Cry Baby Cry
|"Cry Baby Cry"|
The cover of the song's sheet music
|Song by the Beatles|
|from the album The Beatles|
|Released||22 November 1968|
|Recorded||15, 16, 18 July 1968|
|Studio||EMI Studios, London|
"Cry Baby Cry" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles, written by John Lennon (credited to Lennon–McCartney) from their 1968 double album The Beatles (also known as "the White Album"). The outro of the song is a short segment referred to as "Can You Take Me Back", written by Paul McCartney, which was actually an outtake from the "I Will" session.
Demos indicate that Lennon composed the song in late 1967. The original lyrics were "Cry baby cry, make your mother buy." Lennon described to biographer Hunter Davies how he got the words from an advertisement. Some of the lyrics of the song are loosely based on the nursery rhyme "Sing a Song of Sixpence".
Engineer Geoff Emerick resigned during the recording of "Cry Baby Cry", though his departure was precipitated by Lennon and McCartney's obsessions over the recording of both "Revolution" and "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da", respectively, and the overall tensions of the White Album sessions. Emerick would not work with the Beatles again until the session for "The Ballad of John and Yoko" nine months later.
After a day-long rehearsal, on 16 July 1968 the basic tracks were laid down for Lennon's guitar part and his vocal on the introduction, McCartney's bass, and Starr's drums, along with Lennon's piano and George Martin's harmonium, while all other parts were dubbed in two days later: Lennon's lead vocal, Lennon/McCartney falsetto backing vocals and tambourines, Martin's harmonium introduction, sound effects for tea, and Harrison's guitar, a Gibson Les Paul borrowed from Eric Clapton and soon to be a permanent gift.
"Can You Take Me Back?"
The song is followed on the album by an unrelated and unlisted track, ad libbed and sung by Paul McCartney. Though the song originally had no official name, it has popularly become known as "Can You Take Me Back?" after the primary lyric of the song, and has been officially deemed so on the track listing for the 50th anniversary edition of The Beatles. The hidden track is an improvised jam recorded by McCartney during a 16 September 1968 session for "I Will".
"Cry Baby Cry"
- John Lennon – lead vocal and harmony vocal, acoustic guitar, piano, organ
- Paul McCartney – bass guitar
- George Harrison – lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine
- George Martin – harmonium
"Can You Take Me Back?"
- Ramsey Lewis recorded an instrumental version of this song on his 1968 album Mother Nature's Son.
- Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen covered this song on the 1987 album Flying Dreams.
- Fool's Garden covered the song on their 1991 debut album Fool's Garden.
- Throwing Muses covered the song on the B-side of their 1991 single "Not Too Soon".
- Punk rock band Samiam from Berkeley, California recorded a version of this song on their 1997 album You Are Freaking Me Out.
- The jam band Phish covered this song as part of its near-complete 1994 cover of the White Album released on Live Phish Volume 13, and in 1998 on Hampton Comes Alive. The 1994 version includes "Can You Take Me Back" while the 1998 does not.
- Bardo Pond recorded a space rock-influenced version on their 2006 album Ticket Crystals.
- Katie Melua covered this song in 2006 and released it on her maxi-single "Spider's Web".
- Miles 1997, p. 487.
- Davies 1968.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 173.
- Everett 1999, p. 167.
- "The Beatles (White Album) – The Tracklisting". TheBeatles.com. 24 September 2018. Retrieved 1 October 2018.
- Pollack, Alan. "Notes on "Can You Take Me Back"". Retrieved 25 November 2011.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 296.
- "Mother Nature's Son – Ramsey Lewis". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- "Flying Dreams – Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- "Not Too Soon – Throwing Muses". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- "You Are Freaking Me Out – Samiam". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- "Live Phish, Vol. 13: 10/31/94, Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY – Phish". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- "Hampton Comes Alive – Phish". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- Davies, Hunter (1968). The Beatles.
- Everett, Walter (1999). The Beatles As Musicians: Revolver through the Anthology. New York: Oxford University Press. ISBN 978-0-19-512941-0.
- 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 (2nd revised ed.). London: Pimlico. ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
- Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt & Company. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.
- Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-25464-4.