You Never Give Me Your Money

Album: Abbey Road (1969)
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  • When The Beatles realized the British government was collecting most of their earnings in taxes, they expressed their frustration with "Taxman," a track from their 1966 Revolver album. Three years later, they had more money problems, this time driven by internal affairs. When their manager Brian Epstein died in 1967, they were burdened with handling their own finances, which became a source of tension in the band and led to some disastrous business dealings, including the Apple Boutique. Paul McCartney responded with "You Never Give Me Your Money," where he expresses his own fiscal frustration.
  • This is the first of a medley of songs on Abbey Road, which goes another 15 minutes to "The End."
  • By 1969, members of The Beatles had a lot of unfinished song ideas, which they sometimes combined. This contains fragments of four songs put into one.
  • Regarding the lines, "You never give me your money, you only give me your funny paper," "funny paper" is how The Beatles felt they were paid. They got frustrated when their accountants would tell them how much they were worth "on paper," without actually telling them how much money they had.
  • George Harrison, who wrote "Taxman," appreciated this song. Speaking with David Wigg on BBC Radio in 1969, he said: "To actually get the money that you've earned is virtually impossible. It's like illegal to earn money. Well, not to earn it, it's illegal to keep the money you earn. 'You never give me your money, you only give me your funny paper.' You know, that's what we get. Bits of paper saying how much is earned and what's this and that."
  • Paul McCartney played this combined with "Carry That Weight" on his 2002 "Back In The US" tour.

Comments: 44

  • Ilone from Canadasome like to screw around on guitar... hoping their fame will pull them through... others just go for it and burn to the max..then there was the other guy... you ever notice how being humble is the greatest gift of all... each guitar note and no it ain't johnny playilng them ... each note - that none could be better... and then : the silence of the player... cosmic joke!.... you never give me your money ... cause you and johnny wrote the song.
  • Stephanie from Mobile, AlAndre from Bronx Ny, I agree with your comment. I've always read that this is what Paul is alluding to- the breakup and financial problems they were having. This is SUCH an underrated Beatles song, and one of my personal favorites. "Step on the gas and wipe that tear away", always makes me sad. Paul wanted The Beatles to last forever.
  • Steve from Princeton, NjDuring the first verse, Paul sounds like John; then, between the second verse and the guitar solo, Paul sounds like Ringo.
  • Henry from Rhode Island, UsaCameron from United Kingdom - "Her Majesty" was not the last song they recorded. It was recorded between Mean Mr. Mustard and Polythene Pam, where it was originally mixed in (the loud opening chord in Her Majesty is the end of Mean Mr. Mustard). The End was the last song they recorded.
  • Andre from Bronx NyActually, Paul wrote this song to talk about his feelings about the Beatles business dealings. This song actually refers to the Beatles Manager, Allen Klein who was really giving Paul a hard time and tried to keep Paul under contract when Paul wanted to leave the Beatles and take his share of the money. Paul wanted to divide all of the money four ways and leave. But when he would ask Klein how much he was owed, Klein would only give him papers showing what Paul and the rest of the Beatles were worth. That's where the funny paper line comes from. When Paul says I never give you my number, I only give you my situation, he means that he never tells Klein how much money he wants because Paul doesn't really know how much he should get. He only tells Klein his situation that he wants to be on his own with his own management and he wants to have control of his money which he didn't because even Paul's earnings from his solo albums had to go into the common kitty of Apple along with the earnings of the other Beatles. "I break down" means Paul would get angry and frustrated due to the situation. The rest of the song he is referring to himself being out of a job and seeing no future due to the tangled business dealings where the Beatles were stuck with each other business wise no matter what. He is depressed by all of this at the end the song becomes optimistic when he is talking about zooming off in a limo after all of the business nonsense is settled, he has his money, and can now create his own music and manage his own money.
  • Margret Hamilton from St. Paul, MnThere is nothing I can say that would add to the beauty of this song, but I just want to say thanks.
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 -- all good children go to heaven...
    The Beatles extaordinaire!
  • Ortwin from Celle, GermanyThe church bell-like guitar's sound during the "Oh, that magic feeling"-part is not only from the guitar. Every first tone of each little riff is a full note and comes from Abbey Road's tubular bells. At the end of the original recording I can't hear any cellphone humming, but sonds of crickets, birds, bells and bubbles which certainly come from tape loops that Paul made and collected in a polythene bag.
  • Walrus from West Texas, Txthe song is about a person that lost his job.
    "You never give me your money
    You only give me your funny paper
    and in the middle of negotiations
    you break down

    I never give you my number
    I only give you my situation
    and in the middle of investigation
    I break down "

    (he's talking to the goverment agent about getting some help, he wants cash and the agent gives him "funny paper" vouchers or food stamps)

    "Out of college, money spent
    See no future, pay no rent
    All the money's gone, nowhere to go
    Any jobber got the sack
    Monday morning, turning back
    Yellow lorry slow, nowhere to go ..."

    (he has no rent money, no phone, no job and only a "situation")

    "One sweet dream
    Pick up the bags and get in the limousine
    Soon we'll be away from here
    Step on the gas and wipe that tear away
    One sweet dream came true today
    Came true today
    Came true today (yes it did)

    One two three four five six seven,
    All good children go to Heaven "

    (please don't cry children, we'll be rich some day, you'll see!)
  • Marigold from France, Bermudayou never give me your number means you never pass me your joint. have you weard the expression roll another number? you only give me your funny paper means you only give me hits of acid which comes on tabs of paper

    your majesty was origionally in the medley i think after polyethene pam. did you hear the lyric polythene pam takes mean mr mustard to see the queen the only place hes ever been ? the queen is her majesty
  • Rick from Belfast, MeYou never give me your money and the complete side 2 of Abbey Road is by far and away the BEST rock music ever!
  • George from Belleville, NjWhen I first heard this song back in my teen years,I liked it so much that I named it my favorite Beatles song.All these years later,when I listen to it I consider it one of my favorites.This is a powerful pop rock song that is complex with many twists and turns and it works very well in opening the side 2 medley.As musicians as well as songwriters,they were progressing.Listen to the rough edge sound to the guitar work.Great song.
  • Eric from Los Angeles, CaThe "1 2 3 4 5 6 7, all good children go to heaven" part at the end was part of a nursery rhyme, which was probably their inspiration for those lyrics.
  • Cameron from Aberdeen, United KingdomThe last song recorded was "Her Majesty". The last song they ALL recored was "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"
  • John from Grand Island, NyBrad from Lexington, actually the last song all four Beatles were in the same studio for was "I Want You" on Abbey Road on August 20, 1969. Three of them (P, G and R) would finish off George's "I Me Mine" on Jan 4, 1970 but you are mistaken about "The End".
  • Brad from Lexington, KyNo Micky, that would be "The End". "The End" was the last song the Beatles ever recorded, not this one. However, "You Never Give Me Your Money" is probably my favorite song in the Abbey Road medley. Which is surprising, as I usually prefer John to Paul. The next song, "Sun King", which is John's is pretty awesome too. I really love the whole Abbey Road medley on side 2. I consider it the highlight, although John's "I Want You (She's So Heavy)" is amazing as well. The whole album is awesome, I'll just leave it at that.
  • Micky from Los Angeles, CaQuite right Chloe----as Abbey Road is considered by many to be their 'swansong' album, this track is the 'swan song' within the record itself.
    A superb little number by the fabs.
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Moim probably wrong, but to me, it sounds basically like a history of the beatles. their business problems, their success, their early days; especially since it seems to represent each individual personality of each member. and it seems like itd be a suitable way of beginning the end of their final album- recapping the years that changed the world forever.
  • Farris from Halifax, Nsi love this song. a lot. (psh, all The Beatles are great)!
  • Max from Amherst, MaThis song kinda sums up how I feel about life right now! I don't care to expand!
  • Matt from Ny, NyI've always believed that Paul played nearly all the instruments on this song and that doing so convinced him he could create an album playing all the instruments himself as he did on "McCartney"

    First, the drums here have a totally different sound than the rich, deep tones that Ringo got from his kit on many of the other tracks. The style is very different too.

    The guitar sound, especially on the leads, are very similar to those on "McCartney" and the style is very unlike George.

    It's still a fantastic track with an amazing vocal performance. And John's background vocals are great.
  • Mary from LondonOne of my favourites on Abbey Road. Everytime I hear it I think my phone is vibrating because, in the background, you can hear a sound that sounds ike a cell phone vibrating. Wonder what they used to get that sound... (cell phone maybe...I'm kidding!!!) Actually I'm listening to Abbey Road right now and Polythene Pam has that same sound in it...I think a lot of Abbey Road songs have it - wonder what it is?
  • Krista from Elyria, OhThe song is one of those Abbey Road songs that confuse me. All of these songs sound the same the second half of the time! Still, the song is beautiful!
  • George from Yonkers, NyThis song actually starts the Abbey Road Medley and it's also another one of the progressive pop rock songs on this album.
  • Dave from Bronx, NyI'm sorry in the Complete Beatles Chord book this song has 28 chords not 22 chords which is a lot of chords for one song.
  • Dave from Bronx, NyI have read this song has 22 chords and it has four seperate parts to this song.
  • Sal from Bardonia , NyA great song with a very intresting guitar tone that sounds like church bells and its a multipart song and its very progressive with a great merge with the use tape loops into another song Sun King. The song starts the Abbey Road Medley but its different than the Who's Tommy that its not a concept album but its is progressive in its use continous linkage of unfinished songs to make it seem like one big song.
    Sal Bardonia, NY
  • Cameron from Bainsville, CanadaThis song is so good. I love the way it feels like 3 songs in one. You never give me your money, that "lady madonna"-esque one, and one sweet dream. And Paul sings so well. One of my favortie Beatles.
  • Sam from Shanghai, ChinaKelly from CA: Yeah it's definitely Paul. As for "yellow lorry slow", lorry is English English for truck.
  • Kelly from Burbank, CaI love this song, too. Just brilliant. When I looked up the lyrics to figure out what he was saying, I knew what everything in this song meant but "yellow lorry slow". Anyone know what he was referring to? (And is Paul really the only one to sing on this?)
  • Beau from Kansas City, MoPauls skill as a bass player is always overshadowed by his lyric writing and persona. I love the rollocking bass in this song. Listen closer to the bass in all The Beatles songs.
  • Danny from Upstate, NyThat's an interesting thought that each part sounds like it was written by a different Beatle (reaffirming once again Paul's versatility), but which is which? "Out of college" (Ringoish) and "One sweet dream" (Paulish) are easy, but "You Never" and "One, Two...Heaven" are less apt to being categorized into George-esque and John-esque segments. I would venture that the beginning is John, as the lyrics are attacking a third party, as Mr. Lennon was prone to doing. Also, the melody could concievably have come out of his head. The fade-out bit, with its references to heaven - George's obsession of choice - and intricate harmonies (as seen in "If I Needed Someone" and "Here Comes The Sun" to name but two), seems more George's style. In any event, it would seem that by '69 Paul had progressed so much as a writer that he could not only do any genre he pleased, but through the eyes of any his bandmates - who, for the record, despised him. Interesting.
  • Bob from San Francisco, CaWhat a great piece of music. Thanks Paul. Thanks Beatles. Ya got me through high school alive with what was once known as "side two" of Abbey Road - from "Here Comes the Sun" to the end - which I still think is the best 25 minutes in rock. I'd love to hear Paul do this 'un in concert sometime but it doesn't seem to be on the repertoire. Among the little moments I love here is the guitar playing at the very end of the cut, whisking the children on their way to heaven.
  • Ann from Fairway, KsBilly Joel performed bits of this song in a college lecture series he did several years ago. He suggested that this song typified the artistic conflicts within the band at the time--each part seems to be clearly written by a different Beatle--but somehow they made the pieces work together. My favorite Beatles song as well.
  • Greg from Garden City, NyI can't pick a favorite Beatles' song, But if I could, this song (and the rest of this album) would be close. Simply an unbelievable(?) song.
  • Tony from St Louis, Movery nice song
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThis was Paul's not-so-subtle jab at Allen Klein. John would have his shot at Klien with his solo song "Steel And Glass".

  • Warn from Kulgroos, CanadaVery underrated song. I love it.
  • Matt from Clifton Park, NyHands down, best song ever written by any member of The Beatles.
  • Mary from New York, NyAaah! I love this one. No need to elaborate why, I'm sure.
  • Daniel from New York, Nymaybe my favorite beatles song the best paul song though.
  • Claudio from São Paulo, BrazilThat's a true rock and roll symphony.
    Great direct lyrics plus some ambiguous verses proving McCartney is a fantastic lyricist, not just a musical genius.
    Also Paul does about 3 kind of different vocals: the initial regular, "out of job" mocking vocals, and falsetto.
  • Drew from Kansas City, MoMy favorite Beatles song... hand down... Better than A Day In The Life even...
  • Andrea from Montreal, United StatesI think it is an amazing song.
  • Kit from Washington, DcA fragment of this song returns in the Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight/The End medley, with some lyric changes. I think it's one of the best songs Paul ever wrote.
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