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"I Me Mine"

Categories: Beatles songs

The Beatles practice George's "I Me Mine" (from the Let It Be film)

Paul, Ringo and George run through "I Me Mine" while John and Yoko dance to the waltz off-screen. (From the Let It Be film.)
"I Me Mine", Harrison's 'heavy waltz' against the egocentricity which he saw as humanity's bane is perhaps the densest musical passage from Let It Be.

Some critics have accused him of "coming on too strong all the time" with this one. I actually think that Harri was simply telling it like it was — after all, as some other geezer had put it, they did 'all want to change the world' back then: and the hippie generation's desire to make it a better place, however over-idealistic it may have been, was a far more positive attitude than the nihilism and/or downright apathy which has ensued. Furthermore, the "I Me Mine" attitude which continues to prevail at all levels of society remains the basis of all of its conflicts.

Reflecting on life within The Beatles' microcosm, George concluded that "there was a hell of a lot of ego". Whether or not he was including he him his own in the equation isn't clear, but he was very much in control of the song's lengthy evolution to its final form.

From his simple acoustic demo at Twickenham (dance on John and Yoko!) and discarding some clumsy flamenco-style bridging along the way, it was not until the following January that the definitive version was realized: by which time Lennon had unofficially waltzed out of the band. 'Keeping up the good work', it became the last complete song that the rest of them recorded, which kinda makes its ellipsis ending all the more poignant...

The keyboards (organ and piano) were Paul's work, leaving George to layer on the guitar textures: each one as awesome as the other. From the moody, broody verses to the flashing fury of the refrains, Ringo underpins the whole thing; as solid and dependable as ever. Macca's crashing bass descents are reminiscent of his playing on much of Abbey Road, already released by the time they finished this one.

Multi-tracking allowed Harrison to harmonize with his heartfelt lead vocal, helped out by McCartney in places,

Flowing more freely than wine.

Spector lengthened the original cut — available on Anthology 3 — by repeating a verse and chorus, also adding a choir, brass and strings. Naked maintained the extension ("ev'ryone's playing it"), but stripped away the orchestration, of course. ("Frightened of leaving it"?)

I'm not frightened of saying it: I personally feel that Phil's fills enhanced the overall feel of this particular track.

All through your life,
I Me Mine...
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