#178: Dig a Pony

It’s the rawest moment on the rawest Beatles album: Ringo Starr yelling “Hold it!” to halt his bandmates from playing before he blows his nose. Why producer Phil Spector saw fit to include this false start on the Let it Be album is a mystery, but maybe we’re all just better off not speculating on why Phil Spector does the things he does.

spector
Hey Phil, next time you murder somebody, maybe start with your barber.

 

“Dig a Pony” is another in the long line of songs John Lennon wrote only to later deem a “piece of garbage,” and while I wouldn’t go that far, he clearly didn’t put a whole lot of effort into it. The very next song on the album, “Across the Universe,” falls into the same realm of stream-of-consciousness, but in a much more poetic and captivating fashion. There’s a difference between effortless and lazy, and “Dig a Pony” falls into the latter category. The lyrics make little sense, and not in a “Let’s analyze them!” sort of way like in “I Am the Walrus”; it’s more of a “What the hell is he talking about?”

But those inane, boring lyrics actually end up perfectly suited to the band’s rough, sloppy performance–and I mean that as a compliment. It’s not an especially impressive song, but it’s one of the most genuine recordings in the Beatles’ catalog, and any fan of Lennon/McCartney harmonies (so…everybody) will appreciate the powerful beauty their combined voices achieve at the chorus.

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#178: Dig a Pony