Paul McCartney says he stole part of the lyrics of ‘Golden Slumbers’

Credited to Lennon and McCartney, the song “Golden Slumbers”,  was one of the final tracks from The Beatles classic album “Abbey Road” and is usually performed by Paul on his live shows as the beginning of a “medley” which includes “Carry That Weight” and “The End”, being performed in the order they appear on that classic album. Over the decades the love for that track became bigger among the fans and in an interview with the iHeart Podcast “McCartney: A Life In Lyrics, The Beatles” (Transcribed by Music Radar), Paul said that he stole part of the lyrics of that song.

He explained that when he sees a piano, he always looks at the sheet music that is displayed on it and once he came across part of the lyrics he used in “Golden Slumbers”. He said that it is called “stealing” but although he got part of those lyrics from an old Victorian song, it has a totally different melody, because he can’t read music, so he had no idea about the music that was written below the lyrics.

Paul McCartney says he stole part of the lyrics of ‘Golden Slumbers’

“I always look in a piano bench seat because people always have sheet music in there. They always used to, definitely. Now, sometimes they can be empty, but I always look to see. This time it was either in the piano seat or it might have been up on the music stand, it was this song ‘Golden Slumbers’.”

“Golden slumbers fill your eyes. Smiles await you when you rise. Sleep, pretty baby, do not cry. And I will sing a lullaby’. That chorus that I’ve used was literally the lyrics to an old Victorian song.”

He continued:

Golden Slumbers (Remastered 2009)


The interviewer then asked him if that was an early version of “sampling” and he replied: “Well it’s called stealing. But because I don’t read music, I didn’t know what the melody that went with it was. So I put my own melody to it and just took these words.”

“It’s turned out to be quite soulful. I think that’s attracted me those lyrics in the first place. It’s like consoling a baby or reading kids a bedtime story. I find there’s something very deep in that. Very human and international – it strikes a chord with me,” Paul McCartney said.

As he said in the interview, the rest of the lyrics to that song were inspired by being away from home. At the time he had been away from home for a while and he finally had the chance to go home and see his father.

John Lennon curiously wasn’t part of the recording of the song. Paul was the singer and played the piano, George played the 6-string bass guitar and Ringo Starr was in charge of the drums and timpani.

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