Sun King (2:26)

Cover of Abbey Road

From Abbey Road and 7 other releases

“Sun King” is a song by The Beatles that appeared on the Abbey Road album. It is the second song of the B-side’s climactic medley.

In an interview in 1987, Harrison said that the recording was inspired by Fleetwood Mac’s “Albatross”. “At the time, ‘Albatross’ (by Fleetwood Mac) was out, with all the reverb on guitar. So we said, ‘Let’s be Fleetwood Mac doing Albatross, just to get going.’ It never really sounded like Fleetwood Mac… but that was the point of origin.”

The working title was “Here Comes the Sun King”, but was shortened to “Sun King” to avoid confusion with the song “Here Comes the Sun”. The lyrics to start the song are the same as the title and lyrics of “Here Comes the Sun”, but with the word “King” inserted afterwards, although George Harrison wrote the former and “Sun King” is written by John Lennon. Later, the song, in minor key with an organ in the background, breaks into a faux Romance language mixing English, Italian, Spanish, and Portuguese. The song is in three-part harmony, sung by Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Harrison. At the end of the song, the music stops abruptly and a Ringo Starr drum fill leads into the next track, “Mean Mr. Mustard”.

The faux mixing of Romance languages occurs in the last three lines of the song. In 1969, Lennon was interviewed about these lyrics and said, “We just started joking, you know, singing ‘quando para mucho.’ So we just made up… Paul knew a few Spanish words from school, you know. So we just strung any Spanish words that sounded vaguely like something.


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