I’ve Got A Feeling - The Beatles

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"I’ve Got A Feeling" - The Beatles (1970)

“I’ve Got A Feeling” was a mix of two unfinished songs, one from McCartney called “I’ve Got A Feeling,” and Lennon’s “Everybody Had a Hard Year.” It is the last song they wrote together.

When he began mixing the songs from the Let It Be sessions, Phil Spector simply separated the lead voices into separate stereo channels, dividing the duet into two distinct parts and then putting it through separate speakers.

Beatle scholar Ken Womack comments:

“I’ve Got A Feeling is a visceral love song. It begins with a catchy, distorted guitar riff and a buoyant McCartney lyric. At face value, the composition appears to be a wide-eyed musing upon newfound love, a meditation on the serenity of his new life with Linda. But everything changes when the Beatle turns in his most primal, most inspired, and most explosive of middle-eights on record. In a searing, gut-wrenching performance, Paul packs as much emotion and meaning into those nine measly seconds as he does in nearly any other song in his massive corpus. It’s a bravura moment in which he lays himself bare.”

While the composition seems to be directed outwardly, the middle-eight is really an act of self-critique in which the songwriter castigates himself for his own inability to recognize that true love had been waiting on his doorstep. The raw power of the middle-eight is underscored by George’s elongated, subtly descending guitar figure that underlines the speaker’s pent-up anger with a brooding musical afterword.

Musicologist Alan Pollack writes:

I’ve Got A Feeling was a medium slow, medium hard bluesy groove whose casual production values belie a unique Beatles experiment with form. There is a feeling they’re really not trying very hard with this one; that what may have started off as a really clever idea is eventually held back from greatness by the relative mediocrity of its raw materials, and the extent to which its two parts fail to contrast to sufficient effect.”

In the line, “We’re going home”, “Home” refers to the emotional space the couple shares together wherever they travel- the sense of adventure along the way rather than the destination (‘not arriving”). The simple pleasures of wordplay (“burning matches, lifting latches”) are not balanced in the bridge, where the shared experience (“You and I have memories/Longer than the road that stretches out of ahead”) may refer to John and Paul’s passionate partnership as songwriters.

Although Paul is out of character- singing about his own feelings, exposing his inner commotion and finally screaming in frustration over the very angst of love during the bridge, John’s reply is atypically detached. Paul’s not prone to such outbursts of self-expression. He is singing about his feelings, so John describes events in a free narrative, an outsider looking in. In a conversational tone, he sings about the small pleasures, “dreams,” “putting your feet up,” “letting your hair down,” “putting your foot down.”

The phrases are plays on clichés that center on relaxing, letting nature takes its course, permitting things to happen with their own logic. The side Paul usually takes.

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