Golden Slumbers

"Golden Slumbers"
Song by the Beatles from the album Abbey Road
Released 26 September 1969
Recorded 2 July – 15 August 1969
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock
Length 1:31
Label Apple Records
Writer(s) Paul McCartney
Producer(s) George Martin
Music sample
"Golden Slumbers"

"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,[1] and both were written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney),[2][3] 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.[1][2] McCartney uses the first stanza of the original poem, with minor word changes,[4] 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.[5]


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."[2]

The main recording session for "Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight" was on 2 July 1969.[1] 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.[6]

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.[7] Lennon did participate in this session. On 15 August, orchestral overdubs were made to "Golden Slumbers" and five other songs on Abbey Road.[8]


Personnel per Ian MacDonald[9]

Other recordings

Year Artist Release Notes
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
1971 Elis Regina Ela
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 Overboard Help! a cappella
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"[10]
2013 Jane Monheit The Heart of the Matter Medley with "Long and Winding Road"



  • 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. 

External links

Wikiquote has quotations related to: Abbey Road
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