Cry Baby Cry

“Cry Baby Cry” is a song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon,[1] from their 1968 album The Beatles. The outro of the song is a short segment referred to as “Can You Take Me Back”, written by Paul McCartney, which was actually an outtake from the “I Will” session.

Demos indicate that Lennon composed the song in late 1967. The original lyrics were “Cry baby cry, make your mother buy.” Lennon described to biographer Hunter Davies how he got the words from an advertisement.[2] Some of the lyrics of the song are loosely based on the nursery rhyme “Sing a Song of Sixpence”.

Engineer Geoff Emerick resigned during the recording of “Cry Baby Cry”, though his departure was precipitated by Lennon and McCartney’s obsessions over the recording of both “Revolution” and “Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da”, respectively, and the overall tensions of the White Album sessions. Emerick would not work with the Beatles again until the session for “The Ballad of John and Yoko” nine months later.[3]

After a day-long rehearsal, on 16 July 1968 the basic tracks were laid down for Lennon’s guitar part and his vocal on the introduction, McCartney’s bass, and Starr’s drums, along with Lennon’s piano and George Martin’s harmonium, while all other parts were dubbed in two days later: Lennon’s lead vocal, Lennon/McCartney falsetto backing vocals and tambourines, Martin’s harmonium introduction, sound effects for tea, and Harrison’s guitar, a Gibson Les Paul borrowed from Eric Clapton and soon to be a permanent gift.[4]

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