‘Here Comes the Sun’, the iconic song most synonymous with guitarist George Harrison, featured on The Beatles 1969 album Abbey Road and is remembered as one of the band’s biggest hits.
Harrison, who wrote the song in early 1969 while staying at the country house of his friend Eric Clapton, was enduring a difficult period of his life when he created the track having recently quit The Beatles and had been arrested for marijuana possession.
“‘Here Comes the Sun’ was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: ‘Sign this’ and ‘sign that’,” Harrison later wrote in his autobiography. “Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever, by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So one day I decided I was going to sag off Apple and I went over to Eric Clapton’s house.”
He added: “The relief of not having to go see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric’s acoustic guitars and wrote ‘Here Comes the Sun’.”
It was during that same period of isolation at Clapton’s house that Harrison had a profound effect on the musician, inspiring to be laid back in his approach to songwriting. Speaking about the creation of ‘Here Comes the Sun’ as part of Martin Scorsese’s documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Clapton explained that he, personally, would never contemplate taking his guitar outside to write music “this is what George brought to the situation”.
Clapton added: “He was just a magical guy and he would show up, get out of the car with his guitar and come in and start playing… I just watched this thing come to life. I felt very proud that it was my garden that was inspiring it.”
With lyrics touching on the themes of relief having taken respite around the somewhat depressing administrative aspects of Beatles life, Harrison headed off to Sardinia in June of that year to complete the words for the song. Here, we explore some of the handwritten, original lyrics he penned during that time.