Which Beatles song samples Shakespeare?

On 29 September, I967, John Lennon worked with George Martin and the Abbey Road sound engineers on a potential new Beatles single.

They had the basic architecture of I AM THE WALRUS and Lennon was experimenting with additional sound sources for the outro.

We did about half a dozen mixes and I just used whatever was coming through at that time.

For Mix 22 of these they added a live radio feed from the BBC Third Programme, broadcasting for the last time after thirty one years. The station was ending with a recording from the previous month of the RSC production of King Lear.

Happy accident

Lennon was unaware that he was listening to Shakespeare performed on the 24th of August. three days before the death of Brian Epstein. All he heard was the sound of voices — or rather what sounded like a single voice:

I never knew it was King Lear until, years later, somebody told me — because I could hardly make out what he was saying. It was interesting to mix the whole thing with a live radio coming through it.

The words Lennon could not hear come from Act IV Scene VI.

The Beatles and the Bard (3 minute free read on Medium)

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