Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: The Beatles, “Long, Long, Long”

Jim’s prompt for today is "Long, Short, Small, Tall," and my choice is The Beatles’ "Long, Long, Long."

George Harrison wrote this on the band’s trip to Rishikesh, India to study under Maharishi Mahesh Yogi in 1968. He had just recommitted himself to playing the guitar after a couple of years spent mastering the sitar, and was especially inspired by Bob Dylan’s album Blonde On Blonde, the only record he brought with him on the trip. George experienced a musical "growth spurt" while he was in India; Wikipedia tells us "Donovan, the Scottish singer-songwriter who joined in the Beatles’ musical activities in Rishikesh, recalled that Harrison played both sitar and guitar at the ashram and was developing a style of music that became ‘the finest spiritual sound’." The chord changes in the song were based on those from Dylan’s "Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowlands," and its laid-back arrangement shows the influence of The Band’s Music From Big Pink.

Reviews were generally mixed, with some saying it was one of the best songs on the album, while others being totally underwhelmed by it. While at first you get the impression that he’s addressing a woman, George said he was addressing God.

The lyrics are from Genius:

It’s been a long, long, long time
How could I ever have lost you
When I loved you?

It took a long, long, long time
Now I’m so happy I found you
How I love you

So many tears I was searching
So many tears I was wasting, oh, oh

Now I can see you, be you
How can I ever misplace you?
How I want you
Oh, I love you
You know that I need you
Oh, how I love you

That’s Song Lyric Ssunday and Song of the Day for February 21, 2021.

32 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday/Song of the Day: The Beatles, “Long, Long, Long”

  1. I never heard of this song before and my mom is a HUGE Beatles fan. Well, she didn’t like a lot of Harrison’s stuff a, maybe that is why she skip this song. (My mom loooooooooooooooooooove John though.)

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    1. George’s songwriting was more spiritual than the other two, although he could be very funny, with songs like “Crackerbox Palace” and “When We Was Fab.” He was more of an introvert than the other two, who seemed to be in a perpetual battle to see who could write more songs. He was a tremendous musician…

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  2. Soooo perfect for this prompt. I thought of “Long and Winding Road” but didn’t do it. I love George and feel he had his own special talent. It was just overshadowed by Paul and John. Great choice! 🙂

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    1. George’s talent as a songwriter developed later than Paul’s and John’s. It wasn’t really until “Revolver” that they let him write more than one song per album. Paul and John thought of him as the “kid brother” more than anything, and he ended up saving a lot of his songs and not sharing them. He offered “All Thimgs Must Pass” and “Sour Milk Sea,” which eventually ended up on his first solo album (a three-record set). Glad you enjoyed it!

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  3. I’m in the love it camp. Of course George is my favorite Beatle too. The idea of him singing to God is that much more special.

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    1. It’s tucked away on side 3 with “Birthday,” “Yer Blues,” “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me and My Monkey,” and “Helter Skelter,” a bunch of loud and rambunctious songs with which it doesn’t fit.It’s easy to miss.

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  4. This is a new song to me, John. I enjoyed it and it made more sense to me that he might be addressing God. I guess we will never know for sure. Thanks for posting this one. It has a familiar feel even though I never recall ever hearing it before tonight.

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