Guitar lessons for beginnersWhile My Guitar Gently Weeps – The Harrison-Clapton Collaboration

While My Guitar Gently Weeps – The Harrison-Clapton Collaboration
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“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is a song that contains a few elements that make it worthy of special attention. The simplicity of the lyrics is one, the other is the emotions evoked by the musical structure of the song which makes it such a popular choice for other artists who recorded it in an effort to make it their own. The rock and roll magazine, Rolling Stone has a list of the top five hundred songs of all time which has The Beatles occupying twenty-three spots. “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” is at number one-hundred-and-thirty-five, just below “In The Midnight Hour” by Wilson Pickett and just above “Your Song” by Elton John.

The song appeared on the album, “The Beatles”, otherwise known as “the white album” because of its stark white packaging. This album was quite experimental with The Beatles writing songs in a number of genres. The Beatles were pioneers of the nonsensical lyrics school of song writing and some of the songs on the album give the impression that they were written in five minutes with more attention given to the arranging than the composition, and “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” does follow a very simple formula in which the composer’s attention is drawn to a thought or an object and he comments on it, finishing his statement with “while my guitar gently weeps”.

Here are the complete lyrics:

I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know why nobody told you
how to unfold your love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it’s turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don’t know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don’t know how you were inverted
No one alerted you

I look at you all, see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at you all
Still my guitar gently weeps

“While My Guitar Gently Weeps” was recorded on September 6, 1968. The guitar solo on the song has the sound that many people associated with The Beatles’ lead guitarist, George Harrison but it was actually played by Eric Clapton with George playing rhythm guitar and Ringo Starr on drums. Paul McCartney played piano on the session and dubbed bass guitar onto the track later. Eric Clapton was invited by George to play on the track and was initially worried about being an outsider playing on a Beatles song, but the presence of a musician of Eric Clapton’s status actually helped dissipate tension between the members of The Beatles. The only issue was that Clapton received no credit on the album cover because of his contract with another record company.

The song has been recorded quite a few times, notably by the late Canadian blues player, Jeff Healy and a solo ukelele version by Jake Shimabukuro.

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