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“Don’t Let Me Down”

Listen to “Don’t Let Me Down”

JOHN 1969: (to Ringo, regarding the cymbal smash in the intro) “Give me a big ‘kzzzsshhhh!’ Give me the courage to come screaming in.”

JOHN 1980: “That’s me, singing about Yoko.”

PAUL circa-1994: “It was a very tense period. John was with Yoko, and had escalated to heroin and all the accompanying paranoias and he was putting himself out on a limb. I think that, as much as it excited and amused him, at the same time it secretly terrified him. So ‘Don’t Let Me Down’ was a genuine plea, ‘Don’t let me down, please, whatever you do. I’m out on this limb…’ It was saying to Yoko, ‘I’m really stepping out of line on this one. I’m really letting my vulnerability be seen, so you must not let me down.’ I think it was a genuine cry for help. It was a good song. We recorded it in the basement of Apple for ‘Let It Be’ and later did it up on the roof for the film. We went through it quite alot for this one. I sang harmony on it, which makes me wonder if I helped with a couple of the words, but I don’t think so. It was John’s song.”

About “Don’t Let Me Down”

“Get Back” / “Don’t Let Me Down” single cover

Recorded in 1969 during the Let It Be sessions, “Don’t Let Me Down” was written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney. The band recorded the song with Billy Preston; the single release with “Get Back” was credited to “the Beatles with Billy Preston”.

The recording of “Don’t Let Me Down” took place during the famous rooftop concert held by The Beatles on January 30, 1969. This impromptu performance was the culmination of the recording sessions for the “Let It Be” album, which was eventually released in 1970.

Originally released as a B-side, producer Phil Spector excluded the song from Let It Be. However, it was eventually included on an alternate mix of the album, Let It Be… Naked.

The song has been praised for its raw emotion and powerful vocals, particularly from John Lennon. It has become one of The Beatles’ well-loved tracks and has been covered by various artists over the years.

Alan W. Pollack states that “the counterpoint melody played in octaves during the Alternate Verse by the bass and lead guitars is one of the more novel, unusual instrumental touches you’ll find anywhere in the Beatles catalogue.”

Meaning of “Don’t Let Me Down”

“Don’t Let Me Down” is a song about vulnerability and a plea for support and reassurance in a romantic relationship. The lyrics express a deep emotional need for the other person not to disappoint or abandon the singer during a challenging or difficult time.

The repeated refrain of “Don’t let me down” emphasizes the importance of trust and reliability in the relationship. The singer is essentially asking their partner to be there for them, to provide emotional support, and to be a source of strength.

The song captures a universal sentiment of relying on someone you care deeply about and trusting them not to hurt or betray you. It conveys a sense of dependency and a desire for a strong, stable foundation in the relationship.

Overall, “Don’t Let Me Down” reflects the vulnerability and longing that can be inherent in romantic connections, highlighting the importance of mutual trust and support.


  • John Lennon – lead vocal, rhythm guitars
  • Paul McCartney – bass guitar, harmony vocal
  • George Harrison – lead guitar, backing vocal
  • Ringo Starr – drums
  • Billy Preston – electric piano

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