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"I'm Only Sleeping"

Categories: Beatles songs

Following on from "Nowhere Man", and anticipating The White Album's "I'm So Tired", Lennon continues to make his 'nowhere plans' with "I'm Only Sleeping". Leave me alone with my doubts and my dreams, I'm not hurting anyone else. You may say he was a dreamer, but he certainly wasn't the only one lying there and staring at the ceiling through a cloud of cannabis smoke back then...

Please don't wake me,
No don't shake me,
Leave me where I am,
I'm only sleeping.

Mind you, he was a crafty sod was that John. While ostensibly appearing to be doing nothing and going nowhere, he was always very astutely

Keeping an eye
On the world going by my window...

The distorted echo on the vocal and reversed guitar solos reflect the slurry somnambulist sentiments perfectly. The backward sound had first been used on "Rain", the B-side of "Paperback Writer", recorded around the same time and released as a single in May. Lennon claimed to have invented the technique by mis-loading a tape machine, stoned at home one night. The disconscerting stop-start bassline and shuffling percussion further evoke "that sleepy feeling".

Rather less innovative was the clumsy duophonic mix it was subjected to in order to be rush-released on the American "Yesterday"... And Today album, a couple of months ahead of Revolver.
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