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All Things Must Pass was a song that George Harrison wrote in early 1969, during a period in which he was extremely frustrated with the way that his current band was essentially falling apart. He brought it with him to the Get Back sessions, but with the ongoing wars and confusion that went on within the group at this time, the song got utterly overlooked. George was convinced that it was a winner, and he went back to Abbey Road by himself in February of 1969, on the day of his twenty sixth birthday. That day, February 25, 1969, is probably one of the greatest days of musical output ever for an artist, as he also recorded Old Brown Shoe and Something as he sat alone in the studio, with only engineer Ken Scott overseeing the session. You can hear all three of these on Anthology 3, The Beatles' 1996 retrospective.

Eventually, he would re-record the track in early 1970 and it would be released as the title track on his triple album release that year. The song appears there, on the first side of the third record, in a slightly more filled out form, but it still maintains the stark beauty that George laid down for the first time.

Sunrise doesn't last all morning
A cloudburst doesn't last all day
Seems my love is up
And has left you with no warning
But it's not always going to be this grey
All things must pass, all things must pass away

Sunset doesn't last all evening
A mind can blow those clouds away
After all this, my love is up and must be leaving
But it's not always going to be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
None of life's strings can last
So, I must be on my way
And face another day

Now the darkness only stays away at night time
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good at arriving at the right time
No it's not always going to be this grey

All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
All things must pass away

This song is hauntingly beautiful. George has a very mellow and sedate voice, and he sings this in a slow, weary, melancholy style. It's accompanied on Anthology 3 by just an acoustic guitar, and on the album it has more instrumentation (a bit of percussion, a horn, some strings, and a few audio effects), but still retains the mellowness of the earlier demo.

George wrote this song because he knew quite well that The Beatles were breaking up. They were a group of people he had grown up with and been in almost constant contact and association with since 1957 when they formed The Quarry Men. They were a group of people that he had literally grown up with since the age of fourteen and had known since he was much younger. He had been best friends with Paul and John throughout his childhood, his adolescence, and his young adulthood; now the group was falling apart and all they could seem to do was fight. The Beatles were passing on.

This is a song about change, about how even though things seem bad, they will get better. It brings a great deal of comfort to me in times of great sadness; I often sing it to myself when I am sad. On September 11, 2001, this song lulled me to sleep. The day my grandfather died, I listened to this song over and over again. It has provided an unquestionable amount of personal and spiritual comfort for me, through George's mellow voice, simple melody, and lyrics that reaffirm what I already know, that change is inevitable and tomorrow will be another day.

The album version is a more complete song, but few recordings have affected me as much as the simple Anthology 3 recording. The events are very fresh in George's mind and for me the song clicks better with just George's voice and the guitar. In fact, I have already stated in my will and testament that I want the Anthology 3 version of this song played at my funeral in hopes that the song that comforted me through many hard times might comfort some of my loved ones in their sadness.

Recording summary:
- Appears on Anthology 3, recorded on February 25, 1969, released in October 1996
- Appears on All Things Must Pass, recorded May 26 to May 30, 1970, released November 30, 1970 on vinyl, remastered and rerelased on CD on January 29, 2001

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