For my monthly cover video, I decided to record another song by The Beatles: While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
As usual, mailing list subscribers have also received an exclusive short story inspired by the song.
In this article, I am going to share some information on how The Beatles wrote and released this classic song from the White Album.
Have a listen to my version by checking out the video down here!
While My Guitar Gently Weeps is one of the tracks included in The Beatles album, generally known as "the White Album", due to the look of its cover.
This record is full of legendary tunes. Some are utterly weird and experimental, while some others can be considered outstanding lessons in "songwriting 101".
While My Guitar Gently Weeps, written by George Harrison, is somewhere in the middle of this spectrum.
With a typical rock structure over an interesting chord progression and some enigmatic lyrics, this song is a great example of how genius songwriters can effortlessly mix tradition and innovation.
What inspired George Harrison to write this tune?
Let's take a step back and observe the context first. At the time of writing, the Fab Four had dived into the Eastern world, after an inspiring journey to India. George Harrison was possibly the one who got invested the most into Hinduism and other Eastern religions and philosophies.
When he started composing While My Guitar Gently Weeps, he was reading the I-Ching, The Book of Changes, a classic Chinese divination book.
This is not the place to discuss what the I-Ching is in particular (I'm surely not an expert, although I have been fascinated by it for quite a while now). For the sake of this article and a better understanding of the song, I will just say that this ancient Chinese text is somewhat based on randomness. To consult it, in fact, you need to toss a coin, in a specific ritual. This is also the main concept behind George Harrison's experiment.
To better understand what he had in mind at the time of writing, I'll share a quote from what he revealed for The Beatles Anthology book:
"The Eastern concept is that whatever happens is all meant to be. Every little item that's going down has a purpose. While My Guitar Gently Weeps was a simple study based on that theory. I picked up a book at random, opened it, saw "gently weeps", then laid the book down again and started the song."
I'll be back with a new Beatles' cover next month.
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Have a happy day and...rock on!