1: Golden Slumbers
In our first chapter in this podcast series, we explore the creation story that surrounds the song Golden Slumbers, which is found on the second side of the Abbey Road album. In our discovery process, we find ourselves traveling back in time – of all things!
Indeed, we need to go back, some 400 – 650 years, to discover the genesis of the lyrics to this song on the Abbey Road album. You might exclaim “400 – 650 years!? Really?”
Well, here’s a heck of a question for you. What is the connection of ALL of the following, to Paul McCartney’s song, Golden Slumbers?
- A poem written by Thomas Dekker in the year 1599 AD
- Canterbury Tales, finished by Chaucer in 1400 AD
- The Decameron, written by Giovanni Boccaccio, who died in 1375 AD
- The Black Death, in Tuscany, in the 1300’s
- The Covid-19 crisis of today?
Find out by listening to Chapter 1 of this podcast series celebrating the life and music of Paul McCartney. The answer will surprise you. And what is more, in this discovery journey, we explore how it was that Paul knew how to construct the underlying chord progressions for this song and why they move us so. Believe it or not, the answer to this question can be found in the songs, Twist and Shout and She Came in Through the Bathroom Window.
To boot, we finish the first podcast in this series with an introduction to another creation story – this time for the song, Eleanor Rigby. In this exploration, we discover the connections of Eleanor Rigby to these songs: Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey (remember Gerry and the Pacemakers?), and Mellow Yellow, Donovan’s best-selling pop hit. Do you remember him? We do!
The Cradle Song; Thomas Dekker; 1599
Patient Grissel; Thomas Dekker, with Henry Chettle and William Haughton; 1603
Canterbury Tales; Geoffrey Chaucer; 1400
The Decameron, The Human Comedy; Giovanni Boccaccio; 1348–53St.
Nicholas’s Songs, with illustrations, Waldo Seldon Pratt; The Century Co., New York; The Devinne Press
Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes; W. J. Henderson p, 177; 1885.
McCartney, Christopher Sandford; Carroll and Graf Publishers; 2006
Paul McCartney, the Life, Philip Norman; Little Brown and Company; 2016
Songwriting Secrets of the Beatles, Dominic Pedler; Omnibus Press; 2003
This is Your Brain on Music, The Science of a Human Obsession, Daniel J. Levitin; Plume; 2007
The World Through a Lens, an Intimate Look at Italy’s Saffron Harvest, Susan Wright; The New York Times, May 12, 2020
A Hard Day’s Night, directed by Richard Lester; written by Alun Owen; 1964
Thanks to Bianca Berg at Unsplash for this episode’s image.
This show is part of Pantheon Podcasts.