I Me Mine
|"I Me Mine"|
|Song by the Beatles from the album Let It Be|
|Released||8 May 1970|
|Recorded||3 January and 1 April 1970
Abbey Road Studios
|Genre||Blues rock, hard rock|
|Let It Be track listing|
"I Me Mine" is a song by the Beatles, written and sung by George Harrison. I Me Mine is also the title of Harrison's autobiography. The song traces its origins to the January 1969 Get Back/Let It Be sessions, when it was rehearsed by the band at Twickenham Film Studios. It was the last new song recorded by the band before their split in 1970.
I Me Mine is the ego problem. There are two 'I's: the little 'i' when people say 'I am this'; and the big 'I' - is duality and ego. There is nothing that isn't part of the complete whole. When the little 'i' merges into the big 'I' then you are really smiling!
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." Gould claimed that Harrison wrote the song "as a commentary on the selfishness of John and Paul" and considered it poignant that it was only properly recorded because, in the film made at Twickenham studios, it provided accompaniment to John and Yoko dancing. George was particularly upset at Twickenham "that his fellow Beatles could complain about the amount of time they had to spend learning the arrangement for 'I Me Mine' and then turn around and submit to a laborious rehearsal of a song like 'Maxwell's Silver Hammer' which struck George as a paragon of pop inanity."  Further, if "friends like Bob Dylan and Eric Clapton heard something worthwhile in material like 'All Things Must Pass'...what besides sheer egotism could account for the air of complete indifference with which Lennon and McCartney first greeted" both that tune and 'I Me Mine'?
After receiving his "eternal problem" inspiration, Harrison 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 7 January 1969; Harrison wrote the song that night and performed the song for the other Beatles the following morning.
The verses of this song are in the key of Am but the chorus is in A major. This technique of parallel minor/major contrast is also present in Beatles' songs including While My Guitar Gently Weeps, Savoy Truffle, The Fool on the Hill, Fixing a Hole, Michelle, Things We Said Today, Do You Want to Know a Secret and Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown). The song begins in 6/8 time on "All through the day" with a shift from the I minor (Am) chord to a IV (D7) which Dominic Pedler of Total Guitar magazine considers emphasises the Dorian mode. The progression in 3/4 time beginning with an F melody note on "Now they're frightened of leaving it" against minor iv (Dm) chord (the ♭3rd emphasising in Pedler's view the Aeolian mode) shifts to an V7 (E7) on "comin' on strong", but here (at 0.27 secs) the hauntingly strong ♭9 (F natural) melody note results in the suitably "dark drama" of the very rare (in pop music) E7♭9 chord in the key of Am. The song is also notable for concluding on an ♭VI (Fmaj7) chord in Am key.
Recording and release
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.
The song was released on the Let It Be album; however, the Beatles had not done a proper studio recording of 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 record the song for inclusion on the accompanying album. Paul McCartney, Harrison and Starr met in the studio on 3 January 1970, to record the group version of the song. John Lennon was not available; he was on holiday in Denmark. Lennon had privately quit the group in September 1969 so it is not known if he would have attended anyway.
The group recorded 16 takes of the song, the last of which was chosen for the album. Before take 15, Harrison delivered a mock press statement 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 would just like to carry on the good work that's always gone down in number two [EMI Studio 2]." The statement followed by take 16 was included on Anthology 3. Although final rendition only lasted 1:34, Phil Spector extended the length by copying and repeating a section. Spector also overdubbed a string and brass 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 but retaining the repeated section, is available on Let It Be... Naked.
Although the sessions for "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" and "The End" in August 1969 were the last where all four Beatles were present in the recording studio, "I Me Mine" was the last new song recorded by the Beatles, albeit without Lennon, until the "Free as a Bird"/"Real Love" reunion sessions in 1994. However, it was not their last recording session. The three returned the next day, 4 January 1970, to record overdubs on "Let It Be", Harrison returned on 8 January to record vocal overdubs on "For You Blue" and Starr returned on 1 April 1970, to record overdubs for "Across the Universe", "The Long and Winding Road" and an additional drum track for "I Me Mine".
- Marc Ford recorded a version of the song for Songs from the Material World: A Tribute to George Harrison album in 2003.
- Elliott Smith performed the song several times live in concert.
- Beth Orton recorded a version for the October 2010 Mojo magazine's CD/vinyl Let It Be Revisited.
- Brazilian rock band Tinta Preta, with Wanderléa, recorded a version for the CD BEATLES'69 - VOL.1 - GET BACK DE VOLTA AOS BEATLES.
- George Harrison – lead and harmony vocal, acoustic guitar, lead guitar
- Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass, Hammond organ, electric piano
- Ringo Starr – drums
- George Martin – producer
- Phil Spector – producer
- Phil MacDonald – engineer
- Peter Bown – engineer
- Uncredited – 18 violins, four violas, four cellos, harp, three trumpets, three trombones
- The Beatles 2000, p. 319.
- Jonathan Gould. Can't Buy Me Love, The Beatles, Britain and America. Piatkus. 2007 ISBN 978-0-7499-2988-6 p 598.
- Jonathan Gould. Can't Buy Me Love, The Beatles, Britain and America. Piatkus. 2007 ISBN 978-0-7499-2988-6 p 536.
- Jonathan Gould. Can't Buy Me Love, The Beatles, Britain and America. Piatkus. 2007 ISBN 978-0-7499-2988-6 p 534-535.
- Sulpy & Schweighardt (1999), p. 114.
- Pedler, Dominic (2003). The Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles. London: Omnibus Press. p. 185. ISBN 978-0-7119-8167-6.
- Pedler, Dominic (2003). The Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles. London: Omnibus Press. p. 277. ISBN 978-0-7119-8167-6.
- Pedler, Dominic (2003). The Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles. London: Omnibus Press. p. 18. ISBN 978-0-7119-8167-6.
- Pedler, Dominic (2003). The Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles. London: Omnibus Press. p. 290. ISBN 978-0-7119-8167-6.
- The Beatles Bible 2009.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 195.
- Rock Band - The Beatles - I, Me, Mine Expert Guitar 100% FC on YouTube
- MacDonald 2005, p. 367.
- The Beatles (2000). The Beatles Anthology. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-2684-8.
- "The Hall of Fame: I Me Mine". Genesis Publications. 2007. Retrieved 15 August 2007.
- "I Me Mine". The Beatles Bible. 2009. Retrieved 30 June 2009.
- 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.
- Sulpy, Doug; Schweighardt, Ray (1999). Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles' Let It Be Disaster. New York: St. Martin's Griffin.