Golden Slumbers Kiss Your Eyes

    GOLDEN slumbers kiss your eyes,
    Smiles awake you when you rise.
    Sleep pretty wantons, do not cry,
    And I will sing a lullaby;
    Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

    Care is heavy, therefore sleep you;
    You are care, and care must keep you.
    Sleep pretty wantons, do not cry,
    And I will sing a lullaby;
    Rock them, rock them, lullaby.

    Thomas Dekker (1570-1641)


At four hundred years old it's a true Golden Oldie. This poem, a lullaby by the Elizabethan playwright Thomas Dekker is the obvious basis for the tune "Golden Slumbers", with its refrain:
Sleep pretty darling do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby.

Paul McCartney built his song upon this poem when he discovered it among his father's sheet music. The second verse of Dekker's poem probably led to the next cut, Carry That Weight, a reprise of part of an earlier song, You Never Give Me Your Money . All of which appear on the Abbey Road album released in England in September of 1969. Golden Slumbers and Carry That Weight were recorded as a single song. An expression of Paul's emotions, many think, about the burden of keeping the Beatles together during 1969, a year marked by conflict and difficulties. The chorus is sung by all four Beatles which was rarely done especially in their later albums. Ringo tended not to provide even back up vocals for most recordings.

Dekker was a British poet and although the composition date is unknown it first appeared in the play The Pleasant Comedy of Patient Grissill (1603). A contemporary of Shakespeare he was a prolific writer though the quality of his work is held to be uneven among many scholars.

A dramatist and pamphleteer born in London, Dekker left us valuable and frequently comical insights into Elizabethan London as his legacy. He almost always took sides with the oppressed members of society. More than forty plays survive, among them the comedies The Shoemakers Holiday (1600) a funny tale about a shoemaker who becomes the mayor of London. And among his pamphlets are The Wonderful Year, an account satirizing the London dandies and gallants of the day.

Sources:

Bram, Robert Philips, Norma H. Dicky, "Dekker, Thomas," Funk & Wagnalls New Encyclopedia , 1988.

Golden Slumbers/ Carry That Weight:
members.optushome.com.au/beatlesfiles

Public Domain text taken from the Poet’s Corner:
http://www.theotherpages.org/poems/dekker01.html#1

CST Approved.

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