The day after Lennon’s aforementioned car crash in Scotland, and with him laid up in hospital nursing a gash to the jawline that required 17 stitches, McCartney convened with Harrison and Starr to set to work on another pair of conjoined segments for the Long Medley.
As 1968 drew to a close, McCartney was visiting his father’s house in Cheshire. As he sat at the piano, he noticed sheet music for Elizabethan poet Thomas Dekker’s Golden Slumbers. “I can’t read music and couldn’t remember the old tune,” he recalled, “so I just started playing my own tune to it. I liked the words, so I kept them, and it fitted with another bit of a song that I had.” Over a lush orchestral introduction, Golden Slumbers opens with an introductory lyric of textbook piano-driven McCartney melancholia, Dekker’s contribution arrives – along with Ringo’s drums – at the song’s title line, given significant heft by a McCartney vocal that’s decidedly unbecoming of a lullaby but all the better for it.