|Song by the Beatles|
|from the album Abbey Road|
|Released||26 September 1969|
|Recorded||2–4, 30–31 July and 15 August 1969|
"Golden Slumbers" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1969 album Abbey Road. Written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney, it is the sixth song of the album's climactic B-side medley. The song is followed by "Carry That Weight" and begins the progression that leads to the end of the album. The two songs were recorded together as a single piece, and both contain strings and brass arranged and scored by producer George Martin.
"Golden Slumbers" is based on the poem "Cradle Song" from the play Patient Grissel, a lullaby by the dramatist Thomas Dekker. McCartney saw sheet music for "Cradle Song" at his father's home in Liverpool, left on a piano by his stepsister Ruth. Unable to read music, he created his own music. McCartney uses the first stanza of the original poem, with minor word changes, adding to it a single lyric line repeated with minor variation. In the 1885 collection "St Nicholas Songs", p. 177, is W J Henderson's music set to the poem, titled "Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes". Abbey Road does not credit Dekker with the stanza or with the title. Thomas Dekker's poem was set to music by W J Henderson in 1885, Peter Warlock in 1918, also by Charles Villiers Stanford and Alfredo Casella.
McCartney was the lead vocalist. He begins the song in a soft tone appropriate for a lullaby, with piano, bass guitar, and string section accompaniment. The drums come in on the line "Golden slumbers fill your eyes", and McCartney switches to a stronger tone, both of which emphasise the switch to the refrain. McCartney said, "I remember trying to get a very strong vocal on it, because it was such a gentle theme, so I worked on the strength of the vocal on it, and ended up quite pleased with it."
The main recording session for "Golden Slumbers"/"Carry That Weight" was on 2 July 1969. John Lennon was not present, as he had been injured in a motor vehicle accident in Scotland on 1 July, and was hospitalised there until 6 July.
Drums, timpani, and additional vocals were added in an overdub session on 31 July, the same day the first trial edit of the side two medley was created, with Lennon participating in the session. On 15 August, orchestral overdubs that marked 30 musicians altogether were added to "Golden Slumbers" and five other songs on Abbey Road.
- Paul McCartney – lead vocals, piano
- George Harrison – 6-string bass guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums, timpani
- Unnamed session musicians – twelve violins, four violas, four cellos, double bass, four horns, three trumpets, trombone, bass trombone
- George Martin – orchestral arrangement
- American guitarist George Benson covered the song in a medley with "You Never Give Me Your Money" on his 1970 album The Other Side of Abbey Road.
- Brazilian singer Elis Regina recorded a cover of the song on her ninth album, Ela.
- In 2001, Ben Folds covered the song for the soundtrack of the film I Am Sam. This version was also used to accompany the second trailer for Steven Spielberg's 2022 semi-autobiographical film The Fabelmans.
- In 2006, Nia Vardalos, better known for comedy acting and as a playwright/screenwriter than for singing, covered "Golden Slumbers" as one of the participants in Unexpected Dreams - Songs from the Stars, a compilation album released that year.
- American singer Judy Collins covered the song on her 2007 album Judy Collins Sings Lennon and McCartney.
- The song is featured twice in the 2016 animated film Sing, sung by Jennifer Hudson. The song also appears on the film's soundtrack with "Carry That Weight" as a medley.
- Elbow recorded a cover of the song for the 2017 John Lewis Christmas TV advert. The single reached No. 29 in the UK, and appears on the Elbow compilation album The Best Of.
- Dua Lipa covered the song as a part of her Live Acoustic EP in 2017.
- Stuessy, Joe; David Lipscomb, Scott (2003). Rock and Roll - Its History and Stylistic Development. Prentice Hall. p. 144. ISBN 9780130993700.
- Miles 1997, p. 557.
- Sheff 2000, p. 203.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 178.
- Dekker, Chettle & Haughton 1603.
- "Lullaby for voice & piano - Peter Warlock - Details, Parts / Movements and Recordings - AllMusic". AllMusic.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 177.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 183.
- Lewisohn 1988, p. 184.
- "Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight | Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version". 29 January 2015.
- "Trash - Golden Slumbers And Carry That Weight" – via 45cat.com.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 355.
- The Other Side of Abbey Road - George Benson | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic, retrieved 1 December 2021
- "Ela - Elis Regina | Songs, Reviews, Credits | AllMusic". Retrieved 2 November 2023.
- "New Soundtrack = All-star Beatles Covers". Chart Attack, November 7, 2001
- "2022 Movies: The Fabelmans – Trailer Song". 14 December 2022.
- "Sing (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) by Various Artists". Apple Music. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 24 August 2021.
- "ELBOW - 'THE BEST OF'". M.elbow.co.uk. 24 November 2017. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
- "Golden Slumbers - Acoustic". Spotify. Retrieved 30 September 2021.
- Dekker, Thomas; Chettle, Henry; Haughton, William (1603). The Pleasant Comodie of Patient Grissill.
- 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 & Company. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.
- Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-25464-4.