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13 November 2014

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You are in: Berkshire > Entertainment > Arts features > Unseen George Harrison lyrics on display

Unseen George Harrison lyrics on display

Previously unseen lyrics written by former Henley-on-Thames resident George Harrison have gone on display at the British Library in London. Find out more and about The Beatles' Berkshire connections below.

The George Harrison lyric

A previously unseen George Harrison lyric, found by author and collector Hunter Davies, has gone on display at the British Library in London.

Listen to the lyric

Listen to 'George Harrison', aka Andre Barreau from The Bootleg Beatles, read the lyric:

George Harrison

George Harrison, lived in Henley

Written in early 1967 when George was aged 23 or 24, the untitled song was penned at a time when The Beatles had stopped touring to spend more time in the studio to work on what would arguably become their most famous record, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. 

The Beatles official biographer Hunter Davies found the lyric during his research for a new edition of his fab four biography.

He said: "I can't believe I'd kept George's lyric all these years but had forgotten about it until now!"

Hunter collected Beatles lyrics discarded as scrap paper from the floor of Abbey Road studio and kept them as souvenirs.

It's almost certain that they would have been thrown out by the cleaners if he hadn't picked them up.

Pattie Boyd and George Harrison

Was the lyric about Pattie Boyd?

"Although George is no longer around to tell us what the inspiration was for the song," he says, "I'm glad the lyric will be on display at the British Library for generations of Beatles fans to enjoy."

Written in George's handwriting, it's not a song that he ever recorded, or perhaps even put music to, as far as is known.

The girl George was dreaming about remains a mystery although it could have been his then wife Pattie Boyd.

The lyric is eight lines long:

I'm happy to say that it's only a dream
when I come across people like you,
It's only a dream and you make it obscene
With the things that you think and you do.
You're so unaware of the pain that I bear
and jealous for what you can't do.
There's times when I feel that you haven't a hope
but I also know that isn't true.

On the reverse side of George's lyric are instructions on how to reach The Beatles manager, Brian Epstein's country house in Sussex, written in Brian's hand.

This means that George must have written the lyric before August 1967 when Brian was found dead at his London home following an accidental sleeping pill overdose.

The lyric can be seen in the British Library's Sir John Ritblat Gallery, which is free and open to the public.

The Beatles in Berkshire and surrounds

Friar Park

George Harrison lived in Henley-on-Thames from 1970 at Friar Park, a 120-room Victorian neo-Gothic mansion.

George Harrison

George Harrison

Harrison immortalised the building in his song Crackerbox Palace (his nickname for the mansion.

A further song, The Ballad Of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll), was also inspired by the mansion's history.

Harrison loved tending to the gardens personally, and among the groundskeepers were his older brothers Peter and Harry.

It was at Friar Park where an intruder broke into the gated grounds and attacked George and his wife Cynthia in 1999, leaving Harrison hospitalised with stab wounds to the chest.

Tittenhurst Park

Tittenhurst Park in London Road, Sunningdale near Ascot was the home of John Lennon and Yoko Ono from the late summer of 1969 until August 1971, and then the home of Ringo Starr and family until the late 1980s.

The last Beatles photo session took place at Tittenhurst Park on 22 August 1969, and the photos were used for the front and back covers of their Hey Jude album early in 1970.

At Tittenhurst John penned his world famous song Imagine, and the white room in the video is also in the Sunningdale estate.

George Harrison, stabbed in Henley in 1999

George Harrison, stabbed in Henley in 1999

Lennon also built a recording studio calling it Ascot Sound Studios.

Caversham

In April 23 and 24 1960, John Lennon and Paul McCartney spent the Easter holiday working at the Fox And Hounds pub in Caversham, Reading, which was owned by Paul's cousin Elizabeth Robbins.

As a reward for working behind the bar, John and Paul were allowed to perform a few songs for the punters.

They sat on stools without microphones and performed as The Nerk Twins.

last updated: 08/05/2009 at 16:07
created: 08/05/2009

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