Dig It

Let It Be album artworkWritten by: Lennon-McCartney-Harrison-Starkey
Recorded: 24, 26, 28, 29 January 1969
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Glyn Johns

Released: 8 May 1970 (UK), 18 May 1970 (US)

John Lennon: vocals, six-string bass guitar
Paul McCartney: piano
George Harrison: lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums
Billy Preston: Hammond organ
George Martin: shaker

Available on:
Let It Be

The Beatles' second all-group composition, after Magical Mystery Tour's Flying, Dig It was improvised during two studio jams in January 1969.

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...Like a rolling stone
Like a rolling stone
Like the FBI, and the CIA
And the BBC, BB King
And Doris Day, Matt Busby
Dig it, dig it, dig it, dig it...

John Lennon led the jams, based upon a sequence of I-IV-V chords, onto which he free-associated a set of mostly nonsensical lyrics.

The Beatles recorded Dig It on four occasions. An extract from the second was used on Let It Be, followed by the spoken words "That was Can You Dig It by Georgie Wood, and now we'd like to do Hark The Angels Come", which were taken from the first version.

In the studio

Although just 49 seconds of Dig It found their way onto Let It Be, the song was originally much longer. The first version, lasting nearly seven minutes, was recorded on 24 January 1969 at Apple Studios.

The Beatles returned to Dig It on 26 January, taping a second version lasting 12'25". A segment from this take, from 8'52" to 9'41", was used on the Let It Be album, with a slightly longer version appearing in the film.

Again, Lennon dominated the song, singing lyrics from Twist And Shout and Bob Dylan's Like A Rolling Stone along with his own improvisations. During the middle of the jam Paul McCartney repeatedly sang a refrain based around the words "Dig it up".

The second version of Dig It featured Billy Preston on organ and George Martin on percussion, and Lennon playing a Fender VI six-string bass guitar. Linda McCartney's six-year-old daughter Heather also made an impromptu vocal contribution early on in the song.

The Beatles returned to Dig It on 28 and 29 January, although nothing from these performances was released. The former version saw Lennon singing the titles of songs recorded by the group during the Let It Be sessions.

Come on and dig it... dig it every night and day... dig it any time of day. You can dig it for breakfast, dig it for your tea. You can dig it in the morning, dig it for dinner, any day... Don't Let Me Down, Get Back, I've Got A Feeling, Two Of Us, All I Want Is You, Teddy Boy, One After 909, All Things Must Pass, Dig It, Let It Be, The Long And Winding Road, For You Blue, Maxwell's Silver Hammer...

7 responses on “Dig It

  1. GeorgeTSimpson

    I just watched the film and lennon definitely plays guitar or he plays chords on a 6-string bass but i don’t know if you can play chords on 6-string bass

    1. appmanga

      You can, although it’s more common to play double-stops (two notes) rather than chords (three or more notes). At that time, their six-string might have used standard tuning, but today five-string basses have a low B-string, and while I have no idea what today’s six-string basses use, I would guess a low D is on top of the low B.

  2. TomMo

    Since the Beatles jammed on other cover songs during the “Let It Be” sessions, (Besame Mucho, Shake, Rattle and Roll, You’ve Really Got A Hold On Me, etc.) I thought “Dig It” was merely an extension of a jam of Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone”, and the snippet that made the album was entitled “Dig It”, merely John improvising the lyrics, as opposed to an actual pre-written song.

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