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