George Harrison Song Completed Over 40 Years Later

November 6, 2009  |  12:00pm

Liverpudlian songwriter Dean Johnson recently received the honors of completing an unfinished George Harrison song nearly 40 years after its inception.

In the ‘60s, Harrison penned the fist 10 lines of his then-new song, “Silence (Is It’s Own Reply),” on a scrap piece of paper, which was discarded on the floors of the Abbey Road studio. It was later given to British writer Hunter Davies, who requested a sample of each Beatles members’ handwriting while researching his 1968 biography of the band, titled The Beatles. With the permission of Harrison’s estate, the book will soon be republished with the lyrics, according to Spinner.

After interviewing Davies about the book on the show, BBC Radio Merseyside, Spencer Leigh thought Dean Johnson to be the appropriate contemporary songwriter to finish Harrison’s “Silence (Is Its Own Reply).”

“Spencer called me out of the blue,” Johnson said in a statement. “When he said he would like me to work on George’s unfinished song I found it unbelievable, exciting and a complete honor. My brief was to follow George’s sentiment through to its conclusion.”

The task demanded hard work of Johnson, especially since the subject of the first few lyrics remained a mystery, first perceived as a song written in the aftermath of a rocky romance. Now, some believe the words highlight Harrison’s shaky relationship with John Lennon.

The lyrics Harrison scribbled on the paper (which contained directions to Beatles manager Brian Epstein’s house on the other side) read: “I’m happy to say that it’s only a dream / When I come across people like you / It’s only a dream and you make it obscene / With the things that you think and you do / You’re so unaware of the pain that I bear / And jealous for what you can’t do.”

Watch Johnson performing the finished song at his official website, where the lyrics are also available for download.

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