Song facts: You Never Give Me Your Money

You Never Give Me Your Money is a Beatles' song written by Paul McCartney, and appears on the band's Abbey Road album. Paul wrote the song about his displeasure with The Beatles' financial setup, particularly Allen Klein, who was given control of the band's business affairs in 1969, much to McCartney's dismay. The song was written in March of 1969, while Paul was in New York with his wife Linda, shortly after the Get Back/Let It Be sessions came to a grinding halt.

"This was me directly lambasting Allen Klein's attitude to us: no money, just funny paper, all promises and it never works out. It's basically a song about no faith in the person, that found its way into the medley on Abbey Road. John saw the humour in it." - Paul McCartney
"'Funny paper' - that's what we get. We get bits of paper saying how much is earned and what this is and that is, but we never actually get it in pounds, shilling and pence. We've all got a big house and a car and an office, but to actually get the money we've earned seems impossible." - George Harrison
"That's Paul. Well, that's not a song, you know. Abbey Road was really unfinished songs all stuck together. Everybody praises the album so much, but none of the songs had anything to do with each other, no thread at all, only the fact that we stuck them together." - John Lennon
 Abbey Road, 1969.

Abbey Road, 1969.

Recording

Realising that Abbey Road would likely be The Beatles' final album, McCartney and producer George Martin came up with the idea of the medley on the second side; this was to be a climactic finale to the band's career. The Beatles began recording the beginning of the medley, You Never Give Me Your Money, on May 6th 1969, at Olympic Sound Studios, Barnes, London (later at Abbey Road).

36 takes were recorded on this day, with McCartney on lead vocals and piano, Lennon playing an Epiphone Casino guitar, Harrison on a Fender Telecaster guitar fed through a Leslie speaker and Ringo playing drums

McCartney revisited the song on July 1st, overdubbing his lead vocals onto take 30, with further sound effects and vocals added on July 15th. But It wasn't completed until August, when The Beatles finally figured out how to work the end of the track into Sun King. On August 5th McCartney added tape loops, including: bubbles, chirping crickets, and bells. These were later mixed by George Martin into stereo for the final master released on the album.

Personnel

  • Paul McCartney – lead and backing vocals, piano, bass, wind chimes, tape loops
  • John Lennon – guitar, backing vocal
  • George Harrison – guitar, backing vocal
  • Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine