A BEATLES' HARD-DIE'S SITE

Wirral songwriter completes George Harrison Beatles song 40 years on


It's not every day you find yourself writing a song with a former Beatle.
But Wirral singer/songwriter Dean Johnson found himself doing just that when he was asked to complete a fragment of a song originally written by George Harrison at the height of Beatlemania.
The original 10 lines were given to biographer Hunter Davies by George for inclusion in his Beatles biography published in the late 1960s, but were put aside and forgotten until recently.
They were picked up by BBC Radio Merseysides Spencer Leigh, who suggested that maybe a contemporary songwriter could make the fragment into a song. He approached Dean.
Spencer called me out of the blue and left a message saying he had an interesting proposition for me, explained Dean, from Oxton. I called him back and when he said he would like me to work on Georges unfinished song I found it unbelievable, tremendously exciting and above all a complete honour.
My brief was to follow Georges sentiment through to its conclusion. The words were both brutally honest and compassionate and Harrison was obviously writing from the heart.
I just tried by my best ability to get into the mind of someone in Georges position and I am so pleased that most people who have heard it, think I achieved a credible continuity with the original lyrics.
The original fragment was written by George when Hunter had asked each Beatle to submit a sample of their handwriting. It was then discarded as scrap paper from the floor of Abbey Road studio, where it is almost certain that it would have been thrown out by the cleaners if he had not picked it up.

When re-examining these papers he came upon the remarkable discovery.
The lyrics are of a personal nature and were first thought to be a song of unrequited love but in hindsight they seem to allude to Georges uneasy relationship with John Lennon.
On the reverse side of the lyric are instructions on how to reach Beatles manager Brian Epsteins country house in Sussex, written in Epsteins hand.
It is now in the British Librarys Beatles collection, along with more material loaned by Hunter who plans to donate everything to the library after his death.
The collection ranges from a fan club membership card to the lyrics of A Hard Days Night, written by John Lennon on the back of a birthday card to his son Julian.
Hunters biography, entitled The Beatles, is republished this month, containing the lost lines with the blessing of Georges estate.
The finished song, entitled Silence (is its own reply), was performed live during an interview with Hunter Davies on Spencer Leighs On The Beat programme.

Silence (is its own reply)

I'm happy to say that it's only a dream
When I come across people like you,
It's only a dream and you make it obscene
With the things that you think and you do.
You're so unaware the pain that I bear
And jealous for what you can't do.
There's times when I feel that you haven't a hope
But I also know that isn't true.
Every time I ask you why
Silence is its own reply
Its so hard to prove what I can do
Compared to someone like you
You make it look easy but you still tease me
When you have got nothing better to do
When the tears are falling and its dawning
The truth will ring out so clear
That no-ones above you and nobody can love you
Until all that pain disappears
Every time I ask you why
Silence is its own reply
By the time we have talked it over
Itis time to say goodbye

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