AUTHORSHIP McCartney (.7) and Thomas Dekker (.3)
Paul wrote "Golden Slumbers" at Rembrandt, his father's house in Liverpool. Jim McCartney had remarried, giving Paul a stepsister, Ruth, and some of her sheet music was on the piano, including Thomas Dekker's lullaby "Golden Slumbers."
McCARTNEY: "I liked the words so much. I thought it was very restful, a very beautiful lullaby, but I couldn't read the melody, not being able to read music. So I just took the words and wrote my own music. I didn't know at the time it was four hundred years old."
It was first published in Dekker's The Pleasant Comedy of Old Fortunatus in 1603 so it was well out of copyright. Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now
McCARTNEY: "I was at my father's house in Cheshire messing about on the piano and I came across the traditional tune 'Golden Slumbers' in a songbook of Ruth's [his step-sister]. And I thought it would be nice to write my own 'Golden Slumbers.' " Beatles in Their Own Words
"I can't ready music and I couldn't remember the old tune, so I started playing my tune to it, and I liked the words so I just kept that." Beatles Forever
The original "Golden Slumbers" was a four-hundred-year-old poem by Thomas Dekker. A-Z
McCartney changed the lyrics slightly. The original lines, as written by Dekker:
Golden slumbers kiss your eyes;
smiles awake you when you rise.
Sleep pretty wantons do not cry,
and I will sing a lullaby.
Rock them, rock them, lullaby. Beatles Forever
"Golden Slumbers" and "Carry That Weight" were recorded as one song July 2, 1969, at Abbey Road. Overdubbing was added July 3, 4, 30, and 31 and August 15.
McCARTNEY: "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." Paul McCartney: Many Years from Now
McCARTNEY: bass, piano, lead vocal
SESSION MUSICIANS: strings
COMMENTS BY BEATLES
HARRISON: ". . . Another very melodic tune of Paul's which is also quite nice." Late 1969, The Beatles: A Celebration
COMMENTS BY OTHERS
BOB ZEMECKIS, film director: "The first 8mm films I made when I was thirteen had Beatles music on the soundtracks. Even my first 16mm film at USC used 'Golden Slumbers' on the track." Crawdaddy (June 1978)