I’ve Got A Feeling

Let It Be album artworkWritten by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 22, 23, 24, 27, 28, 30 January 1969
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Glyn Johns

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

Paul McCartney: vocals, bass
John Lennon: vocals, rhythm guitar
George Harrison: vocals, lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums
Billy Preston: electric piano

Available on:
Let It Be
Anthology 3
Let It Be... Naked

The opening song of Let It Be's second half, I've Got A Feeling was made up of two half-finished songs joined together.

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McCartney wrote the section that gave the song its title; Lennon's contribution was originally called Everybody Had A Hard Year, and had previously been demoed during the White Album sessions.

As such, it was the pair's first full and equal collaboration since 1967's Baby You're A Rich Man. Lennon and McCartney worked on the song together at the latter's house in Cavendish Avenue, London.

Each part of the song shows the differences in the two men's lives at that point. McCartney's was a love song written about his future wife Linda Eastman, whom he married in March 1969.

Lennon, conversely, had recently divorced his first wife Cynthia and was estranged from their son Julian. Additionally, he was addicted to heroin, his then-girlfriend Yoko Ono had recently suffered a miscarriage, the pair had been arrested for cannabis possession, and his enthusiasm for being a Beatle was at an all-time low.

In the studio

The Beatles first recorded I've Got A Feeling on 22 January 1969, their first session after filming Let It Be at Twickenham Film Studios. More takes were recorded over the next two days. One version, from 23 January, was included on Anthology 3. Another, from the 24th, was included on the unreleased Get Back LP.

The Beatles continued work on the song on 27 and 28 January, but it wasn't until the Apple rooftop performance that they recorded the final version. They recorded two versions of I've Got A Feeling, the first of which appeared on the Let It Be album and in the film.

The 2003 album Let It Be... Naked included a composite edit of the two rooftop performances, prepared especially for the release.

35 responses on “I’ve Got A Feeling

  1. Joseph Brush

    If I am not mistaken, in between Day In The Life and I’ve Got A Feeling, John and Paul did combine to write two songs together.
    The first one being Baby You’re A Rich Man and the second one being Birthday.

  2. Barry

    If Paul’s section is a “love song written about his future wife” why does he sing this:

    ‘Oh please believe me I hate to miss the train. And if you leave me I won’t be late again.”

    That’s one lyric that certainly doesn’t sound much like love!!

    1. Jen

      I’m not positive about this but i think its like “I’d hate to miss the train”- I’d hate to miss this chance of being in love with you etc. “and if you leave me i won’t be late again”- If you leave me, i won’t make that mistake (i.e. not taking a chance) again.

      I hope that helps but really thats just my interpretation =)

  3. Matt

    You wrote that I’ve Got A Feeling was their first full and equal collaboration since A Day In The Life. However, Baby You’re A Rich Man was a collaboration with John writing the verse and Paul writing the chorus. John said about Baby You’re A Rich Man, “We just stuck two songs together for this one, the same as A Day In The Life.”

    1. Julio

      Your right Watching the Rainbows and I’ve Got A feelling are quite similiar and from the same sessions. It seems that John or George just laid this on top of Paul’s idea for the verse.

      1. apple_jam

        I believe Paul is the only guitar on “Watching rainbows.” He probably came up with the riff. However, the melody John sings is very similar, in not identical, to “I’ve got a feeling.” I would call this a collaboration.

    2. Ramon

      I ‘ve got a feeling’s riff didn’t come from Watching Rainbows. That’s an inaccurate story made up by someone. That theory came popular but it is false.
      Watching the rainbows was a jam derived from I’ve got a feeling’s riff, not viceversa. Lennon took Paul’s riff and made up on the spot this unreleased composition. This happened after The Beatles played a versión of Mean Mr Mustard..
      I’ve got a feeling was rehearsed at Twickenham on day one (January 2) of the Let It Be sessions, Watching rainbows came fourteen days later ( january 14). You should check the bootlegs of the sessions.
      I agree with David, I´ve got a feeling is mostly McCartney’s. Basically is a Paul’s song with a second middle section by Lennon ( McCartney already had written “the first middle” : ” All these years wandering around…”), not a equal colaboration.

      You could hear the first rehearsals of I’ve got a feeling here:

      http://letitbedissected.blogspot.com/search/label/Let%20it%20Down

  4. Kent Bettenhausen

    Also, Birthday is a collaboration too. I believe mainly John Lennon plays most of the guitars on Birthday, and he sings on some of the verses solo too.

    Yes, John and Paul needed each other as is quite evident by their masterpieces.

  5. SgtPepper1909

    Did the BBC get antsy at the “everybody had a wet dream” phrase? To me, it almost seemed like a pro-hippie section (John’s) dissing the culture. The “everybody let their hair down” always left me with a picture of a hippie letting his hair out of his peace-symbol flecked headband. Also, it seemed like “everybody gave up caring what the old man thought”.

  6. Dave

    Where did the version on Anthology come from, there one where Lennon says “I cocked it up tying to get loud!”? It sounds like it came from the roof session, but I didn’t think either of those two versions ended early.

    1. jonathan lennon

      I think it was recorded in Twickenham film studios, the quality of the recording (which was poor in Twickenham because of the combined factors of poor acoustics and the use of portable equipment) lends itself to having been recorded there

  7. Gil

    The main rhythm guitar figure over the “A” and “D” chords that John plays in the verse is the same as the one Paul plays on acoustic guitar in “Mother Nature’s Son” over the “All day long I’m sitting singing songs” part.

  8. william

    This is the mark of a great, great group. This is an amazing song that only the diehard Beatles fans really know about. I can listen to this over and over….

    1. Joe Post author

      I’m not sure that he does. There doesn’t seem to be evidence of it during the Let It Be film, but that song has lots of crowd/police shots. As far as I can tell it’s just McCartney and Lennon on vocals.

  9. robert

    Uhm George absolutely sings during I’ve Got a Feeling – he sings on the “oh yea” and although it’s not shown I will assume he sings on the “oh no” as well.

    George also sings during Don’t Let Me Down on the roof top. It’s impossible to miss. The only point Lewisohn could be making is about rooftop songs on the original Let It Be Album – since Don’t Let Me Down is not on that album – but it is on LIB-Naked –

    except that George also sings on the very beginning of Dig A Pony and it appears George sings on the very end of Dig A Pony – it looks like he’s coming off the mic as the camera pans his way – the “all I want is you” lines at the start and ending.

    It’s all there on film (and in colour!)

    1. GeorgeTSimpson

      You’re right, I’ve watched the film again and I saw it. The All I Want Is You line was also edited out, though, so I’ve Got A Feeling is the only time on Let It Be we can hear him sing in a song that was recorded during the rooftop concert

    1. Joe Post author

      Spector mostly just remixed the tracks, whereas George Martin produced the sessions. Sometimes Spector’s contributions went beyond just mixing, and on those tracks I’ve credited him accordingly.

  10. GeorgeTSimpson

    The get back version and the anthology version are the same take-and they were both recorded on 22nd january. The complete get back tapes are available and you can hear thet they are both recorded on 22nd january, because both takes break down in the same way and the only takes which does that is the 22nd january version

  11. David

    I think it is a bit unfair to call this a Lennon – McCartney collaboration, particularly a ‘full and equal’ one. McCartney really wrote the vast majority of this song, with a middle eight included by John. It is more of a 80 – 20 collaboration.

    1. Albert Cunning

      I’ve basically always agreed with the views you present there, but considering the song is, as someone here already pointed out, derived from an idea that is largely Lennon’s, I think the credits should be slightly closer than that. If you were to give it to one of them, it would be Paul, as he did most of the work.

      The stickler in me strongly disagrees with the term ‘middle eight’, but let’s leave that, because it’s neither here nor there.

  12. AppleCore Andy

    I always love performing this song in our wigs-free Beatles cover band. McCartney’s vocal range is not to be tackled by the faint-of-heart. I never know as I approach the “all these years I’ve been wandering around” part if I’m going to be able to hit those notes. Most of the time I do, but barely. And he can still do it today…in the original key…night after night!

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