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Author Topic: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony  (Read 299 times)

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nimrod

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Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« on: October 29, 2014, 12:11:41 PM »

John Lennon was the song's composer and singer but the song was credited to Lennon–McCartney. It was originally called "All I Want Is You". Lennon would later comment that he thought the song was "a piece of garbage," though he has shown similar scorn for many of his songs. It was written for his soon-to-be wife Yoko Ono, and featured a multitude of strange, seemingly nonsense phrases which were strung together in what Lennon refers to as a Bob Dylan style of lyric. The working title for the song, "All I want is you" was originally the title of another composition by Lennon for Yoko, from which the chorus was taken.

Early American copies of Let It Be mistitled this song as "I Dig A Pony."

The song was one of the songs on Let It Be that was recorded at the rooftop concert, with an assistant holding up Lennon's lyrics for him as a cue. It begins with a false start, with Ringo Starr yelling "Hold it!" to halt the other band members because he was blowing his nose and had only one drum stick in his hand. On the Anthology 3 version of this song, the first verse and the end of the song start off with Paul McCartney singing "All I want is..." This phrase appeared in every performance of the song but was cut from the final version by Phil Spector, and subsequently cut from the Let It Be... Naked version.

In rehearsals and takes, the last variation on "dig a pony" was "dog a boney," perhaps a reference to "This Old Man". This is the lyric that appears on Glyn Johns' assembly of Get Back. On the Anthology version, Lennon sang the spoonerism "bog a doney." During the rooftop concert, Lennon substituted what sounds like "rode a lorry," and this is the version that appears on both the Let It Be album and Let It Be... Naked.

Personnel
John Lennon – lead vocal, rhythm guitar
Paul McCartney – backing vocal, bass guitar
George Harrison – backing vocal, lead guitar
Ringo Starr – drums
Billy Preston – electric piano
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Moogmodule

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Re: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« Reply #1 on: October 29, 2014, 12:19:09 PM »

I like this one although I wouldn't put in the top rank of songs. The words are a bit nonsensical but like a lot of Lennons weirder lyrics sound good with the music.  I think George's active guitar really gives the song some movement and oomph.
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Klang

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Re: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« Reply #2 on: October 29, 2014, 02:12:25 PM »


I never cared for the lyrics, but I love the guitars. They save the song for me.

 :)

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tkitna

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Re: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« Reply #3 on: October 29, 2014, 07:40:08 PM »

Meh

I can take it or leave it.  Its seriously such a ,mediocre song, that I could care less if I hear it or not.

Mr Mustard

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Re: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« Reply #4 on: October 30, 2014, 12:51:22 AM »

I've always been fairly ambivalent about this one myself but it does have a sort of warm camaraderie about it, played live as an impromptu jam on the Apple rooftop. I don't know why but I always think it's John shouting "Hold it!" at the false start, even though we all know it's Ringo. That's just part of its spontaneous charm; Paul fluffing his falsetto harmony and John moaning about the cold afford it little touches of humanity.

The lyrics are freeform nonsense of course ("You can syndicate every boat you row" indeed!??!) but John's vocal is great and I do like the guitar interplay between John and George. Nice to hear the four of them pulling together - on reflection, I probably like this one more than I'd realised.
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nimrod

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Re: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« Reply #5 on: October 30, 2014, 05:41:30 AM »

I love this one..

Its a great 'live' song and I love any song that has J&P singing together, love the riff, and the general tone of the guitars and cant go past a great Lennon vocal

I dont know, I know its not a great song by any means but I just love watching them play it, its soulful and I imagine the kind of thing they might write in the early days.

Its a rocker and god they were good at it, this one rocks for me   :)

TAKE IT AWAY BOYS....

Dig A Pony The Beatles HD
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« Reply #6 on: October 30, 2014, 07:11:41 AM »

Not a song that leaps out of the group's back catalogue, but stick it just after 'Two Of Us' and just before 'Across The Universe' and you have one of those incidental songs that are so important in great LPs.
The glue that holds the gems together.

Whilst I have a bit (a small bit) of time for the 'Plastic Ono Band' LP, I rarely play it, and the 'Let It Be' LP is in my opinion (but NOT Paul's!) the only really successful Phil Spector production in the world of The Beatles/Beatles solo, and much better than 'Let It Be.....Naked' which seems to miss the original point of the group 'getting back to nature' completely.   
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Moogmodule

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Re: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« Reply #7 on: October 30, 2014, 07:24:52 AM »

I love this one..

Its a great 'live' song and I love any song that has J&P singing together, love the riff, and the general tone of the guitars and cant go past a great Lennon vocal

I dont know, I know its not a great song by any means but I just love watching them play it, its soulful and I imagine the kind of thing they might write in the early days.

Its a rocker and god they were good at it, this one rocks for me   :)

TAKE IT AWAY BOYS....

Dig A Pony The Beatles HD


Thats a good summation of it's charms I reckon

It's one of the more successful examples of the type of stuff they were trying to do with the whole "Get Back" concept.

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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« Reply #8 on: October 30, 2014, 03:21:26 PM »

Testament to the idea that the Beatles' back catalogue 'bats a long way down' is that, in the 'Beatles Monthly' Poll of June 1983, a song as good as 'Dig A Pony' found itself in a staggeringly low position, tied No. 179, polling only 26 votes.

It shared No. 179 with 'I Wanna Be Your Man', 'What You're Doing' (again surprisingly low) and 'Chains'.
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zipp

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Re: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« Reply #9 on: October 30, 2014, 04:43:43 PM »

It begins with a false start, with Ringo Starr yelling "Hold it!" to halt the other band members because he was blowing his nose and had only one drum stick in his hand.

There are two questions concerning this false start :

1. There's at least one rehearsal take where there's also a false start. Some people think that maybe the false start was planned. I don't think so, but you never know. The Beatles liked having fun.

2. Lewisohn says Ringo is blowing his nose but if you have a video of the film you can see clearly what happened. Ringo thinks he has time to smoke a cigarette. There's a shot of him with the unlit cigarette. He has time to take one puff but the song starts quicker than he thought so he shouts 'Hold it', bends down on his left side to stub out the cigarette on the wooden boarding and is then ready to play.

You can partly see what happens here at 14.22, but unfortunately we can't see Ringo very well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUHuCWkltqw
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« Reply #10 on: October 31, 2014, 09:59:20 AM »

Checked out the excellent '45cat' website and 'Dig A Pony' turned up in 1970 on a Bolivian EP with 'Let It Be', 'I Me Mine' and 'Two Of Us'.
I bet it's worth a bit of dough now!

Is this the only example of 'Dig A Pony' on a 45?
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« Reply #11 on: November 01, 2014, 03:24:34 AM »

The lyrics are freeform nonsense of course ("You can syndicate every boat you row" indeed!??!)


Must have been an inside joke...


The Beatles "Dig A Pony" Take ?

3:30
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zipp

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Re: Song Of The Week - Dig A Pony
« Reply #12 on: November 01, 2014, 03:50:28 PM »

Must have been an inside joke...

Quite possibly but sometimes John himself didn't seem to be too sure of all the lyrics. Just before the "syndicate any boat you row" the official lyrics say "I cold and lonely" whereas we can in fact hear him sing "dog a pony" or "bog a dony" etc. depending what version you're listening to (the Anthology version is quite clearly 'bog a dony'). To be honest I think he was still casting round for ideas for this line.

However I've always thought that when he sings "I can roll a stoney" it's a direct reference to the Rolling Stones, especially when he then sings "You can imitate everyone you know". Lennon has been known to accuse the Stones of imitating the Beatles and he was probably right.
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