Get Back: McCartney suggested that they reject the multi-layered studio work and ‘get back’ to their roots as a live rock ‘n roll band. Lennon, however, claimed that every time McCartney sang the line ‘get back to where you once belonged’ he looked meaningfully at Yoko Ono.
I Me Mine: The last track ever to be recorded by the Fab Four. After recording the Abbey Road album, George, Paul and Ringo came together and finished this Harrison song about the selflessness of LSD. Originally 1:34 minutes, but Phil Spector doubled the length by copying the second verse and chorus.
For You Blue: Dedicated to Patti Harrison (Georges’ wife), this twelve bar was taped in only six tapes. Harrison was inspired by Mississippi slide guitarist Elmore James.
Long and Winding Road: This song was written by McCartney on the same day as Let It Be. McCartney sent a demo to Tom Jones. Phil Spector secretly dubbed a thirty-piece orchestra onto this track, contradicting the original concept of an honest recording. Eight days after hearing the result McCartney announced that The Beatles no longer existed.
Two of Us: Supposedly about McCartney’s relationship with Linda Eastman (later Linda McCartney), the lyrics seems to be more to do with John and Paul. The lines about chasing paper and getting nowhere are taken to refer to The Beatles’ contractual troubles.
Don’t Let Me Down: is distinguished by a passionate Lennon vocal. The bass, played by McCartney, is full of bubbling octave leaps which irritated the older generation of British bassmen.
One After 909: This rough and ready train blues was written, largely by Lennon, at McCartney’s house soon after their first meeting at Woolton garden in 1957. Lennon explained ‘I lived at 9 Newcastle Road. I was born on the ninth of October. It’s just a number that follows me around.’
Dig A Pony: Recorded on the rooftop in January 1969, Ringo halts the count-in to blow his nose. McCartney misses his falsetto harmony on the second chorus and Lennon complains that his fingers are too cold to hold down the chords. The lyric claims that society’s old values and taboos were dead, that life was a game and art a free-for-all.
Across The Universe: According to those who knew Lennon around this time, his LSD intake was so enormous that he was permanently tripping, hence the ‘poetic’ lyrics. The squeaky backing vocals are those of two teenage girl fans who stood all day outside the Abbey Road studios. A dream came true for them.
I’ve Got A Feeling: This song, a fifty-fifty Lennon-McCartney collaboration, is a fusion of two half songs. A verse/chorus and middle eight by McCartney; a sort of 1968 yearbook by Lennon. It was recorded during the rooftop concert, hence the robust and soulful performance.
Let It Be: McCartney had a dream in which his dead mother Mary appeared to him and told him not to get worked up about things, to let them be… Lennon made no secret of his aversion to the Catholic sanctimony he heard in this track.
Maggie Mae: This traditional song is about a Liverpool prostitute. It was an old Beatles “warm-up”. John, Paul, George and Ringo all sang the song together.