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"I Will"

Categories: Beatles songs

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Paul, John and Ringo hanging out with guitars in Rishikesh, 1968
The tune for "I Will" was, as with other acoustic White tracks, a result of those Rishikesh jam sessions with Donovan. "It's still one of my favourite melodies that I've written", says Paul. Coming up with a suitable lyric for it, however, proved to be a rather trickier affair.

Reputedly, this was his first song for Linda — but with its past, present and future ponderings (a very McCartney ploy) I can't help but feel that the memory of other "friends and lovers" (to quote John) also helped to colour its sentiments. In fact, although he had met Ms Eastman on several occasions, and had obviously managed to 'catch her name', at the time of recording he was 'dating' Francie Schwartz — whose presence in bed with him had proved to be the final straw for Jane Asher. But it never really mattered: a month or so after the album's release, Linda was expecting Daughter Mary...

The melody is exquisite, and Paul's playing and singing don't fail to do it justice. Mind you, with sixty-odd takes to get there, you wouldn't really expect otherwise, would you now? His 'vocal bass' is a particularly endearing feature of the track, tastefully tempered by Bongo's ringos and a little Lennussion — and that good ol' Abbey Road Ambience is all there, even if George wasn't part of it that day. He more than compensated with his impromptu ukelele rendition during one of their Anthology interview reunions. Timeless! Like the song itself:

Love you forever and forever,
Love you with all my heart.
Love you whenever we're together,
Love you when we're apart.


Un amic meu brought to my attention a version by a kids' choir, accompanied by a piano, singing it to Annette Bening in the film Love Affair. Either one of the sweetest or the sickliest Beatles covers around, depending on your POV...

Well played, too, whoever thought to include the original little gem on the Love Songs collection.

Sing it loud so I can hear you
— Ah you know I will!

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