You Never Give Me Your Money
- Paul McCartney – lead vocal, backing vocals, bass, piano, wind chimes, tape loops
- John Lennon – fuzz lead guitar, backing vocal
- George Harrison – rhythm guitar, lead guitar, backing vocal
- Ringo Starr – drums, tambourine
You Never Give Me Your Money starts the medley that takes the album Abbey Road to a conclusion. It shifts slowly into song two of the set, Sun King. Paul McCartney wrote it early in 1969.
On May 6, 1969, the group assembled in the studio and made 36 takes of the rhythm track. Paul sang and played the piano. George and John played guitar, and Ringo was on drums. George's guitar chimes, and John's was set to be distorted or fuzzy. The track ended suddenly. Later the last chorus was added that starts with the count up to seven. Paul sings two verses in a more or less conventional style, followed by a swing-style portion in double time, where Paul sings with an unusual nasal tone, almost imitating a classical singer. The somewhat raucous quality of the music in the early part of the song contrasts to the lyric, which is more of a lament about the business troubles surrounding the Beatles and Apple Records at the time. This was mainly about the group's frustrations and disappointments with Allen Klein. The next part of the song is all Harrison, who plays a hard, bluesy guitar solo, ending in a union of bass and guitar on a single melodic line. The fade out is the children's chant ("one-two-three-four-five-six- seven, all good children go to heaven"), supported by a distinctive riff from George's clean-toned guitar. (George reprises this riff in The End and in the bridge of Carry That Weight.) The guitar parts were processed through a Leslie speaker to give them that distinctive, hollow and pulsating sound that the Beatles developed in their late period.
More work on You Never Give Me Your Money ensued in early July, and Paul dubbed his lead vocals. On several occasions during the month the group returned to record the remaining portion of the song, together with chimes and more back-up vocals. The cross-fade into The Sun King was the last element, added on August 5, using tape loops and other sound effects.
Paul's lyrics convey a sense of loss. They are nostalgic about "the good old days," when the boys took a flyer at fame, sacrificing college and youth to become the defining band of the 20th century. He mentions "that magic feeling – nowhere to go." The song is about recapturing the spirit of those times, for the future. Paul does not explicitly recognize that the group's days were coming to a close, but it is fairly clear, in retrospect, that he was about to head out on his own.