George Harrison’s Handwritten Lyrics For ‘While My Guitar Gently Weeps’ On Sale For $195,000

Words by Riley Fitzgerald
Graphic by Press

Around the time of writing ‘While Wy Guitar Gently Weeps’,” George Harrison wrote in book I Me Mine, “I had a copy of the I Ching – the Chinese Book of Changes which seemed to me to be based on the Eastern concept that everything is relative to everything else, as opposed to the Western view that things are merely coincidental.” 

I had this idea in my head when I visited my parents’ house in North England,” he continues. “I decided to write a song based on the first thing I saw upon opening any book – as it would be relative to that moment, that time.

Selecting a book at random Harrison opened it to find the words “gently weeps” and his imagination ran from there.

Perhaps George Harrison’s most notable contribution to the Beatles‘ White Album, if not during his time with the band overall, the song also features Eric Clapton on guitar.

We tried to record it, but John and Paul were so used to just cranking out their tunes that it was very difficult at times to get serious and record one of mine,” George wrote in Beatles Anthology. “I went home thinking, ‘Well, that’s a shame,’ because I knew the song was pretty good.”

The next day,” he added, “I was driving into London with Eric and I said, ‘What are you doing today? Why don’t you come to the studio and play on this song for me?’”

Initially reluctant – after all, no other guitarist had ever played on Beatles record before – Clapton was eventually persuaded.

Not only did Clapton lay down some of his most accomplished guitar work, but Harrison also believed it also shifted the other Beatles into gear.

It’s interesting to see how nice people behave when you bring a guest in,” he reflected, “because they don’t really want everybody to know that they’re so bitchy.”

Few could argue with the results.

Which makes it little surprise that memorabilia company Moments In Time has now put a handwritten version of the song’s lyrics on auction for a princely sum of no less than $195,000 (US).

The lyrics sheet also features contributions from Ringo Starr, who affectionally corrects several of George’s spelling mistakes.

The seller also notes that this is not the first version of the lyrics which previously sold to one wealthy Beatlemaniac for well over $1million US.

Instead, these were later written by Geroge Harrison for use in the recording studio.

Those interested in purchasing the lyrics may do so here.

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