|Song by the Beatles from the album Abbey Road|
|Released||26 September 1969|
2 July – 15 August 1969|
EMI Studios, London
"Golden Slumbers" is a song by the Beatles, part of the climactic medley on their 1969 album Abbey Road. The song begins the progression that leads to the end of the album and is followed by "Carry That Weight". The two songs were recorded together as a single piece, and both were written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney), strings and brass arranged and scored by producer George Martin.
"Golden Slumbers" is based on the poem "Cradle Song", a lullaby by the dramatist Thomas Dekker. The poem appears in Dekker's 1603 comedy Patient Grissel. McCartney saw sheet music for Dekker's lullaby at his father's home in Liverpool, left on a piano by his stepsister Ruth. Unable to read music, he created his own music. McCartney uses the first stanza of the original poem, with minor word changes, adding to it a single lyric line repeated with minor variation. Abbey Road does not credit Dekker with the stanza or with the title. Thomas Dekker's poem was set to music by Peter Warlock in 1918, also by Charles Villiers Stanford and Alfredo Casella.
McCartney was the lead vocalist. He begins the song in a soft tone appropriate for a lullaby, with piano, bass guitar, and string section accompaniment. Beginning with the line "Golden slumbers fill your eyes", the drums come in and McCartney switches to a stronger tone, both of which emphasise the switch to the refrain. McCartney said, "I remember trying to get a very strong vocal on it, because it was such a gentle theme, so I worked on the strength of the vocal on it, and ended up quite pleased with it."
The main recording session for "Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight" was on 2 July 1969. John Lennon was not present. He was injured in a motor vehicle accident in Scotland on 1 July, and was hospitalised there until 6 July.
Drums, timpani, and additional vocals were added in an overdub session on 31 July, the same day the first trial edit of the side two medley was created. Lennon did participate in this session. On 15 August, orchestral overdubs were made to "Golden Slumbers" and five other songs on Abbey Road.
- Uncredited – twelve violins, four violas, four cellos, double bass, four horns, three trumpets, trombone, bass trombone
- Personnel per Ian MacDonald
|1969||George Benson||The Other Side of Abbey Road|
|1970||John Denver||Whose Garden Was This|
|1970||Booker T. & the M.G.'s||McLemore Avenue|
|1970||Ramsey Lewis||The Piano Player|
|1973||Lou Rawls||Live at the Century Plaza (Rebound)|
|1976||Bee Gees||All This and World War II soundtrack||Medley with "Carry That Weight"|
|1978||Peter Frampton||Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band|
|1991||Jackson Browne and Jennifer Warnes||For Our Children: To Benefit the Pediatrics AIDS Foundation|
|1991||Alf Clausen||The Simpsons episode "Lisa's Pony"||Excerpt|
|1996||Dread Zeppelin||The Fun Sessions|
|1998||Phil Collins||In My Life||For the George Martin tribute album|
|1998||Barbara Dickson||The 7 Ages of Woman||Recording of her one-woman show|
|1998||Andrés Calamaro||Las Otras Caras de Alta Suciedad|
|1999||Type O Negative||World Coming Down||final part of The Beatles' medley "Daytripper"|
|2002||Ben Folds||I Am Sam soundtrack|
|2003||Alex Lloyd||Coming Home||B-side of single|
|2005||Les Fradkin||While My Guitar Only Plays||Instrumental|
|2006||k.d. lang||Happy Feet: Music from the Motion Picture||A mashup with "The End"|
|2006||Nia Vardalos||Unexpected Dreams – Songs From the Stars|
|2009||Cheap Trick||Sgt. Pepper Live|
|2009||Mumford & Sons||Radcliffe and Maconie Session|
|2009||Will Young||Dermot O'Leary Saturday Sessions|
|2010||Kazuyoshi Saito||Golden Slumber Original soundtrack||the theme song of a Japanese motion picture Golden Slumber|
|2010||Nenad Bach||All I Want Is Freedom||recorded with Nenad Bach Band|
|2011||Josh Young||Still Dreaming of Paradise|
|2013||Beatallica||Abbey Load||Uses the melody of Metallica's "Until It Sleeps"|
|2013||Jane Monheit||The Heart of the Matter||Medley with "Long and Winding Road"|
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 178.
- Miles 1997, p. 557.
- Sheff 2000, p. 203.
- Dekker, Chettle & Haughton 1603.
- "Lullaby for voice & piano - Peter Warlock - Details, Parts / Movements and Recordings - AllMusic". AllMusic.
- Lewisohn, p. 177.
- Lewisohn, p. 183.
- Lewisohn, p. 184.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 355.
- "Beatallica - Abbey Load".
- Dekker, Thomas; Chettle, Henry; Haughton, William (1603). The Pleasant Comodie of Patient Grissill. Google Books.
- Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
- Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt & Company. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.
- Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-25464-4.
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