Carry That Weight

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"Carry That Weight"
Song by the Beatles
from the album Abbey Road
Released26 September 1969
Recorded2 July – 15 August 1969
GenreSymphonic rock
LabelApple Records
Producer(s)George Martin

"Carry That Weight" is a song by the Beatles. The song was written by Paul McCartney, but credited to Lennon–McCartney. Released on Abbey Road as the seventh and penultimate part of the long, climactic medley that closes the album, it features unison vocals from all four Beatles (a rarity in their songs). It is preceded by "Golden Slumbers", and segues into "The End".

The middle bridge, featuring brass instruments, electric guitar and vocals, reprises the beginning of "You Never Give Me Your Money", but with different lyrics. The ending also reprises the arpeggiated guitar motif from the end of that track, which is itself similar to that in "Badge" (co-written by Harrison and Eric Clapton) and reminiscent of the figure featured prominently in the George Harrison–written track "Here Comes the Sun".


Music critic Ian MacDonald interpreted the lyric as an acknowledgement by the group that nothing they would do as individual artists would equal what they had achieved together, and they would always carry the weight of their Beatle past.[1] McCartney said the song was about the Beatles' business difficulties and the atmosphere at Apple at the time.[2] In the film Imagine: John Lennon, Lennon says that McCartney was "singing about all of us."


They began recording "Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight" as one piece on 2 July 1969.[3] McCartney, Harrison and Ringo Starr recorded 15 takes of the two songs[3] while Lennon was in a hospital recovering from a car accident in Scotland.[4]

The rhythm tracks featured McCartney on piano, Harrison on bass guitar and Starr on drums. The best were takes 13 and 15, which were edited together on 3 July.[3] That day and the next, McCartney overdubbed his lead vocals and rhythm guitar, Harrison added lead guitar, and all three sang the chorus.[3]

On 30 July, they added more vocals, including Lennon, who had rejoined the sessions on 9 July.[5][6] More vocals, timpani and drums were overdubbed on 31 July.[5] The orchestra was recorded on 15 August.[7]


The Beatles



Personnel per MacDonald[8] and Mark Lewisohn[7]

Cover versions[edit]


  1. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 356.
  2. ^ Miles 1997, p. 557–558.
  3. ^ a b c d Lewisohn 1988, p. 178.
  4. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 177.
  5. ^ a b Lewisohn 1988, p. 183.
  6. ^ Lewisohn 1988, p. 179.
  7. ^ a b Lewisohn 1988, p. 190.
  8. ^ MacDonald 2005, p. 355.


  • 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.
  • Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt and Company. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.

External links[edit]