"Dig It" is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1970 album Let It Be. The song is credited to Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey, and is one of the few songs to be credited to all of the Beatles. This song and the 39-second "Maggie Mae" appear on the Let It Be album, but are excluded from the Let It Be... Naked album, instead being replaced with "Don't Let Me Down". Glyn Johns' May 1969 version of the album, then titled Get Back, had a four-minute excerpt of "Dig It", which was later reduced to the much shorter version in the final album.
|Song by the Beatles|
|from the album Let It Be|
|Released||8 May 1970|
|Recorded||26 January 1969|
|Length||0:51 (Let It Be version)|
4:10 (Get Back mix)
8:20 (Full version)
Several versions were recorded during the Get Back/Let It Be sessions, on 24, 26, 27, 28, and 29 January 1969, at Apple Studio. The 51-second version on the album is an extract taken from the 26 January version, which was a 15-minute jam that evolved from a loose "Like a Rolling Stone" jam. A segment of the jam session, 4 minutes and 30 seconds in length, appears in the documentary film Let It Be. The participants in that session are John Lennon on vocals and 6-string bass, George Harrison on guitar, Paul McCartney on piano, Ringo Starr on drums, George Martin on maracas and Billy Preston at the organ; also participating in the jam, but not heard on the released version, was Linda Eastman's six-year-old daughter Heather. Eastman later became McCartney's wife.
In the early part of the jam, Lennon sings the main lyric with interjections from Harrison. Heather adds wordless vocals, which in the 2021 miniseries The Beatles: Get Back, appear to be imitating Yoko Ono. As the performance winds down, Lennon exhorts the others to continue. McCartney adds a baritone backup vocal of "dig it up, dig it up, dig it up" and variations, and Lennon begins to repeat "Like a rolling stone", then, in free association manner, mentions "the FBI", "the CIA", "the BBC", "B.B. King", "Doris Day" and "Matt Busby".
The excerpt on the Let It Be album fades in on Lennon's second "Like a rolling stone" and concludes with Lennon speaking in a falsetto: "That was 'Can You Dig It?' by Georgie Wood, and now we'd like to do 'Hark, the Angels Come'". The second sentence of that line is cut off in Let It Be's film recording of the jam session. ("Wee Georgie Wood" was a 4'9" music-hall performer and child star.) The interjection actually comes from a different improvised jam recorded on the 24th. The earlier jam was much different, described by Beatles bootleg scholars Doug Sulpy and Ray Schweighardt as "sounding like a cross between the traditional 'Sailor's Hornpipe' and a slowed down rendition of Neal Hefti's 'Batman', as played on slide guitar". An excerpt from this jam (entitled "Can You Dig It?") can be heard on the "Fly on the Wall" bonus disc to Let It Be... Naked.
- John Lennon – lead vocals, six-string bass (Fender Bass VI)
- Paul McCartney – vocals in full version, piano
- George Harrison – vocals in full version, lead guitar (Fender Telecaster)
- Ringo Starr – drums
- Billy Preston – Hammond organ
- George Martin – maracas
- Heather McCartney – vocals in full version
- Sulpy & Schweighardt 1997, pp. 313–316.
- Sulpy & Schweighardt 1997, pp. 249–250.
- Sulpy & Schweighardt 1997, p. 276.
- Sulpy & Schweighardt 1997, p. 285.
- Unterberger 2006, p. 258.
- Sulpy & Schweighardt 1997, p. 296.
- Unterberger 2006, pp. 256–257.
- The Beatles Bible 2009.
- Beatle Brunch 2009.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 336.
- "Fly on the Wall". Beatle Brunch. 2009. Archived from the original on 8 July 2011. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- "Dig It". The Beatles Bible. 2009. Retrieved 13 October 2009.
- MacDonald, Ian (2005). Revolution in the Head: The Beatles' Records and the Sixties (Second Revised ed.). London: Pimlico (Rand). ISBN 1-84413-828-3.
- Sulpy, Doug; Schweighardt, Ray (1997). Get Back: The Unauthorized Chronicle of the Beatles' Let It Be Disaster. New York: St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 0-312-19981-3.
- Unterberger, Richie (2006). The Unreleased Beatles: Music & Film. San Francisco: Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-892-3.