Friday 30 July 2010

11:1 I Me Mine (pt.1)

The last song the Beatles ever recorded or rather, McCartney, Harrison & Starr recorded, hence Harrison’s humorous intro (which you can hear on Anthology 3) -

"You all will have read that Dave Dee is no longer with us. But Micky and Tich and I would like to carry on the good work that`s always gone down in number two"

The 11th hour session was needed because footage of the song being rehearsed had been included in the film’s final cut, even though they'd never actually recorded it.

Is it any good?

It’s very imaginative, well written and has decent lyrics.

The time changes from 6/8 to double time 12/8 (or 12/16 if you want to be pedantic) and back again are brilliantly executed.

The chorus is really a 12 bar blues but after 10 bars where it would go back to the I chord (A) it goes straight into the beginning of the verse (Am). This is a very extreme form of the Lennon Edit (Ticket 36) (i.e. just chopping out any extra beats or bars that you don’t really need).

There’s some great chord progressions with internal melodies going on.

That change again!

At the end of the verse is the descending root chord change (Ticket 17) that Harrison used on Something and which he probably learned from A Taste Of Honey.

I, Me, Mine (All through the day, I, Me, Mine)

Am Am (maj7) Am7 Am6 Fmaj7 (the internal melody goes A, G#, G, F#, F)

Something (I don’t want to lose her now…)

Am Am (maj7) Am7 D9 (the internal melody goes A, G#, G, F#)

During this same bit McCartney’s bass line is going up from an A to a high F creating a really nice contrary motion effect (Ticket 12).

Spicy Chords

The combination of odd bass notes and/or melody notes gives us some really spicy chords.

Am/C (or C6) – second chord in the song
Dm/F (or F6)everyone’s weaving it
E7b9 (or Fdim7/E)comin’ on strong all the time

And we also have a few chords that don’t belong in Am – D, D7, E7 and of course the A7 progression hinted at in the 12 bar section.

That’s enough for now.

More on melody and lyrics next time, what I don’t like about this song and a bit of interesting trivia.

I’ll leave you with a question.

Phil Spector’s mixes on Let It Be generally involved plastering millions of orchestral overdubs on the songs, but he did something more radical to this song.

What was it? 



  1. Great blog. Here's something you may not have noticed about 'I Me Mine' (no one else seems to have noticed, but then I am a born pedant):

    As you clearly know, the song structure as recorded was Intro-Verse1-Chorus-Verse2. Phil Spector cut the song just before the final line of verse 2 ("all through your life") and repeated the song from the final line of verse 1 ("all through the day"). This not only lengthened the song by 43 seconds, creating 2 chorus breaks - it did so in such a way that all of the verses had different lyrics, and the "all through your life" payoff line was saved until the end.

    Then along came McCartney's 'Let It Be ... Naked' project, which purported to turn back the clock to before Spector got involved. Except it didn't, because the song has again been lengthened to 2'25", just like on the Spector-ised version.

    Except it hasn't. The edit on '... Naked' takes place after the final line of verse 2, meaning that the 2nd and 3rd verses have exactly the same lyrics, the effect being - if you didn't know there was an edit - that George just couldn't be bothered to write an extra verse.

    No one noticed. McCartney didn't notice, all the way through the project, so concerned was he with protecting the reputation of his tedious 'Long And Winding Road'. I bet he still hasn't noticed.

    This is why I can't listen to 'Let It Be ... Naked'.

  2. Thanks Alex - I really appreciate the thoughtful comment.

    I too had missed that - i just went back and check and it's because i've been listening to the Anthology version, which is the unedited one, rather than the Naked one (which is what I thought I was listening to).

    I'm not sure why they made the editing chose they did on Naked, it does seem weird.

    However I'm not sure the Naked version is any more ruined than any other. I missed the vocal snippets on the Spector version, but I have to say his production made a bad album worse.

    Naked just made the original bad album shine forth in all it's...badness.

    The production and performance of Long and Winding Road was awful, but it was a demo that they finished off without McCartney's approval (which was a bit of an underhanded trick).

    I don't ascribe any malice to it, though. It just would have been better if they'd pulled the song and done it properly on Abbey Road or even let Paul do it on his first solo album. But the moment passed. I can't blame McCartney for wanting to do it his way I guess.

    BTW - just think if the Beatles put the fans first. If all the Beatles stuff was released on mp3 and we could have our pick of naked, spector even the Glyn Johns versions.

  3. For the mentioned of Ticket 12, you said that McCartney's bass went up from A to F. Shouldn't it be A to D? Because A to F is the same direction that the main melody is going which wouldn't be this ticket.