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GIVE ME LOVE (GIVE ME PEACE ON EARTH), 1973

Lead Vocal: Mihir Worah

"It's a prayer and a personal statement between me, The Lord, and whoever likes it"                                             -- George Harrison

A big surprise for many, after The Beatles broke up, was the emergence of George Harrison as a major stand-alone talent. He had such an accumulation of songs rejected by John and Paul that he compiled them into a TRIPLE album: All Things Must Pass. It's a consistently strong album considering the length. In addition to "My Sweet Lord," the best selling single of 1971; it also includes "I'd Have You Any Time," the first song Bob Dylan ever deigned to co-write (that was publicly released)

Soon after, in 1971, Harrison organized The Concert For Bangladesh, the first major rock 'benefit concert' ever. The concert featured Eric Clapton, Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr, Pandit Ravi Shankar, Ustaad Allah Rakha, and Ustaad Ali Akbar Khan.

John Lennon was supposed to be there but chickened out at the last minute.

George followed up All Things Must Pass and The Concert For Bangladesh with Living In The Material World (1973), which includes "Give Me Love (Give Me Peace On Earth)." After that, his productivity faded a bit till he formed The Traveling Wilburies in the 8os, with Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, and others.

John matched George's post Beatles start with two strong albums (Plastic Ono Band and Imagine), while surprisingly, Paul did not have even one - even though he was clearly the most talented musician amongst The Beatles.

~~~

"Give Me Love" is the lesser-known cousin of "My Sweet Lord." The lyrical similarity is obvious, as they share the same spiritual longing, but also note the similarity in the repeated three-syllable pattern. Both have a similar opening as well; a few measures of acoustic guitars leading into a slide guitar duo harmony. Perhaps George, too, was self-plagiarizing like Chuck and Keith? He did have an issue with 'unconscious' plagiarism. The first line of "Something" is from the James Taylor song "Something In the Way She Moves." He even got sued because "My Sweet Lord" sounds a lot like "He's So Fine" (The Chiffons, 1963).

"Give Me Love" is one of Eric Clapton's favorite George Harrison songs, and a pleasure to play. It has the Harrison signature walk down (D-> Dmaj7-> D7->G7 with capo on 3 playing under" ... soul, my lord ... "), the surprise minor 4th (this time after the 5th playing under " ... life, give me life ... ") and a polyrhythm in the chorus (playing under ... "won't you please, oh won't you ... ")! It also includes Harrison's iconic "doodling" around the D chord formation, just like "Here Comes the Sun" and several other Harrison songs.

The half-step walk down is a pleasing motif, and recurs across many genres and artists. We know George Harrison loved it, using it in "Something" as well as "While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Paul McCartney uses it on "Michelle," Bob Dylan uses it in "Simple Twist of Fate" from Blood On The Tracks, and perhaps the most famous is the opening sequence on Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven." In fact, Led Zeppelin was hit by a plagiarism lawsuit for this song in 2014 that they finally won in 2019, with part of their defense showing how common the half-step walk down is / was in rock music.  

 

I used to have a hard time playing along with the record until my music coach (Parthiv) explained it to me - on the original recording, the song speeds up as it goes along! We play it at one tempo here.

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