Talk:My Sweet Lord

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Good article My Sweet Lord has been listed as one of the Music good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.
September 21, 2012 Good article nominee Listed

Vaisnava prayers section[edit]

The whole "Vaisnava prayers" section is completely superfluous. Aside from maybe the first couple sentences, it shouldn't be in this article. It completely detracts from anything having to do with the song and goes off about various Hindu chants. Don't wanna edit it, but somebody should. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:47, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

Release date[edit]

Evidently January 1971, must refer to England, because here in the U.S. this single was released In Novemebr 1970. It was number one by Christmas 1970. -- Tom A. Roberts

Clapton on guitar?[edit]

A new addition to the article says Clapton played guitar. I know he played on the album but was he on this song? Sounds like George's lead (stylistically), and acoustics, to me. I don't have my CD with me so I can't check the sleeve notes. Anyone? --kingboyk 15:33, 2 March 2006 (UTC)

[1] says it's true, but I'll reword it to remove the, er, humour, I suppose you'd call it. At a push. --Cherry blossom tree 22:56, 2 March 2006 (UTC)
It's still bothering me. Clapton may have played on the track, but it's not one of his famous contributions. Why is it in the first line of the intro? Why are the other session musicians not listed? The emphasis on Clapton makes it seem that it was a Harrison/Clapton collaboration, but as far as I know he was just a (very famous and highly esteemed) session guy. --kingboyk 19:42, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Clapton may be on guitar. He did do some takes on the song, but I don't know whether these were used or not. --Tom A. Roberts

WikiProject:The Beatles[edit]

Added info box and a cover image.--Dakota ~ ° 06:23, 6 March 2006 (UTC)

Did some expansion concerning the suit and royalties on adopted article.--Dakota ~ ° 02:46, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

This is the "First Beatles single to #1 on both sides of the Atlantic" ??[edit]

Is that correct? It sounds wrong somehow. Could it be first POST Beatles single by a Beatle to hit #1 ? The Beatles had a LOT of #1s I thought... See 20_Greatest_Hits and 1 (album) all hits that hit #1 somewhere. (but maybe?? none that were both?) There is another source for this data but I can't think of the article title off hand. Nice work on the cleanup overall! ++Lar: t/c 06:24, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

It was wrong. You are right (first post breakup single by a Beatle is right). I reworded it. Harrison was an interesting person.--Dakota ~ ° 07:39, 10 March 2006 (UTC)

cryptomnesia as replacement for "unintentionally plagiarized"[edit]

cryptomnesia seems like it's not necessarily the only replacement for unintentionally plagiarized.. (ised) so I suggest we consider not using the term unless we have a cite that it was that specific condition that caused the issue. ++Lar: t/c 10:44, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

You beat me to it Lar. It's a lovely word (a new one for me), and if that's what happened, great. However, I've only ever heard it referred to as "unconscious plagiarism". It might have been cryptomnesia, or it might have been that by sheer coincidence he wrote the same melody. I don't know which it was. --kingboyk 10:47, 20 March 2006 (UTC)
It's actually quite relevant to Yesterday (song), which was in fact a McCartney original but it came to him in his sleep and he didn't know if it was someone else's tune or not :) --kingboyk 10:50, 20 March 2006 (UTC)

Sections tag[edit]

Right after I added a bit of length to this article, someone added a tag saying it needs to be divided into sections. I actually thought of that as I was adding the material, but now that I look at the article again, I am not sure how you would do it. You could have two sections (after the first paragraph), and the second section could be called "Legal Controversy" but I am not sure what the first section would be called. If you try to divide the information after the first paragraph but before the lawsuit information into more than one additional section (for a total of three or more), some of the sections would be only a few lines long, and would look silly. It might be better to leave it as it is. 6SJ7 00:42, 4 July 2006 (UTC)


The songs riff was used in the Oasis Song Supersonic. This sounds like original reasearch, and if there is no citation added it should be deleted.


I've heard that GH composed the tune by inverting some other song, i.e. flipping high and low notes, and of course backed into "He's So Fine" by bad luck. Anyone know what that song was (assuming it's true)? Seems to me that belongs in the article. —Tamfang 06:53, 2 August 2007 (UTC)

The song was "Oh Happy Day", a Christian song that's in the public domain. Doc Strange (talk) 01:54, 19 February 2008 (UTC)

GH told me that he'd based MSL on 'Oh Happy Day' and the overall structure is very similar. A shame that just three or four notes should have been picked out. He also said that at the end of the trial the judge 'said he liked both tunes' when the whole point of the hearing was to establish that they were the same...

David Coxell (talk) 12:37, 7 April 2015 (UTC)


I have reviewed this article and think that it deserves a B-class. If it had a bit more information, and a lot more references, it could be a GA. egde 17:11, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Fair use rationale for Image:Msweetlord cover.jpg[edit]

Nuvola apps important.svg

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Other Versions[edit]

  • Rilo Kiley's song "Silver Lining" has a guitar riff which is structurally similar to "My Sweet Lord".

Shouldn't this read "Rilo Kiley's song "Silver Lining" has a guitar riff which is structurally similar to "He's So Fine"? Just curious. --- It doesn't stick. (talk) 04:45, 17 July 2008 (UTC)

  • Les Fradkin (Record Producer, guitarist and former original cast member of Beatlemania (musical)) has a cover version of "My Sweet Lord" featuring a guest appearance from Richie Furay (of Buffalo Springfield, Poco and the Souther-Hillman-Furay Band) and Lon Van Eaton (former Apple Records recording artist). It has sold particularly well as an Apple iTunes single and has helped establish Fradkin as a prime exponent of Beatles cover material in the modern era.

I find the last line somehow out of place, weasel words? Regards, Oscar ( (talk) 21:46, 9 January 2009 (UTC))

Agree. It's unsourced, POV, and reads like an advert. Removed. Ward3001 (talk) 21:51, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

All about Krishna?[edit]

"The song is primarily about Hindu God Krishna."

I find this statement overly simplified, offensive, and incorrect, and the citation for it is notably biased. The song does include parts of a Hare Krishna mantra, but it also includes the word "hallelujah" which is a Christian reference. Harrison was a proponent of the belief in religious unity, and that Krishna and God were aspects of the same entity.

Note the following passage from that refers to this (I haven't tracked down the original source).

'Harrison wrote this about the Eastern religions he was studying. The lyrics contain references to the Hare Krishna faith, with some of their mantra written into the lyrics. Harrison said he was pointing out that "Hallelujah and Hare Krishna are quite the same thing."'

The claim as it currently stands is misleading.

--Doc (talk) 15:32, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

It's a well-known fact that Harrison sings about Krishna in this song. [2] Here's the full quote from Harrison's interview:

Well, first of all «Hallelujah» is a joyous expression the Christians have, but «Hare Krishna» has a mystical side to it. It’s more than just glorifying God; it’s asking to become His servant. And because of the way the mantra is put together, with the mystic spiritual energy contained in those syllables, it’s much closer to God than the way Christianity currently seems to be representing Him…My idea in "My Sweet Lord", because it sounded like a "pop song, " was to sneak up on them a bit. The point was to have the people not offended by "Hallelujah, " and by the time it gets to "Hare Krishna, " they’re already hooked, and their foot’s tapping, and they’re already singing along «Hallelujah», to kind of lull them into a sense of false security. And then suddenly it turns into "Hare Krishna, " and they will all be singing that before they know what’s happened, and they will think, «Hey, I thought I wasn’t supposed to like Hare Krishna!»…It was just a little trick really. And it didn’t offend. For some reason I never got any offensive feedback from Christians…

--Gaura79 (talk) 17:03, 26 April 2010 (UTC)

To a Vaishnava, Krishna and the God of the Christians are one and the same. So My Sweet Lord is about Krishna, but also about Allah, Jehovah, Rama, etc. He believed in religious unity, as you say, but believed Krishna to be the original and most special form of God. Jonchapple (talk) 13:02, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Placement of new Reception section[edit]

I like the new Reception section. Should it be moved to after the Legal controversy section, since the Reception section mentions "He's So Fine" a couple of times? GoingBatty (talk) 14:58, 1 April 2012 (UTC)

I see your point, but then there's an argument for putting the Hindu Prayers section up before Release surely, since chronologically the mantra is relevant to writing and recording the song. But I'd say Reception's okay where it is, because the MSL/He's So Fine litigation issue has been introduced at the very start of the article. Cheers JG66 (talk) 00:40, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

Certifications section[edit]

As noted in comment in the article's edit history, I've added section heading and table for US gold certification, but can't see how to change sales figure from '0'. (Embarrassing ...) Minimum sales would have to be 1,000,000, although in Keith Badham's Beatles Diary Vol 2, under 30 Jan 1971 (p. 25) there's this: "By the end of the month, figures reveal that the single has passed the 200,000 sales mark [in the UK], with around 30,000 copies being sold a day. In America, the sales have gone past the two million mark." So ... two things, I guess: does anyone know how to confirm US sales figures (whether 1 mill or 2 mill)?; and can anyone discover sales figures and certification for "My Sweet Lord" in the UK? Thanks. JG66 (talk) 08:59, 19 April 2012 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:My Sweet Lord/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Reviewer: GreatOrangePumpkin (talk · contribs) 09:09, 21 September 2012 (UTC)

GA review (see here for what the criteria are, and here for what they are not)
  1. It is reasonably well written.
    a (prose): b (MoS for lead, layout, word choice, fiction, and lists):
    Ok, the article is even better than most of your articles, so I will just pass this. Here are two nitpicks:
    "the Hare Krishna movement" - is it correct to place the "the" inside the brackets?
    "a sign of the times" perhaps link this
  2. It is factually accurate and verifiable.
    a (references): b (citations to reliable sources): c (OR):
  3. It is broad in its coverage.
    a (major aspects): b (focused):
  4. It follows the neutral point of view policy.
    Fair representation without bias:
  5. It is stable.
    No edit wars, etc.:
  6. It is illustrated by images, where possible and appropriate.
    a (images are tagged and non-free images have fair use rationales): b (appropriate use with suitable captions):
  7. Overall:

Background & Composition section[edit]

The last paragraph is odd, making it sound as if religious controversies about the song were still on someone's front burner. Why the use of present tense to describe religious reception of the song (or rejection), when the only supporting citation is from the 80s? This makes no sense: "Various Christian fundamentalist anti-rock activists object (present tense) to the chanting of "Hare Krishna" in "My Sweet Lord" as anti-Christian or satanic, while some born-again Christians appear to have adopted (perfect infinitive, not supported by the cite) the song as an anthem." The rest of the article seems to anchor verb tenses to the dates of the citations; not this one. At any rate the paragraph seems out of place, belonging in the reception section. What its reception among fundamentalists has to do with its composition -- or rather, how it's received by them relates more to composition and background than to its reception -- is really not clear. rasqual (talk) 02:40, 28 November 2012 (UTC)

Hi rasqual. Good point, yes. I'll take a look at that sometime soon. Cheers, JG66 (talk) 04:04, 9 January 2013 (UTC)
Now reworded this to clarify when the issue was raised in Popular Music. You'll see I've kept the mention within the Background & comp section, though – because I think it's a worthwhile addition to interpretation of the song's lyrics, and it feeds nicely into Harrison biographer Ian Inglis' point. If there wasn't already quite a bit under Reception, I'd agree it probably belongs there. It's just that Reception is also balancing the plagiarism suit issue, along with discussing how the song was/is received, so it's seems tidier, structurally, to keep the point about Christian fundamentalist objection vs born-again Christian acceptance here under Background & comp. Thanks for your input! JG66 (talk) 01:47, 23 February 2013 (UTC)

Copyright infringement section is very biased[edit]

This article is ridiculously bad in the copyright infringement section. Harrison lost the suit. He was adjudicated to have infringed "He's So Fine". He paid damages. And yet the tone and content of that section makes it sound like it was all "alleged" and "accidental", with tons of scare quotes and statements about how there was no clear winner, etc. It reads like it was written by Harrison's defense team.

I'm not saying this has to be a screed against Harrison, but it should be written with a NPOV. He was found to have copied "My Sweet Lord", his defenses (including that it was accidental) were rejected, and he paid damages. If Harrison's excuses and rationalizations are mentioned at all, it should be in the context that they were rejected by the courts. And the main focus of the section should be that he lost the suit and was found to be an infringer. It should be much shorter and the discussion should be focused on the ways in which he copied the song, with only a subsidiary focus on what the arguments he made which the court rejected.

Someone needs to fix this. (talk) 09:09, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

I don't disagree but wanted to point out that the judgement was that it was 'subconscious' not conscious and deliberate, so 'accidental' is not inappropriate.

This is the actual judgment from

'What happened? I conclude that the composer,[12] in seeking musical materials to clothe his thoughts, was working with various possibilities. As he tried this possibility and that, there came to the surface of his mind a particular combination that pleased him as being one he felt would be appealing to a prospective listener; in other words, that this combination of sounds would work. Why? Because his subconscious knew it already had worked in a song his conscious mind did not remember. Having arrived at this pleasing combination of sounds, the recording was made, the lead sheet prepared for copyright and the song became an enormous success. Did Harrison deliberately use the music of He's So Fine? I do not believe he did so deliberately. Nevertheless, it is clear that My Sweet Lord is the very same song as He's So Fine with different words,[13] and Harrison had access to He's So Fine. This is, under the law, infringement of copyright, and is no less so even though subconsciously accomplished.'

Woodywoodpeckerthe3rd (talk) 10:23, 29 August 2014 (UTC)

  • I don't really agree, but then I should state up front that I'm the editor who expanded the "My Sweet Lord" article for GA, back in September 2012. What is biased about saying "Bright Tunes filed suit against Harrison … for alleged copyright infringement of the late Ronnie Mack's song 'He's So Fine'"? It was only "alleged" at that stage. Or should it be: "Bright Tunes filed suit against Harrison … alleging copyright infringement of the late Ronnie Mack's song 'He's So Fine'" – is that the correct way to say it? And I don't know if the word "accidental" appears in the text, but (to echo Woodywoodpeckerthe3rd's point) it's certainly in keeping with the court's judgment. And it's in keeping also with the widespread view held by commentators I've read: that there was nothing deliberate or cynical in Harrison's actions when he wrote his song.
  • It is a huge section, yes, because what's sorely needed is a dedicated Wikipedia article: Bright Tunes Music v. Harrisongs or perhaps My Sweet Lord/He's So Fine copyright infringement suit. (I know I was making noises about that two years ago: [3], [4].) But where you're objecting to "scare quotes and statements about how there was no clear winner", and saying, "the main focus of the section should be that he lost the suit and was found to be an infringer ... the discussion should be focused on the ways in which he copied the song" – well, quite honestly, you sound like you're representing the estate of Allen B. Klein! When it comes to this copyright infringement suit, the subject's so much wider than the court's ruling. A Harrison biographer, Alan Clayson, calls it "the most notorious civil action of the decade" and the lawyer whose essay is the main source, Joseph Self, describes it as "without question, one of the longest running legal battles ever to be litigated in [the United States]". The role of Klein receives a considerable amount of attention from commentators (Beatles biographers have described it as "Klein's Revenge" for losing the Beatles, for instance), as does the reaction to the judge's ruling and the precedent it set. So while I concede that much of the detail would work better in a dedicated article, you are going to find it somewhere on Wikipedia, if we're to give these notable points their due.
  • One important aspect that's currently not covered in the section is the suitability of the judge, Richard Owen. If memory serves me right, Self is enthusiastic in his support of Owen (who was a classical musician and composer); NME journalist and author Bob Woffinden, on the other hand, was equally outspoken about how unsuitable Owen was to hear a case concerning the notion of plagiarism in pop music of the late twentieth century. Woffinden – who was hardly known for being a fan of Harrison during the 1970s, it should be noted – wrote that "Within the context of rock music, it was an unjust decision … The New York judge clearly understood nothing of rock 'n' roll, or gospel, or popular music in general." Like Woffinden, other authors (Clayson for one) list many other pairs of similar-sounding songs from the 1960s and '70s, none of which led to litigation. The difference this time was that "My Sweet Lord" was such a huge success around the world. I mention this only because the scrutiny over the judge is another aspect attached to the court case that makes the subject far more than just "he lost the suit and was found to be an infringer". JG66 (talk) 18:25, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
I somewhat agree with the NPOV question. Some of the quotes such as "most notorious civil action of the decade" and "howling success" are not encyclopedic even if they were quoted from a reliable source. Also, the "astronomical" quote is not attributed to anyone. I also think the "no clear winner" wording should go. Harrison plainly lost the case and paid a large judgment. The fact that Klein did not profit from the suit was due to his own duplicitous behavior and is not related to the question of plagiarism. Piriczki (talk) 19:32, 29 August 2014 (UTC)
  • Oh yes, when I said "I don't really agree", it was in reply to the notion that everything about the suit was as cut and dried as the user stated. (Influenced also, I admit, by the same user coming across like the model of a charmless man, as Blur once put it.) I don't mean to imply that the section's fine as is – it's not, but then there's loads more I mean to change in the article. In April 2012, GoingBatty raised the idea of moving the Reception section to sit after this discussion of the copyright infringement suit: I see now he was quite right about that. The bullet list under "Cover versions" is an absolute no-no; it needs to be turned into prose, with at least half of the various covers removed from the discussion.
  • Now you isolate particular quotes, I see the point regarding "no clear winner". I think there should've been a cite for that statement from Huntley's book or maybe Clayson's (the "astronomical" description is from Self); but anyway, it has no place in its current context. (Harrison obviously lost the suit.) No need to include "howling success", I agree. But I would've thought the description "most notorious civil action of the decade" is quite useful – the case obviously got significant attention way outside the music industry and legal profession. I remember considering the inclusion of subheadings in the section; that would clearly define the 1976 ruling on copyright infringement, separate from the damages portion of the case, which rolled on through the 1990s. I'll make some changes shortly. But really, I think half the problem is that the section merits its own article. JG66 (talk) 04:57, 30 August 2014 (UTC)
The George Harrison page says (without a cited source), "Harrison appealed the courts original ruling and won the appeal. He was awarded damages, costs and ownership of the song 'He's So Fine'. The financial proceeds from the court ruling were used by Harrison to establish charity works in India.". What is the truth? Was there a successful appeal? Arrivisto (talk) 13:57, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
Good point. There could be some truth in, say, financial proceeds from the song going to "establish charity works in India", but, as you point out, it's unsourced and I've long meant to remove that statement from the artist's article. I'll do so now, in fact. JG66 (talk) 14:17, 21 September 2015 (UTC)
I note that the claim has been deleted; but perhaps what is now needed is some research to see if the claim was true. Arrivisto (talk) 16:23, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
An anonymous IP added that claim without explanation or a source several months ago. It should have been immediately reverted because it is false but unfortunately it went unnoticed. The correct details of the case are already presented in this article, no research necessary. Piriczki (talk) 17:45, 22 September 2015 (UTC)
Joey Self (talk) 20:58, 25 March 2018 (UTC)I am Joseph Self, the attorney that wrote the article referenced above  The "astronomical" quote attributed to me was in reference to the legal fees, and was clearly stated as conjecture on my part: "While the legal expenses in this case are undoubtedly astronomical..."  I don't know I'd say I was "enthusiastic" about Judge Owen, but I did point out that in footnote 7: "While I take issue with part of the judge's ruling on the damages aspect of this case, the litigants could not have found themselves before a more able jurist in determining the question involving the music of the two compositions. Judge Richard Owen, the district court trial judge, has also composed music, and among his compositions is a three-act opera entitled Mary Dyer. He has also conducted orchestras, and his wife, Mary Owen, has appeared with the Metropolitan Opera Company in New York."  I stand by that--I've not heard of other federal court judges that also composed an opera that was performed by the Met, and thus be able to understand what a musicologist was telling him.  Did he fail to understand pop or rock music?  I noted his opinion as to the plagiarism was not challenged on appeal, so the Harrison camp was satisfied that his decision would not be overturned on appeal.  I can be reached at if there are any other questions.

Assessment comment[edit]

The comment(s) below were originally left at Talk:My Sweet Lord/Comments, and are posted here for posterity. Following several discussions in past years, these subpages are now deprecated. The comments may be irrelevant or outdated; if so, please feel free to remove this section.

Needs sections, copyediting (reads like a list in places), citations, expansion if possible. --kingboyk 23:56, 3 July 2006 (UTC)

Last edited at 23:56, 3 July 2006 (UTC). Substituted at 00:42, 30 April 2016 (UTC)

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Number one twice?!?[edit]

My Sweet Lord has two entries in the number one charts for the UK on Wikipedia. One is at position 296 on the all time list at, and again at position 918 at

Though the tracks it was coupled with are different on each release, the lead track is exactly the same. I don't want to rush into an edit, as it would have a knock on effect all the way down the list, and potential repurcussions for subsequet milestone records, nevertheless, I am pretty sure it should not be listed for the second time. What is Wikipedia's policy on this?

Steve Kidd (talk) 10:43, 18 April 2018 (UTC)