Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"I Me Mine"

"I Me Mine" is a Beatles song, written and sung by George Harrison. The song traces its origins to the January 1969 Get Back/Let It Be sessions, when it was rehearsed by the band at Twickenham Studios. The Let It Be film features a segment in which Harrison plays the song for Ringo Starr, describing it as "a heavy waltz"; the band is then seen performing the tune while John Lennon dances with Yoko Ono.


Quoted from Harrison: "[I Me Mine is] about the ego, the eternal problem." The set of pronouns which forms the song's title is a conventional way of referring to the ego in a Hindu context. For example, the Bhagavad Gita 2:71-72 can be translated as "They are forever free who renounce all selfish desires and break away from the ego-cage of "I," "me," and "mine" to be united with the Lord. This is the supreme state. Attain to this, and pass from death to immortality." Perhaps unconsciously, the song also reflects Harrison's reaction to the clashes of egos in the Beatles' painful closing days as a group.

George, after receiving his "eternal problem" inspiration, played some chords to the 6/8 time signature, and added a bluesy bridge. The song was inspired by the incidental music for a BBC television program, Europa—The Titled and the Untitled, which aired on January 7, 1969; Harrison wrote the song that night and performed the song for the other Beatles the following morning.

It is also the title of George Harrison's autobiography, published in 1980 as a hand-bound, limited edition book by Genesis Publications. Limited to 2,000 signed copies, I Me Mine also featured a foreword by Derek Taylor. The Genesis limited edition sold out soon after publication, and was subsequently published in hardback and paperback in black ink only by Simon and Schuster in New York and by W H Allen in London. I Me Mine was re-published, with a new Foreword from Olivia Harrison, in 2002.

Recording and Release

The song was released on the Let It Be album; however, the Beatles did not properly record the song during the January 1969 sessions. When director Michael Lindsay-Hogg chose to include the "I Me Mine" segment in the Let It Be film, the Beatles decided to make a proper recording of I Me Mine for inclusion on the accompanying album. Paul McCartney, George and Ringo (with John Lennon, having privately quit the group in September 1969, not present) met in the studio on January 3, 1970 to record a new version of the song. This version of the song begins with George stating, in a joking reference to Lennon's absence and the British pop group Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, "You all will have read that Dave Dee is no longer with us, but Mickey and Tich and I, just like to carry on the good work that's always gone down in number two", (meaning Abbey Road Studio Two). Their final rendition lasted 1:45 (this original version would later be included on The Beatles Anthology Vol. 3 CD); Phil Spector extended it by copying and repeating a section. Spector also overdubbed a string accompaniment. The final version as "re-produced" by Spector was featured on the re-titled Get Back album, Let It Be. A similar edit, without Spector's overdubs of strings, is available on 2003's Let It Be… Naked.

The January 1970 recording session for this song is the last recording session by The Beatles (at least until the Free as a Bird/Real Love reunion sessions), although the sessions for "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and "The End" in August 1969 were the last recorded collectively by all four Beatles.

Cover Versions

Marc Ford recorded his version of the song for "Songs from the Material World: a Tribute to George Harrison" album


* George Harrison - Vocal, Lead Guitar, Acoustic Guitar
* Paul McCartney - Bass, Harmony Vocal, Fender-Rhodes Piano, Hammond Organ
* Ringo Starr - Drums

Orchestra Arranged and Inserted By Phil Spector

Album: Let It Be
Released: 8 May 1970
Recorded: Abbey Road Studios, 3 January and 1 April 1970
Genre: Folk blues, hard rock, waltz
Length: 2:25
Label: Apple, EMI
Writer: George Harrison
Producer: George Martin, Phil Spector


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