of weirdness...

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