I Me Mine - The Beatles

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"I Me Mine" - The Beatles (1969)

In his 1980 autobiography, Harrison claims he felt compelled to write “I Me Mine” in order to give his perspective on this issue of “ego.”

“I looked around and everything I could see was relative to my ego. I hated everything about my ego- It was a flash of everything false which I disliked. But later I learned from it- to realize that here is somebody else in here apart from old blabbermouth. ‘Who am I’ became the order of the day.”

“I Me Mine” is an interesting folk/blues stylistic hybrid track with more than just a touch of the hard rocking waltz beat. It is unique in that it uses a 3/4 time signature like a waltz, rather than the standard 4/4.

Ringo played drums, with 27 string and six brass musicians providing the wall of sound which took Harrison’s song from a simple blues waltz into something much more elaborate and interesting. And as usual, rushed to complete.

Russian music critic George Starostin points out that while the song, with its pleading, high-energy, gospel-ish atmosphere was undeniably great; it was also much too short. When assembling the tracks to create an album out of the Let It Be sessions, legendary producer Phil Spector, without much thought, dubbed the only existent verse twice and put it on record that way. Essentially, says Starostin, a simple way to deal with such a complex problem.

Beatle scholar Alan Pollack believes that the problem with “I Me Mine” is that it unwittingly traps himself in the pit of self-righteousness, not only by his indiscriminate inclusion of “everyone” as his target, but by the essential scenario of the song in which an individual zealously condemns the entire community for being self-centered.

He is convinced that no amount of musical pleasantry and production values can make up for the extent to which this song is perilously over the top in the “Department of Preachiness?”

Pollack says that when Lennon entered the same territory as Harrison does with this song- he had the good sense to package his “Nowhere Man” in the confines of a third person, individual- not himself- so as not to call attention to the author.

He concludes:

“Throughout the ages a genuinely self-effacing ‘love of reproof’ has been defined as one of the key prerequisites for making an advance in the realm of the spirit. Yet it seems almost comical to contemplate just how far out of fashion such a notion would have seemed during the “do your own thing, man” period into which this song along with really the entire output of the Beatles was first launched.”

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