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06th May, 2020

'I Me Mine' by Jackie Spencer - #LetItBe50

'I Me Mine' by George was sadly the final new song recorded by The Beatles, and even then, only three of them. George described it as a heavy waltz, and the original rehearsals in January 1969 feature footage of John & Yoko waltzing away in the background. Unusually the chorus contrasts with heavy rock.

By the time they came to record it John had unofficially left the band prompting George to announce “You will all have read that Dave Dee is no longer with us, but Mickey & Tich & I would just like to carry on the good work that’s always gone down in number two”, referencing Studio Two at Abbey Road. Ironically, the song was only recorded because the footage of John and Yoko dancing was to be included in the 'Let It Be' film.

I’m not a musician, I don’t dissect the songs note for note, I listen to them as a whole and this one makes me a little sad. It has a melancholic air, and not just because of the minor key. George is by now on a spiritual journey. He is becoming deeply involved in Eastern religion and understanding the limitations of the individual ego, whilst at the same time experiencing the increasingly toxic atmosphere created by the egos of Lennon & McCartney “coming on strong all the time“. It must have been so frustrating. “All I can hear, I Me Mine”. This was in contrast to the relaxed time recently spent with Bob Dylan. Fast forward to the later success of The Travelling Wilburys where “ego played no part”.

As a Liverpool tourist guide, I like to look at the personal stories.

What made them tick early on in our local Liverpool streets. George rejected traditional western religion from a young age. He saw the Catholic priest collecting for the church roof fund, and poverty stricken families scraping donations together. He saw the families in the church pews who wore the best hats thinking they were above everyone else. 'I Me Mine' was something he subconsciously rejected even back then.  As the youngest of 4 children living in small working class houses, he would have been brought up to share. Sharing bedrooms, bath water and hand me down clothes. His family situation was different from the other three Beatles. There was no room for big egos in the Harrison household. Louise and Harold were generous, caring sharing role models.

The beauty of music is that we can all hear and feel our own messages and memories. To me I can hear a Liverpool mother fed up of her kids squabbling; “You lot…all day long all I’ve heard is me, me, me”. Maybe that’s just me (me me) coming from a similar background. It’s as though George was the grown up in the studio.  Sadly George was to lose his lovely mum Louise not long after after recording the song.

I have mixed feelings about the song. Although the break-up of The Beatles was tragic, after this recording, George was immediately released from the invisible bindings – the weavings. No longer “frightened of leaving it” he went on to create the masterpiece, 'All Things Must Pass', so I do take some positives from it.

George was to use the same title for his autobiography. Ironically again the book upset John and his fragile ego because of his ‘glaring omission’.

The lyrics taken in the wider context have never been more relevant in today’s World seemingly run by egomaniacs and driven by money.

All through the World, I Me Mine.


About Jackie 

Jackie is a Liverpool born and bred child of the sixties. She has been a Blue Badge Guide & Beatles Tour Guide for 25 years and absolutely loves what she does. Jackie's favourite Beatle is George, she finds it impossible to pick a favourite song but Sgt Pepper is her go-to album.

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