Dig a Pony

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"Dig a Pony"
Song by the Beatles from the album Let It Be
Released May 8, 1970 (1970-05-08)
Recorded 30 January 1969 (rooftop concert)
Genre Hard rock[1]
Length 3:52
Label Apple, EMI
Writer Lennon–McCartney
Producer Phil Spector
Let It Be track listing
Music sample

"Dig a Pony" is a song by the Beatles, originally released on their 1970 album Let It Be. "Dig a Pony" was the penultimate song played at the concert on the rooftop of Apple Studios in Savile Row, London on 30 January 1969.

Composition[edit]

John Lennon was the song's composer and singer but the song was credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was originally called "All I Want Is You". Lennon would later comment that he thought the song was "a piece of garbage,"[2] though he has shown similar scorn for many of his songs. It was written for his soon-to-be wife Yoko Ono, and featured a multitude of strange, seemingly nonsense phrases which were strung together in what Lennon refers to as a Bob Dylan style of lyric. The working title for the song, "All I want is you"[3] was originally the title of another composition by Lennon for Yoko, from which the chorus was taken.

Early American copies of Let It Be mistitled this song as "I Dig A Pony."

Recording[edit]

The song was one of the songs on Let It Be that was recorded at the rooftop concert, with an assistant holding up Lennon's lyrics for him as a cue.[4] It begins with a false start, with Ringo Starr yelling "Hold it!" to halt the other band members because he was holding a cigarette and had only one drum stick in his hand. On the Anthology 3 version of this song, the first verse and the end of the song start off with Paul McCartney singing "All I want is..." This phrase appeared in every performance of the song but was cut from the final version by Phil Spector, and subsequently cut from the Let It Be... Naked version.[5]

In rehearsals and takes, the last variation on "dig a pony" was "dog a boney," perhaps a reference to "This Old Man". This is the lyric that appears on Glyn Johns' assembly of Get Back. On the Anthology version, Lennon sang the spoonerism "bog a doney." During the rooftop concert, Lennon substituted what sounds like "rode a lorry," and this is the version that appears on both the Let It Be album and Let It Be... Naked.

Personnel[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

The Red Hot Chili Peppers borrowed the intro of "Dig a Pony" as an introduction to their song "I Could Die For You" while touring to support their 2002 album By the Way.

Yellow Matter Custard covered the song in their 2003 tour.

St. Vincent covered the song during live performances, particularly during the Marry Me and Actor era tours, as well as a recording with Black Cab Sessions in October 2007.

It has also been covered by Laibach on their album Let It Be, which is a complete re-working of the Beatles album.

Chris Lightcap recorded an instrumental version of the song for his 2002 album Bigmouth.

Ray LaMontagne and David Gray performed this song live during their 2010 tour together.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Most of the rest of the material, by contrast, was going through the motions to some degree, although there are some good moments of straight hard rock in "I've Got a Feeling" and "Dig a Pony".""Let It Be: Album Review". Allmusic. Retrieved 15 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying. New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 205. ISBN 0-312-25464-4. 
  3. ^ Fontenot, Robert. "Dig A Pony on About.com". About.com. Retrieved 13 September 2012. 
  4. ^ "92 - 'Dig a Pony'". 100 Greatest Beatles Songs. Rolling Stone. 
  5. ^ Hurwitz, Matt (2004-01-01). "The Naked Truth About the Beatles' Let It Be Naked". Mix Online. Retrieved 2011-08-20. 

External links[edit]