I Me Mine
- George Harrison – lead and harmony vocal, acoustic guitar, lead guitar
- Paul McCartney – harmony vocal, bass, Hammond organ, electric piano
- Ringo Starr – drums
I Me Mine became something of a symbol of the forces that caused the group to break up. Ironically, it is a simple, blues waltz, written and sung by George Harrison. (One might have expected the last recording to be a loud and complex rock and roll song in 4/4 time, written and sung by the Lennon/McCartney team, but that was not to be.)
Harrison was clearly happy with his composing effort. Later, he selected this song title as the name of his autobiography. In the hands of producer Phil Spector, George's "simple" blues waltz became a much more elaborate production, typical of the final Beatles' recordings.
I Me Mine was the last song recorded by the Beatles as a group. (The last recording session that included all four members of the band was in August of 1969 for I Want You (She's So Heavy) and The End.)
I Me Mine was rehearsed during the "Get Back" sessions, but not seriously recorded until January 3, 1970. When it became clear that the "I Me Mine" segment (shot at Twickenham Film Studios the day after the song was written on January 7, 1969) would be part of the Let It Be film, Paul, George and Ringo decided that they needed to reconvene in a studio for a better recording effort. Lennon was absent. Though no announcement had been made, he had quit the group in September of 1969. The three recorded 16 takes. George can be heard before take 15 saying, "You all will have read that Dave Dee is no longer with us. But Mickey and Tich and I would just like to carry on the good work that's always gone down in number two." The names are from a different rock group, but the intention is clear. "Number Two" is Abbey Road, Studio 2. The three musicians would reconvene one more time -- fifteen years later and also without John -- to record Free as a Bird and Real Love.
The longest take of I Me Mine lasted only 1:34 (and can be heard on Anthology 3). Phil Spector repeated portions in the mix, added an orchestral overdub, and released it on Let It Be as a 2:25 track.
George Harrison explained part of the meaning of I Me Mine as follows: "[It] is the ego problem." In Hindu philosophy, the three personal pronouns together express the concept of self that must be renounced in order to achieve reconciliation with the divine, a supreme state. George was surely looking at the ego issues that broke the fibers that had held the band together over several years. Harrison put the song in a slow 6/8 time and composed a bridge with a strong blues feeling. In the Let It Be film, George plays the song for Ringo, and the band then plays it while John dances with Yoko -- something of an ironic, if not prophetic passage all by itself.