Happiness Is A Warm Gun is a track by English rock band The Beatles, written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon-McCartney. It appeared on their 1968 double album 'The Beatles', commonly referred to as The White Album, and closes the first side of the album's first disc.
The song evolved out of fragments of music that Lennon had conceived both in Rikikesh, India and in the UK, which were subsequently put together into one piece, in a similar fashion to 1967's A Day in the Life, the non-linear structure of which was highly innovative and unusual for a pop song at the time. The first is an eerie, atmospheric verse set to fingerpicked acoustic guitar. It then leads on to a distorted guitar lead followed by a repeated hook ("Mother superior jump the gun"). Finally, the song bursts into a Doo-Wop inspired ending.
Although the song's title was inspired by a gun owner's magazine shown to Lennon by Beatles producer George Martin, it has been rumoured to be about anything from gun violence to sex or heroin addiction. The song is both Paul McCartney and George Harrison's favourite from the album.
Personnel (according to Ian MacDonald):
John Lennon - Lead vocals (double tracked), electric guitar, backing vocals
Paul McCartney - Bass guitar, backing vocals
George Harrison - Lead guitar, backing vocals
Ringo Starr - Drums, tambourine
The song also features unattributed piano and electronic organ, as well as tuba that was mostly removed in the mixing process. It was recorded between the 26th and 29th September 1968.
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