My Sweet Lord

Album: All Things Must Pass (1970)
Charted: 1 1
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  • This was Harrison's first single as a solo artist, and it was his biggest hit. The song is about the Eastern religions he was studying.

    Highly unusual for a hit song, Harrison repeats part of a Hindu mantra in the lyric when he sings, "Hare Krishna... Krishna, Krishna." When set to music, this mantra is typically part of a chant that acts as a call to the Lord. Harrison interposes it with a Christian call to faith: "Hallelujah" - he was pointing out that "Hallelujah and Hare Krishna are quite the same thing."

    In the documentary The Material World, Harrison explains: "First, it's simple. The thing about a mantra, you see... mantras are, well, they call it a mystical sound vibration encased in a syllable. It has this power within it. It's just hypnotic."
  • In 1971, Bright Tunes Music sued Harrison because this sounded too much like the 1963 Chiffons hit "He's So Fine." Bright Tunes was controlled by The Tokens, who set it up when they formed the production company that recorded "He's So Fine" - they owned the publishing rights to the song.

    During the convoluted court case, Harrison explained how he composed the song: He said that in December 1969, he was playing a show in Copenhagen, Denmark, with the group Delaney and Bonnie, whose piano player was Billy Preston (who contributed to some Beatles recordings). Harrison said that he started writing the song after a press conference when he slipped away and started playing some guitar chords around the words "Hallelujah" and "Hare Krishna." He then brought the song to the band, who helped him work it out as he came up with lyrics. When he returned to London, Harrison worked on Billy Preston's album Encouraging Words. They recorded the song for the album, which was released on Apple Records later in 1970, and Harrison filed a copyright application for the melody, words and harmony of the song. Preston's version remained an album cut, and it was Harrison's single that was the huge hit and provoked the lawsuit, which was filed on February 10, 1971, while the song was still on the chart.

    In further testimony, Harrison claimed he got the idea for "My Sweet Lord" from The Edwin Hawkins Singers' "Oh Happy Day," not "He's So Fine."

    When the case was filed, Harrison's manager was Allen Klein, who negotiated with Bright Tunes on his behalf. The case was delayed when Bright Tunes went into receivership, and was not heard until 1976. In the meantime, Harrison and Klein parted ways in bitter fashion, and Klein began consulting Bright Tunes. Harrison offered to settle the case for $148,000 in January 1976, but the offer was rejected and the case brought to court.

    The trial took place February 23-25, with various expert witnesses testifying. The key to the case was the musical pattern of the two songs, which were both based on two musical motifs: "G-E-D" and "G-A-C-A-C." "He's So Fine" repeated both motifs four times, "My Sweet Lord" repeated the first motif four times and the second motif three times. Harrison couldn't identify any other songs that used this exact pattern, and the court ruled that "the two songs are virtually identical." And while the judge felt that Harrison did not intentionally copy "My Sweet Lord," that was not a defense - thus Harrison was on the hook writing a similar song without knowing it. Harrison was found guilty of "subconscious plagiarism" in a verdict handed down on August 31, 1976.

    Assessing damages in the case, the judge determined that "My Sweet Lord" represented 70% of the airplay of the All Things Must Pass album, and came up with a total award of about $1.6 million. However, in 1978 Allen Klein's company ABKCO purchased Bright Tunes for $587,000, which prompted Harrison to sue. In 1981, a judge decided that Klein should not profit from the judgment, and was entitled to only the $587,000 he paid for the company - all further proceeds from the case had to be remitted back to Harrison. The case dragged on until at least 1993, when various administrative matters were finally settled.

    The case was a burden for Harrison, who says he tried to settle but kept getting dragged back to court by Bright Tunes. After losing the lawsuit, he became more disenfranchised with the music industry, and took some time off from recording - after his 1976 album Thirty Three & 1/3, he didn't release another until his self-titled album in 1979. He told Rolling Stone, "It's difficult to just start writing again after you've been through that. Even now when I put the radio on, every tune I hear sounds like something else."
  • This was recorded at Abbey Road studios using the same equipment The Beatles used. There were some familiar faces at the sessions who had contributed to Beatles albums, including John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Billy Preston and Eric Clapton. Bobby Whitlock was friends with Harrison and Clapton, and played keyboards on the album. When Songfacts spoke with Whitlock, he shared his thoughts:

    "That whole session was great. George Harrison, what a wonderful man. All the time that I ever knew him, which was from 1969 to his passing, he was a wonderful man. He included everyone on everything he did because there was enough for all."

    Whitlock adds, "All during the sessions, the door would pop open and in would spring three or four or five Hare Krishnas in their white robes and shaved heads with a pony tail coming out the top. They were all painted up, throwing rose petals and distributing peanut butter cookies."
  • This was the first #1 hit for any Beatle after the band broke up. Harrison became the first Beatle to release a solo album when he issued Wonderwall Music, the soundtrack to the movie Wonderwall, in 1968.
  • When this song was released, the phrase "Hare Krishna" was associated with a religious group called the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, whose members would often approach passengers in airports, seeking donations and trying to solicit members. Individuals in this group became popularly known as "Hare Krishnas," with a generally negative connotation.

    Artists who record chant music often face a negative reaction from listeners who don't understand the mantras. When Songfacts spoke with Krishna Das, the leading American chant musician, he explained: "'My Sweet Lord' is very clear and very beautiful, but the problem is that English has been appropriated by Western religion and it's very hard to talk about spiritual things in a song that doesn't get too 'organized religion-y,' you know? And then you get a lot of people who have a negative reaction to that as well. You can get a lot of negativity from the organized religion people. Like, 'This isn't our Jesus. This isn't the way it is.'"
  • Phil Spector produced this and sang backup. With the blessing of Harrison and John Lennon (and over the objections of Paul McCartney), Spector produced the last Beatles album, Let It Be.
  • In an interview with Howard Stern, Peter Frampton verified that he played lead guitar on "My Sweet Lord." According to Frampton, Harrison was a fan of his and invited him to the studio, where he handed Frampton his legendary Les Paul. Frampton assumed he was going to play rhythm, but Harrison said he wanted him to play lead, so Frampton did. Frampton wasn't officially credited for this (just as Eric Clapton wasn't credited on "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"), but rumors circulated for years.
  • George Harrison's mother was Catholic and sometimes took him to church. By the time he was 12, George decided the Catholic church was "bulls--t," and shied away from religion in general. Learning about Indian music and spirituality sparked him to explore further, and he found they suited him. In 1968, he went to India with the other Beatles, where he studied Transcendental Meditation with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. They became disenchanted with the Maharishi and left early, but Harrison dove deeper into his studies.

    The Catholic vision of faith - believing in God without seeing Him - didn't sit well with Harrison. He found a more compelling case in Eastern philosophy; his gateway was Ravi Shankar, a top Indian musician who taught Harrison how to play sitar. Shankar taught him about swamis and yogis, and gave him a book by Swami Vivekananda, the first Indian swami to come to America.

    Speaking with Timothy White in 1992, Harrison explained: "In his book he said, 'If there's a God we must see him. If there's a soul we must perceive it. Otherwise, it's better not to believe. It's better to be an outspoken atheist than a hypocrite.'

    And when I read that after all that stuff I'd been through with the Church, with 'You just believe what we tell you. And don't ask questions.' Whereas the Swami's saying, 'If there's a God we must see him.' I thought, 'Right on, that's the one for me!' If there's a God, I want to see him."
  • Producer Phil Spector thought "My Sweet Lord" was the commercial hit of the album, and everyone else resisted him on that. According to Phil, George and others worried about how the public might react to the religious overtones and the Hare Krishna influence.
  • After Harrison died, this was re-released in the UK, where it once again went to #1. Proceeds from the single went to the Material World Charitable Foundation, which Harrison started in 1973 to support charities that work with children and the poor.
  • George Harrison parodied "My Sweet Lord" during Eric Idle's Rutland Weekend Television Christmas special on December 26, 1975, turning it into "The Pirate Song." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ethan - Franklin, TN
  • Artists to cover this song include Aretha Franklin, Johnny Mathis, Richie Havens, Nina Simone, Peggy Lee and Julio Iglesias. The Chiffons also covered the song in 1975 amidst the plagiarism lawsuit over their song "He's So Fine."
  • The guitar riff on America's 1975 #1 hit "Sister Golden Hair" was inspired by this track. That song was produced by George Martin, who worked on most of The Beatles albums.

    Gerry Beckley, who wrote "Sister Golden Hair" and sang lead, said in his Songfacts interview: "I very openly tip my hat there to 'My Sweet Lord' and George Harrison. I was such a fan of all The Beatles but we knew George quite well and I just thought that was such a wonderful intro."
  • U2 performed this as a tribute at their show in Atlanta on November 30, 2001, the night after Harrison died.
  • This was one of several '70s hits used in the 2017 movie Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.
  • Harrison released a new version, "My Sweet Lord 2000," when he reissued All Things Must Pass.
  • During a flight from Los Angeles to New York in 1971, Harrison's plane was hit by lightning, causing severe turbulence. He recalled chanting the "hare krishna" mantra, which he credited with saving his life. Speaking with the Indian magazine Back to Godhead in 1982, he said: "I know for me, the difference between making it and not making it was actually chanting the mantra."

Comments: 70

  • George from Vancouver, CanadaSounds to me like they took Harison's song/melody & recorded it earlier, but that he created it ultimately. . . stupid-ass laws only for the rich recording companies & F the truth. . .
  • S.m.a. from U.s.a.It is difficult for many songs sound similar. Yet, was a computer input to reflect the tones, the cords, rests, and basic rhythum ever offered in court? Faith of spirit of a diety is not exactally the same religious scripture approach for everyone. With prayer, I would hope that diety has the ability to forgive and allow eternal peace.
  • Devarsirat Das from LondonGeorge Harrison wasnt a member of the Hare Krishna Movement led by Maharishi Yogi. That is completely wrong. Maharishi was the leader of TM meditation. George Harrison associated first with Maharishi Yogi but then became a close follower of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada the leader of the Hare Krishna Movement. When he sung My Sweet Lord he was inspired by Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupada and with Lord he was addressing Lord Krishna. Maharishi was an impersonalist not a follower of Krishna.
  • Shawn from Green Bay WiI've listened to this song and He's So Fine probably a hundred times since I was a child, and never once did I ever link the two songs or think they sounded alike in the least until reading this. The guitar riff in the intro to this song should have been enough to throw the case out of court. He's So Fine has nothing that sounds remotely like that. To say that the songs are identical just because the lyrics are sung in the same key progression is ludicrous. Totally discounts the rest of the song, which is the majority. By the way, He's So Fine also has a bridge, which My Sweet Lord does not.
  • Markantney from BiloxiJun 2015,

    Paul though Fogerty was sued for "Copying" himself, he won the suit but yes he was jerked regardless but at least he won.

    And MSL is a great-great song, gutsy too.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn February 7th 1971, Billy Preston's covered version of "My Sweet Lord" entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart at position #94, the following week it stayed at #94, and then on its 3rd and final week on the chart it peaked at #90...
    It reached #23 on Billboard's R&B Singles chart...
    Between 1969 and 1982 he had fourteen Top 100 records; four made the Top 10 with two reaching #1, "Will It Go Round In Circles" for 2 weeks in 1973 and "Nothing from Nothing" for 1 week in 1974...
    He just missed having a third #1 when "Outa-Space" peaked at #2* {for 1 week} in 1972...
    William Everett Preston passed away on June 6th, 2006 at the young age of 59...
    May he R.I.P.
    * The week "Outa-Space" was at #2, the #1 record for that week was "Lean on Me" by Bill Withers.
  • Kimberly from Landing, NjKNOWLEDGE of our Wold makes the difference between as it shows scopes of grace in the hands of our future, love,aspects .
  • Faith from Brooklyn, NyI like them all and it is so unfortunate how they loved each other as brothers and friends yet hurt each other with sharp words due to the stratospheric fame they earned. It makes me sad that they 2 who probably needed to heal with their forgiveness of one of the surviving brothers can no longer do this.
  • Mark from Maesteg, United KingdomWhen "My Sweet Lord" hit no. 1 in the UK in 2002 it was the first and so far only time a song by a deceased artist, was replaced at no. 1 by another deceased artist, the song being replaced was "More Than a Woman" by Aaliyah.
  • Deethewriter from Saint Petersburg, Russia FederationHarrison recalled recording "My Sweet Lord" in his 1980 "song biography" titled I Me Mine, admitting, "I thought a lot about whether to do 'My Sweet Lord' or not, because I would be committing myself publicly (to my beliefs) and I anticipated that a lot of people might get weird about it. Many people fear the words 'Lord' and 'God.' (It) makes them angry for some reason."
    It's recently been revealed that "My Sweet Lord" turned out to be a mini-Beatles reunion of sorts. Ringo Starr and future Derek & the Dominoes member Jim Gordon drum on the track, along with Apple band Badfinger on acoustic guitars and none other than John Lennon strumming along himself. In a recent Beatlefan magazine interview, Harrison's longtime friend and bassist Klaus Voormann stated that Lennon actually performs on the track.
    Although the song's double-tracked slide guitar riff became a Harrison trademark, Harrison always performed it on acoustic guitar when playing the song live. During his 1971 Concert For Bangladesh performances Eric Clapton and Jesse Ed Davis handled the slide guitar duties. On his 1974 North American tour Robben Ford played the lead, and on Harrison's 1991 tour of Japan, Eric Clapton reprised his signature solo.
    Harrison, who testified with a guitar in his hand to demonstrate how he stumbled upon the tune, was eventually found guilty of "subconscious plagiarism"...
  • Ruby from Rotterdam, NetherlandsI quote: " And ALL the Beatles were on some level, excellent musicians, but only when they were together as The Beatles did they get that musical synergy that propelled them into the level of genius." This guy exactly says what I find about The Beatles being apart.
  • Johan from Stockholm, SwedenIf you look, or hear, just upon the melody structures in Harrison´s song, and compare it with the Chiffon´s, you will discover that Harrison made a very very important addition, in the melody in"...but it won´t take long..." That marvellous part in a dim chord, that´s the bit that made the whole song. It´s lovely. So, it is a Harrison song.
    Johan Cavalli
  • Olivia from Philadelphia, PaI know that "My Sweet Lord" and "He's So Fine" sound so much alike. But it was all subconscious. And there is one major difference between the songs. "My Sweet Lord" is about.... 5 Million times better than "He's So Fine."
  • Frank from Oklahoma City, OkFor Gaura: there was no accountant working for Apple who owned the publishing rights to the Chiffons song "He's So Fine." The publishing for that song was Bright Tunes. Bright Tunes had no connection to Apple that I'm aware of, unless it was through Allan Klein, but he was the manager for John, George and Ringo. And surely, he would've or should've called George's attention to the similarities between the two songs. Apple was pretty much a closed shop - that is, most of their artists didn't rely on songs from an outside publisher. But, as to the similarities, I only hear the vaguess of similarities on certain parts of the song. The court found enough of a similarity to rule against George and he had to pay up. But, George kept his sense of humor about it, writing "This Song" about his experience with the plagiarism lawsuit. He said in an interview afterwards that the publisher Bright Tunes tried to come after him on "This Song," because one part of the lyric said, "This song has nothing Bright about it." I don't believe Bright Tunes was successful the second go round but George acquired the rights to "He's So Fine" from Bright Tunes, ending their association with the song.
  • Steve from Vancouver, BcMost of you are missing the point regarding the religious aspects of this song. It starts out with "Hallelujah" and melds into "Hare Krishna" in order to show how close the religious feeling is in both religions (and by extension, all religions). Obviously, George had become a believer in whichever Hindu sect, whether Krishna or Vishnu--but he was raised Christian, and never ceased trying to reconcile the two beliefs, and to bring Christians closer to Hinduism. While I'm not religious at all, I can hear and appreciate what George was trying to do. And ALL the Beatles were on some level, excellent musicians, but only when they were together as The Beatles did they get that musical synergy that propelled them into the level of genius. If you listen to the final riff battle on Abbey Road, you'll see that all the guitarists could hold their own against each other.
  • Wayne from New Haven, CtI read an article sometime ago that George and Eric both played the Harmony leads on "My Sweet Lord" This was from Phil Spector. Spector was pissed that when George reissued "All Things Must Pass in 2000, he took the Wall of Sound" off of most of the songs. Saying it was appropiate then, but not now.Spector made a comment saying George & Eric took forever to perfect the leads.
    Also, the back up singing on "My Sweet Lord" is mostly George! Multi-Tracked over and over and sped up! And..."Sue Me Sue you Blues" is not about The "Hes so Fine" Song but...The Beatles breakup, when they all had to sue each other to finalize the divorce of The Beatles! Nuff Said.
  • Brian from Boston, MaSorry the Offspring song I meant was Why don't you get a job
  • Brian from Boston, MaI am a big George Harrison fan.I have to agree with the judge that he "subconciously" plagiarized this song. I don't think it was intentional but it sounds too much like He's So Fine.I am the last person to critisize any of the Beatles work either as a group or individually but there is no denying the similarities. I actually think that the Offspring should pay royalties to Paul Mccartney and Paul Simon for combining Obla dee Obla da and Cacilia in thier song Get Away
  • Thomas from Oklahoma City, OkIf using the same chord progression, similar melodies and comparable call-response backing vocals is plagiarism, every country song ever written was plagiarized. It didn't matter to me that George spoke of his Hindu beliefs in this song because it was a deeply passionate and soulful tribute by a man who himself is a GREAT Spirit. I miss him very much.
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI think My Sweet Lord and He's so Fine don't sond Anthing alike. Have a good time with Your Sweet Lord in Heaven,George,and John.
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvI love this song so much! This was the first song I had heard of George as a solo artist so it'll allways have a place in my heart.
  • Billy from West Unity, OhOn the album sleeve it credits the backing vocals as the Harrisong singers. There weren't any additional singers, Harrison did it all himself. Which, in my opinion, makes All Things Must Pass a true master piece of it's time....Still is , as far as I'm concerned.
  • Fyodor from Denver, CoHey, someone else plays the distinctive lead in that live video!! I asked who it was on Facebook and someone said it was Clapton, which would make sense since he and Harrison were good buds (despite feuding over a woman!). But now I wonder, who played it on the record? Naturally I always assumed it was Harrison, but this live lead clearly played by someone else gives me pause! Did Clapton play it on the record? Or did Eric just do a perfect job of imitating George on that stage?? Any thoughts out there?
  • Perry from Pascagoula, MsPeople, the songs are totally different. The intent is totally different. One's a little piece of fluff praising a man, and the other is praising the lord (regardless of your religious beliefs). How can the two be compared? Show me one song in the last 30 years that didn't draw some influence from another song, and I'll eat my socks. It's a great song, and it should be left at that.
  • Will from Easton, PaLove this song! I get goose bumps every time I hear the masterful guitar work.
  • Boots from Manila, PhilippinesThe song was a hit indeed. The chords were basic but the song itself was filled with spiritual message which endeared Harrison with people from all walks of life (no matter what their religion are). As to whether George taught Lennon to play the guitar did not matter. It could be that the 2 Beatles had some exchange of ideas in the style of playing guitar esp. the lead. In fact, there were several Beatles songs where John played the lead guitar,among them GET BACK and YOU CAN'T DO THAT. John can play the lead guitar part if he wants to but George was more productive and he loved doing it.
  • Gunther from Ikapa, South AfricaI think it is pretty obvious that the title line of the Chiffons hit sounds exactly like the title line of My Sweet Lord. The Beatles were fans of the early '60s girl bands; Harrison would have know the song.

    Harrison was also quite shameless in lifting from Oh Happy Day (for the Hallelujah/Hare Krishna etc bit).

    My Sweet Lord is still a great song, and considering how much Harrison has been ripped off over the years, his bit of plagiarism is not really that grievous.

    To clarify how George ended up in the Beatles: John became friends with Paul, who was pals with George. When John and Paul hooked up, Paul recommended his younger friend George.

    Ringo was indeed a drummer on the Liverpool scene with Rory Storm, but John and Paul got to know him properly in Hamburg. So when Pete Best got the boot, they called on their old pal from their German days.
  • Richard from Santa Fe, NmThere are many types of Hindu prayers, including to one's teacher or guru (literally dispeller of darkness). The sanskrit wording used by Mr. Harrison is such a prayer (to teacher) in its highest sense; offered to the greatest guru, the absolute Godhead (Shiva) of which Brahma and Vishnu are its dual sides. The translation of the words in the song can be given as follows:

    "...Gurur Brahmaa Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo Maheshvarah; Gurur Sakshaat Parabrahma, Tasmai Shri Gurave Namah..."

    Meaning: The Guru is Brahma (the creator aspect); the Guru is Vishnu (the preserver aspect); the Guru is Shiva (the final dissolver and ultimate Godhead); the Guru alone is the Supreme Brahman, The Absolute. To Him, the great Guru, I offer my salutation.
  • Tim from Chicago, IlHeard this song last night and needed to find out who all was involved with those incredible background vocals. Now I know .. have to say that among all of them, John Lennon is most amazing! Very soulful.

    And more importantly, wanted to give appreciation and thanks to George Harrison. If you look up the definition of "bad things happen to good people", George may be at the top of the list. Isn't it a pity?

    But I believe George's effect and gracious life style will be noticed, praised, and honored increasingly through the test of time.

  • Allie from Pine Knob, MiEverybody refers Harrison as the forgotten beatle, but on the contrary he and lennon i think were the two who had the best solo careers and i think that harrison had more hits then lennon
    this song has quite a deep meaning
  • Mary From Wisconsin from Kenosha, WiCarissa, does your gradmother live in Wisconsin? If so, I believe I met you on the plane from Boston this past summer. Hope your grad studies are going well,
  • Ken from Louisville, KyIn his 2000 re-make, George was backed up by British singer Sam Brown. She's the daughter of singer Joe Brown, one of George's closest friends. Joe Brown was best man at George and Olivia's 1978 wedding, and sang the final song ("I'll See You In My Dreams") at the 2002 "Concert For George".
  • Ken from Louisville, KyIn the final settlement of the lawsuit, George ended up buying the publishing rights to "He's So Fine". After that, George's publishing company (Harrisongs, Ltd.), owned both "My Sweet Lord" and "He's So Fine".
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmWe miss you george have a nice time with your sweet lord!
    Posted November 29th 2007
  • Paul from Topeka, Ksif you listen to my sweet lord and he's so fine,you will notice ,if you are a musician,they are in two different timings and chords are different also.i personally feel the ones who sued the late mr harrison needed money so they said to themselves"let's sue him and see what we can get".look what john fogerty's former record company done to him.they sued him for alleged plagarism and he wrote both run through the jungle and old man down the the end both george and mr forgerty were screwed.
  • John from Fort Worth, TxThis 46-year-old man from the US remembers the time when The Beatles broke up. It was just like one's parents getting a divorce in my memory. Every 'Beatle' went his own way and we can all interpret different things from their individual songs after the break-up. All the men have contributed so much valuable input into the musical record in my life.

    I remember "My Sweet Lord" from when it was knew. Only a few years later I listened to, and loved "He's So Fine." Still many, many years later I heard of the lawsuit over copyright infringement. I had never compared the two songs before (to me, they were different songs), but I do see similarities in the notes.

    Compare Elvis Presley's rendition of "It's Now Or Never" to the old Italian song, "O Sole Mio" or Presley's "Love Me Tender" to the tradidional "Aura Lee." The original songs I mention here may not have been copyrighted, so may that's moot, but I never compared any of these songs until I 'learned' of the comparison. John Martin, Fort Worth, Texas
  • Kenny from Los Angeles, CaThe song was originally written for Billy Preston, who had a minor hit with it in early 1970, in his album Encouraging Words. The song was written in December 1969, when Harrison and Preston were in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • Mad from Newcastle, Englandby the way, somebody, did george end up owning them both or did the chiffon's (or whoever else concerned)? Because i have heard two different stories here... i hope george owned them...
  • Mad from Newcastle, EnglandThis is a beautiful song, better than any other with amazing music and enchanting lyrics. yes, there is a certain similarity between the chiffon's hes so fine and my sweet lord, but i think it was just a song stuck in george's head and he sub-conciously wrote tose beautiful lyrics to a similar tune. i feel it wrong that he was charged so much money.
  • Jay from Toronto, CanadaThe best part of the whole lawsuit story is that in the end, George ended up owning BOTH songs.
  • Gaura from Peterborough, CanadaIn his auto-biography, "I, Me , Mine ", George explains that he was inspired by the gospel song, " Oh Happy Day" recorded by the Edwin Hawkins Singers, amongst others. It belonged to the Public Domain,and he could not be sued for plagarizing that. The thing that really flips me out, the accountant that supposedly was working for the Beatles, owned the rights to "He's So Fine" by the Chiffons, and he exploited and sued George, his own "client", claiming that George had ripped off the song. No wonder George became vey disenchanted by the whole music business . The only good thing that came out of that was that George was inspiredto write another song, "Sue Me, SUe You Blues"
  • Pete from Nowra, Australiaa few years back they had the Concert for George , Billy Preston sang this song ,great version , with the whole crowd joining in . Georges son played guitar ..spitting image of a young George......thems genes for ya
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumGeorge Harrison and Phil Spector singing "My Sweet Lord" together. I already consider Phil Spector a great songwriter/producer but he also sings very good. Not amazing this was a big hit.
    Love you Phil S. and miss you George H.
  • Ashley Jade from Cleveland, GaProbably my favorite song from any of the Beatles' solo careers
  • Nara from Sherman, TxI was involved with the Hare Krsna movement for nearly ten years..the same time Mr. Harrison was. Our spiritual master, A.C.Bhativedanta Swami Prabhupada wrote Bhagavad-Gita As It Is, and translated Srimad-Bhagavatam, whereas it is stated over and over that Krsna is the Original Supreme Person, a name for God...Visnu is incarnated from Him. George is singing about Krsna, the names of God, the maha-mantra I chant to this day. George was a devotee through and through. He has all my respect and admirations.
  • Jt from Tullahoma, TnJust listened to "He's so fine" and the two sound alike in some ways. I still love this song. So that's all I'm going to say about it. I'm now going to listen to "My Sweet Lord" backwards and try to uncover hidden messages. It's a long summer ahead. I'll be back soon!
  • Jt from Tullahoma, TnAbout the whole deal over who taught Lennon to play, obviously never did read "Lennon" by Ray Coleman. I read it and John Lennon said that he was good with a guitar. But he was a little sloppy, and the book clearly stated that Paul McCartney taught him to be a better guitarist. Also, George and Paul both knew John and met him at the same time.

    George Harrison and Paul McCartney were room mates, so that how they became friends. Also, to change subject, Ringo Starr was part of a band called "Rory Storm and The Hurricanes" which beet the Quarry Men in a battle of the bands contest years before he joined. I know a lot, but read "Lennon." YOu'll learn a bit!
  • Pete from Ny, NyIt's definitely based on "He's So Fine", but that's like comparing a stick-figure drawing to an epic canvas. Breathtaking and beautiful, a classic that will live forever.
  • Matúš from Trnava, EuropeBeautiful prayer by George Harrison. No need to comment actually. I believe he's happy on the other side.
  • Tony from Topeka, KsFor some reason, some lady actually requested this song on the "Delilah" radio show (which plays a bunch of sappy/depressing/vaguely Christian songs) about the birth of her son or whatever. Wonder if she bothered to read the lyrics; I guess we might be able to toss "My Sweet Lord" into the 'misleading lyrics' pile with "Every Breath You Take" and "I Will Always Love You".
  • Steve from Fenton, MoI can see similarities between "My Sweet Lord" and the "You're So Fine" song, but not enough to qualify as plagerism in my opinion. If that's the case, then "Goldfinger" plagerized "Moon River". I agree that George's song is much superior to the Chiffons song.
  • Gaura from Peterborough, CanadaIn a conversation, taped at George's home in England on September 4, 1982
    , ,George reveals some memorable experiences he had , including My Sweet Lord." My idea in "My Sweet Lord," because it sounded like a "pop song," was to sneak up on them a bit. The point was to have the people not offended by "Hallelujah," and by the time it gets to "Hare Krishna," they're already hooked, and their foot's tapping, and they're already singing along "Hallelujah," to kind of lull them into a sense of false security. And then suddenly it turns into "Hare Krishna," and they will all be singing that before they know what's happened, and they will think, "Hey, I thought I wasn't supposed to like Hare Krishna!"

    People write to me even now asking what style that was. Ten years later they're still trying to figure out what the words mean. It was just a little trick really. And it didn't offend. For some reason I never got any offensive feedback from Christians who said "We like it up to a point, but what's all this about Hare Krishna?"

    Hallelujah may have originally been some mantric thing that got watered down, but I'm not sure what it really means. The Greek word for Christ is Kristos, which is, let's face it, Krishna, and Kristos is the same name actually.

  • Nathan from Defiance, OhThis song does sound suspiously similiar to the Chiffons song, but this version is much better. I have heard that Harrison taught Lennon how to play the guitar, but I guess no one can really prove it. Just curious, didn't George believe in Kali, the destructor? Doesn't that sound somewhat sinister for him?
  • Frank from Westminster, ScMy sweet lord, Doo Lang Doo Lang Doo Lang...Oh my lord, Doo Lang Doo Lang Doo Lang...My sweet lord, Doo Lang Doo Lang Doo Lang...Oh my lord, Doo Lang Doo Lang Doo Lang...I really wanna see you... Face facts, kids, no matter what George said or intended, no matter how deep and spiritual George was or wasn't, the songs mesh.
  • Bill from Southeastern Part Of, FlNot to get into a religious lesson here, but...

    To Nick: The words at the end of the song are NOT from Islam, but from the religion/philosophy called Vaisnavism, a sect of Sanatana Dharma , also know as Hinduism. Vaisnavas, of which George Harrison and I were/are two of millions, worship the god Vishnu The Sustainer/Preserver and his nine avatars/incarnations, the most popular being Krishna and Rama. Buddha is also an incarnation of Vishnu. Note: Vaisnavas are waiting for the tenth incarnation, Kalki The Horseman, to appear on Earth.

    To Laura: The Maharishi Mahesh Yogi was/is the leader of the transcendental meditation movement, a Hindu and someone The Beatles studied under, but he was not really a main leader of the Hare Krishna movement. The spiritual man who is most closely associated with George Harrison is His Divine Grace A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Srila Prabhupada, the main leader of the Hare Krishnas. He founded the religion/philosophy in the United States in July 1966.

    Also, as I stated earlier, Krishna is an incarnation of Vishnu, not the other way around. Perhaps you are thinking of Lord Sri Caitanya Mahaprabhu, who is an incarnation of Krishna who appeared about five hundred years ago. Krishna appeared five thousand years ago as an incarnation of Vishnu.

    Be well, everyone.
  • Brian from Denver, CoThis was the first song I ever really listened to and heard on the radio when I was VERY young. The song has had an enormous impact on my life. I haven't been able to go a day without music or the radio ever since. To me it epitomizes the reason for creating music. It was number 1 for many good reasons. Like so many other good things, simple but perfect. "He's so fine" is a great old song. "My Sweet Lord" is perfection at work. You can improve on greatness, but but you can't improve on perfection. Thank you George wherever you are. In heaven I'm sure.
  • Laura from Eatontown, NjHere is a bit more on that: The Gurur Brahma, Gurur Vishnu, Gurur Devo, Maheshwara, Gurur Sakshaat, Parabrahma, Tasmayi Shree, Guruve Namaha prayer is a traditional prayer that is often recited at the beginning of gatherings. It praises the trinity of the Lord-Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva (Maheswhara), and says that the Lord dwells within the Guru, who is also Lord.
  • Laura from Eatontown, NjI found the following explanation for the Hindu words in the song on the Internet. Makes sense to me...

    George was a member of the "Hare Krishna" sect led by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. So that means he was worshipping at the altar of Vishnu (Krishna's reincarnation).

    In 'My Sweet Lord' the chorus goes 'hallelujah' to give a gospel flavor to it I think:

    Hm, my lord (hallelujah)
    My, my, my lord (hare krishna)
    My sweet lord (hare krishna)
    My sweet lord (krishna krishna)
    My lord (hare hare)
    Hm, hm (guru brahma)
    Hm, hm (guru vishnu)
    Hm, hm (guru devo)
    Hm, hm (maheshwara)
    My sweet lord (guru sakshaat)
    My sweet lord (parabrahma)
    My, my, my lord (tasmayi shree)
    My, my, my, my lord (guruve namah)
    My sweet lord (hare rama)

    So George was not Christian, as he worshipped Indu gods. As for 'guru Brahma': he is the indu God of creation ... as Shiva is destruction and Vishnu preservation.

    *a Guru is also a teacher or spiritual leader in old sanskrit (poorana)
  • Carissa from La Mirada, CaI have to agree with RO but not entirely. George taught John more about things about the guitar not how to play it. George Harrison was and still is a lovely man and I love this song dearly. I miss Mr. Harrison!!
  • Nick from Boston , MaMy sweet lord is a great Harrison song. Does anyone know what the Islam words are at the end of the song?
  • Teresa from Mechelen, BelgiumI think that this is a very beautiful song from George Harrison and if you listen very good, you can hear Phil Spector's "Wall of Sound". George Harrison appreciated Phil Spector's talent and so do I.
  • Schmitty from Vienna, Vano, matt is couldnt have taught lennon
  • Jude from Los Angeles, Camatt, um actually R,O, is right. IF YOU SEEN THE BEATLES ANTHROLOGY AND STUDY THE BEATLES in these certian right places you would get it right. I think George was great as well he wrote one of my favorite songs and was a musical genius like the rest of the beatles.
  • Mike from Clinton, MaIt doesn't sound anything like He's So Fine, it bareley comes close in the chorus, but it's far from it. I always saw it as the Chiffons wanting publicity, since George was a Beatle and a successful solo artist and they were fading into the backround.
  • Shirley from Ocean, NjThere will never ever be another Beatles; they are timeless. George Harrison was a sweet man and you never really heard any dirt on him although I'm sure there was some. His extraordinary talent was overshadowed by John and Paul, but George didn't mind. He made up for it. But without the opportunity to be in the most important band in the world, they would not have been able to express themselves individually when they went their separate ways. It's amazing what they accomplished in the short time they were together. As a group they served their purpose; they would not have initially gotten the individual success they received as a quartet and go on to still be household names for forty years. After all, who has never heard of John, Paul, George and Ringo. They all had their different styles. Long live The Beatles.
  • Dorylus from Los Angeles, CaActually, Harrison could have taught Lennon how to play guitar, Lennon only knew banjo chords on his guitar, because that is how his mother taught him, so he was playing the guitar like a banjo in the Quarrymen.

    In an interview, Lennon said this about the song:

    Playboy: How did you feel about the lawsuit George lost that claimed the music to "My Sweet Lord" is a rip-off of the Chiffon's hit "He's so fine?"

    Lennon: Well, he walked right into it. He knew what he was doing.

    Playboy: Are you saying he consciously plagiarized the song?

    Lennon: He must have known, you know. He's smarter than that. It's irrelevant, actually- only on a monetary level does it matter. In the early years, I'd often carry around someone else's song around in my head. and only when I put it on tape- because I can't write music- would I consciously change it to my own melody because I knew otherwise someone would sue me. George could have changed a few bars of that song and nobody could have touched him, but he just let it go and paid the price. Maybe he thought God would just sort of let him off.
  • Mike from Kansas City, KsMany guitarists credit Harrison with developing and popularizing the two-string lead method. Harrison's vitue may have been only that he was one of the first to play rock leads in a song's middle eight, nevertheless, his guitar work was amazing both in the early years and later.
    One need only listen to intos like "Here Comes The Sun," and "My Sweet Lord" to catch a glimpes of his tallent. I sorely miss George. Even when he wasn't recording, just knowing he was around made all right in the world. Just as there will never be another Beatles, there will never be another George Harrison.
  • Matthew from New York, Ny"r,o", you have your facts mixed up...Harrison could not have taught John Lennon to play guitar, as he was playing guitar in a band called the Quarrymen before he ever met Harrison. There is no reason Harrison didn't "write more". In fact, he wrote nearly as much material as Lennon and McCartney, but the rest of the Beatles did not think many of his songs were "good enough" to be on a Beatles record. He had to fight for years just to get the song "Something" released, and many critics today consider this among the finest Beatles songs. Harrison did not crave the spotlight nor shy away from it. He simply never had the oppertunity to be in it.
  • Pete from Nowra, AustraliaGeorge also wrote and recorded a song called This Song, which is about the court case involving the supposedly rip off of the Chiffons hit, it was on the album 33and a 3rd
  • R from O, DeMost people never appreciate Harrison and his influence. I have been told by people that John and Paul needed a fourth so they just picked him up and he was just along for the ride. this is so untrue. Harrison actually taught John Lennon how to play guitar and wrote several songs for the Beatles. The reason he didn't write more is because he thought it might bring more hostilities into the group. after all, there were already two primadonnas in the group who craved the attention and credit, and Harrison didn't need the spotlight as much as they did. george harrison is the best beatle!
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