The Distraught Meaning Behind “Carry That Weight” by The Beatles. tt

“Carry That Weight” is one of many stellar moments on the Beatles’ Abbey Road. Despite having some foreboding lyrics, the track has a marked spirit about it. Written by Paul McCartney (but credited to Lennon/McCartney), the song is one of the best offerings from the end of the Beatles’ career.

Behind the Meaning

According to McCartney, the song was born out of a rough period in the mid-to-late ’60s. In his book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, McCartney talks about bad drug trips and grueling business meetings, all of which weighed on him heavily.

“We were entering a period when we were doing LSD, staying up all night, and then wishing it would wear off, discovering that it wouldn’t,” McCartney wrote in the book. “A bad trip could leave you feeling a bit heavy, instead of enjoying the lightness of youth.

“That was coupled with the business problems at Apple Records,” he added. “The business meetings were just soul-destroying. We’d sit around in an office, and it was a place you just didn’t want to be, with people you didn’t want to be with.”

McCartney went on to talk about a photo his wife Linda McCartney took of manager Allen Klein, whom the Beatles massively distrusted. According to the songwriter, the lines I never give you my pillow / I only send you my invitations are a nod to another Beatles track “You Never Give Me Your Money,” which also documented their legal troubles.

To McCartney, his and the band’s strife extended far beyond their career – it was starting to affect his spiritual life as well.

“That whole period weighed on me to such an extent that I even began to think it was all tied in with the idea of original sin,” he continued. “It’s really very depressing to think that you were born a loser.”

Despite the track being written by a dejected and desperate McCartney, it became one of the band’s most timeless tracks. It’s one of the few Beatles tracks where all four members provided vocals and thus it feels like a momentary reconciliation between the band who was verging on a breakup at the time of the song’s release.

Revisit “Carry That Weight” below.

Photo by Harry Durrant, Courtesy of Getty Images

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