Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da/While My Guitar Gently Weeps hit no 1 on the Go-Set National Top 40 in March 1969.
Only in Australia was Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da and While My Guitar Gently Weeps released as a double-A-sided single.
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McCartney wrote Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da in a cod Jamaican ska style and appropriated a phrase popularised by Jimmy Scott, a London-based Nigerian musician, for the song’s title and chorus. Following its release, Scott attempted, unsuccessfully, to receive a composing credit.
The title comes from a reggae band called Jimmy Scott and his Obla Di Obla Da Band. Says McCartney, “A fella who used to hang around the clubs used to say in a Jamaican accent, “Ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on,” and he got annoyed when I did a song of it, ’cause he wanted a cut. I said, ‘Come on, Jimmy, it’s just an expression.”
WHILE MY GUITAR GENTLY WEEPS
It was written by George Harrison, the band’s lead guitarist. The song serves as a comment on the disharmony within the Beatles following their return from studying Transcendental Meditation in India in early 1968. This lack of camaraderie was reflected in the band’s initial apathy towards the composition, which Harrison countered by inviting his friend and occasional collaborator, Eric Clapton, to contribute to the recording. Clapton overdubbed a lead guitar part, although he was not formally credited for his contribution.
He wasn’t credited on the album’s liner notes or anywhere else, but Eric Clapton played lead guitar on this song. He and George Harrison were good friends, but George had to convince him to come to the studio because Clapton was worried the other Beatles wouldn’t want him there. Clapton’s presence eased the mood in the studio at a tense time for The Beatles – they were at each other’s throats during recording of The White Album, but they all relaxed when Clapton showed up.
These songs are also on our Spotify playlist.
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