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The meaning of “Isn’t A Pity” according to George Harrison

George Harrison


The meaning of “Isn’t A Pity” according to George Harrison

George Harrison was the first Beatle to score a number hit after the band was over and was with the release of the album “All Things Must Pass” in 1970 that his solo career really took off. His third record had four sides packed with amazing songs and one of them is “Isn’t a Pity”, which many fans thought was about his ex-bandmates. But it actually had nothing to do with them as Harrison told Billboard in 2001.


The meaning of “Isn’t A Pity” according to George Harrison

Curiously, he even started to mix some songs of the album during the recording of The Beatles final album “Let It Be”. And he was first asked by Billboard if the Fab Four could have recorded any of those tracks if they hadn’t broke-up. He joked saying that maybe a few of them could have made it into an album with his “quota” that he was allowed by John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Because after the band came to an end, George said many times that it would be really difficult for Lennon and McCartney to accept his compositions.

“’Isn’t It A Pity’ would just have been a Beatles song, wouldn’t it? And now that could be said for each one of us. ‘Imagine’ would have been a Beatles song, but it was with John’s songs. It just happened that the Beatles finished,” George Harrison said.

After mentioning the track “Isn’t It A Pity”, Harrison explained the meaning of it. He said that it was actually just an observation of the way society were or are. “We take each other for granted — and forget to give back. That was really all it was about. It’s like ‘love lost and love gained between 16- and 20-year-olds.'”

He continued:

“But I must explain: Once, at the time I was at Warner Bros. and I wrote that song ‘Blood From A Clone’, that was when they were having all these surveys out on the street to find out what was a hit record. And apparently, as I was told, a hit record is something that is about ‘love gained or lost between 14- and 19-year-olds.’ Or something really dumb like that. So that’s why I wrote “Isn’t A Pity” (laughs); I thought, ‘Oh, I’ll get in on that!” George Harrison said.

The track actually appears twice on “All Things Must Pass”. The first is the seven-minute well-known version and the second one is a shorter version of the track which has almost five minutes. It was the B-side of “My Sweet Lord”, the song that gave Harrison his first number one hit single.

Besides Harrison, there were many other incredible musicians involved in the recording of the track. Some of them were Ringo Starr, Billy Preston, Gary Wright, Pete Ham, Tom Evans and Klaus Voorman.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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