I'm So Tired

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"I'm So Tired"
Song by the Beatles from the album The Beatles
Released 22 November 1968
Recorded 8 October 1968
EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock
Length 2:03
Label Apple Records
Writer Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin
The Beatles track listing
Music sample

"I'm So Tired" is a song by the Beatles from their double-disc album The Beatles (also known as The White Album). It was written and sung by John Lennon, though credited to Lennon–McCartney.

Composition[edit]

Lennon wrote the song at a Transcendental Meditation camp when he could not sleep; the Beatles had gone on a retreat to study with the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in Rishikesh, India. After three weeks of constant meditation and lectures, Lennon missed his soon-to-be wife, Yoko Ono, and was plagued by insomnia that inspired the song. One of dozens of songs the Beatles wrote in India, "I'm So Tired" detailed Lennon's fragile state of mind. It was also an open letter to Ono, whose postcards to Lennon in India were a lifeline. "I got so excited about her letters," he said. "I started thinking of her as a woman, and not just an intellectual woman."[1] Lennon later said of it: "One of my favourite tracks. I just like the sound of it, and I sing it well".[2]

The theme of insomnia complements Lennon's earlier song "I'm Only Sleeping" on the Revolver album.

The song is in the key of A major and features Lennon singing the main tune in a slow, flowing fashion while the rest of the band sings the chorus, which is repeated twice and yelled at the end of the second time.

Recording[edit]

An early demo of the song was recorded at George Harrison's Esher home, in May 1968. It was basically identical to the released version, in terms of verse, but it does include a spoken section reminiscent of a similar section in "Happiness Is A Warm Gun". It goes as such:

When I hold you, in your arms,
When you show me, each one of your charms,
I wonder should I get up, and go to the funny farm.
No, no, no!

This section was probably improvised at the time, as it was never used again. The song was recorded on 8 October 1968 and was completed including all overdubs in this one session.[3] The Beatles also started and completed "The Continuing Story of Bungalow Bill" during the same recording session.[3] The chorus of the monaural mix of the song features louder backing vocals from Paul McCartney than the stereo mix.

"Paul is dead" conspiracy[edit]

See also: Paul is dead

At the very end of the song, what seems to be nonsensical mumbling can be heard in the background. The mumbling, if played backwards can be imagined as something along the lines of "Paul is a dead man. Miss him. Miss him. Miss him."[4] This only adds to the many supposed references to the "Paul is dead" conspiracy scattered throughout the White album. Mark Lewisohn has said that the nonsensical mumbling is actually Lennon muttering, "Monsieur, monsieur, how about another one?"[3]

Cover versions[edit]

  • Elliott Smith covered the song during several live performances.
  • Alex Chilton recorded the song in 1975, during sessions that would eventually be released as Bach's Bottom in 1981.
  • Phish covered the song on Halloween night 1994 at Glens Falls Civic Center for a musical costume where they covered the entire white album. Mike Gordon took lead vocals.
  • You Am I covered the song on their Jaimme's Got A Gal single in 1994.
  • Say Hi covered the song on their 2004 album Numbers & Mumbles.
  • Silverchair covered the song on their Young Modern Tour.
  • Kasabian covered the song at the Little Noise Sessions in 2006 and in subsequent radio sessions.
  • Nellie McKay covers the song in her cabaret act "I Want to Live" and during concerts.

Personnel[edit]

Personnel per Ian MacDonald[5]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "83 – 'I'm So Tired'". 100 Greatest Beatles Songs. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 June 2012. 
  2. ^ Sheff 2000, p. 199.
  3. ^ a b c Lewisohn 1988, p. 160.
  4. ^ I'm So Tired – Backwards
  5. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 324.

References[edit]

External links[edit]