I look at you all, see the love there that's sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don't know why nobody told you
How to unfold your love
I don't know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you

I look at the world and I notice it's turning
While my guitar gently weeps
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Still my guitar gently weeps

I don't know how you were diverted
You were perverted too
I don't know how you were inverted
No one alerted you

I look at you all, see the love there that's sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps
Look, look at you all
Still my guitar gently weeps

Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh, oh, oh
Oh, oh
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah

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While My Guitar Gently Weeps Lyrics as written by George Harrison


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While My Guitar Gently Weeps song meanings
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  • +26
    General CommentI hadn't actually paid any attention to this song until santana's cover with yo-yo ma and india arie. It is beautiful, you all should check it out.

    Ok firstly, I do not agree with any of the comments above. I do not think George meant for this to be a love song, at all. This is an elegy, a lament, for the decadence of the world and society in general. George was the one Beatle that brought the spirituality (not RELIGION, but spirituality) to the group, being a Hare Krishna devotee (and bhakti- bhakti meaning devotion- yogi) for a great part of his life. The Hare Krishna movement as well as some other Hindu elements were a big influence for George's writing.

    This is the song how I interpret it, and interpreting it from a spiritual point of view:

    "I look at you all see the love there that's sleeping
    While my guitar gently weeps
    I look at the floor and I see it need sweeping
    Still my guitar gently weeps "

    the first line is my favorite line. he senses a lot of potential in people, a lot of hope, a lot of capacity to love in every human on Earth; but nevertheless it is sleeping, it isn't yet awakened. It is there, we all have it, but it is not yet awoken. We can all be extraordinary, great human beings, he still haven't reached or full potential yet because it is sleeping within us. These same lines are repeated at the end of the song, i don't think it is a coincidence. He is reminding ourselves of all the potential we have. I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping, he is encouraging us to observe where is it that we are standing on; if where we are at in our lives is beneficial for us, if we need to get rid of bad habits in order to live a prosperous life.

    "I don't know why nobody told you
    how to unfold you love
    I don't know how someone controlled you
    they bought and sold you"

    Yet again, he senses the potential, the capacity of us human beings to love and do great things, but we just don't know yet how to reach our full potential to do good. It is there alright, but folded; unused, untouched. We have forgotten how to love because of all of the distractions and banalities society has put upon us; we have lost touch with our soul, our soul and spirit is controlled by everyone but us; we are all machines, incapable of loving.

    "I look at the world and I notice it's turning
    While my guitar gently weeps
    With every mistake we must surely be learning
    Still my guitar gently weeps "

    He sees the world and everyone being indifferent and untroubled by all the chaos going on. The world keeps spinning, and yet he just sits back and lets all his agony and helplessness flow through the notes of his guitar. Yet, he still has hope that we all can learn from our mistakes before it is too late to save ourselves, to save our soul and spirit.

    "I don't know how you were diverted
    you were perverted too
    I don't know how you were inverted
    no one alerted you"

    He can't understand why people don't see hoe distracted they are from their true nature, from their inner selves. He are all corrupted and perverted, and yet we think that there is nothing wrong with us, that we are all 'normal', when the truth is that we are living in a lie.

    I hope that after reading it you can see it from my point of view, which I hope is somewhat accurate on what George truly meant by writing it. I am sorry if it is a bit unclear, English is not my first language. I understand what every word in the song means, but when I try to traduce what I think to English it kinda gets lost in translation ^_^

    karipr88on February 04, 2011   Link
  • +3
    General Commentsong4julia is right, on The White Album Eric Clapton became the first non-beatle to play on a beatle track (other than orchestra stuff) Towards the end the "fifth Beatle" Billy Preston played on a lot of their songs, but Eric was the first.
    thisboyon February 01, 2002   Link
  • +3
    Song MeaningNow, basically everyone's problem is that they are not treating this song like a poem, which means that its interpretation is being altered. One must understand that the bealtes were as much poets as shakespeare was, and so their songs must be treated like poems. According to this new rule, one thing people must be aware of is that the poet is not necessarily the one speaking in the poem, this is the persona. Knowing this, it is wrong to assume that George is the one singing this song. Another reason why george is not singing this song is due to the intentional fallacy. Anyways, since george is not singing the song, it can only be assumed that instead a mythical dragon is singing as this is the persona of the poem. Now, it must be understood that dragons are a very power race with incredible powers. And of course, with great powers comes great responsibily, and the dragons were not responsible enough to handle their powers and so great wars were fought. Eventually some wise and noble dragons realized they were destroying the earth, and so conspired a plan to despose of the terrible dragons and retreat into space were they would not become violent and harm the beautiful earth god. As they left, they surrended the earth to man, who they assumed would be able to take better care of the earth. Over time of course, man has become violent and has slowly to become more powerful with nuclear weapons and such, and so, the dragon, there is only one know and he is old and has a long white beard like a wizard, because of course he is a wizard like gandalf, anyways, this dragon is looking down on man, who the dragons gave the earth to, and is worried becuase man is becoming to powerful and may not be able to handle that responsibility. While my guitar gently weeps is basically the wise wizard dragons means of telling us to be careful with our power and not to be greedy or violent. If you look at specific lyrics you can see this, "from all our mistakes we must surely be learning," he wants humans to learn and not be like the dragons, he uses the pronoun we like the way a young kindergarten teacher would use the pronoun we to connect her to her class, as in "we shall go outside today." other lines equally reflect the dragons tone, worried brows and dissappointed stares, if people want more evidence, i would be glad to explain every line by the dragons emotions, just let me know.
    MatthewArnold72on March 27, 2009   Link
  • +2
    General CommentI don't really know the history behind this song, but if I were to guess, I think this song is about George getting overshadowed by John and Paul.

    "I look at you all see the love there that's sleeping, while my guitar gently weeps"

    I think that George is saying that there is no love for him from Beatles fans because he never really got a chance to get people to like and appreciate him as much as Beatles fans do John and Paul. Every time he says while my guitar gently weeps, he is describing himself. George was really just, "that Beatle that played guitar and didn't write a lot of songs." George is gently weeping because he is forced to help and support people that overshadow him.

    "I look at the floor and I see it needs sweeping, still my guitar gently weeps,"

    This means that George is describing himself almost like a servant for John and Paul because he is helping them make success even though there is none of his creative input, and still he feels sad for helping them.

    "I don't know why nobody told you, how to unfold your love,

    "I don't know how someone controlled you, they bought and sold you,"

    I know this sounds a little weird, but again, this is what I got out of it. George is the guitar, so he and the guitar are like one person. He's reassuring himself by talking to the guitar, he's trying to keep it from weeping. It's like he's talking to himself in a mirror. George is sad and confused about how John and Paul didn't let him have more creative input, but still controlled him into helping them. They also, "bought and sold him," by letting him join the band, but basically selling him by excluding him from their songwriting.

    "I look at the world and I notice it's turning, while my guitar gently weeps,"

    George sees that John and Paul making progress and being successful, but he is still sad because he is not in on their songwriting.

    "With every mistake we must surely be learning, still my guitar gently weeps,"

    I feel like here George is trying to be optimistic, but realizes quitting is his only option, and if he does, he will be:

    A) Not be successful because of his original lack of popularity from the Beatles

    B) Feeling bad because he feels like he's betraying the people that got him where he is and then Beatles fans will hate him rather than paying no attention to him at all, which almost completely lowers the chances of him being successful as a solo artist.

    "I don't know how you were diverted, you were perverted too,"

    "I don't know how you were inverted, no one alerted you,"

    It's pretty much the same as what he was talking about in the other part where he is sad and confused. Again, George is, "talking to the guitar," by saying that he is sad and confused about how he had such high hopes about himself the Beatles, but he was just tricked into thinking he would be noticed, and instead he was, "abused," by John and Paul. He also doesn't know how he was, "put aside," by John and Paul.

    I hope you enjoyed my analysis! Please feel free share yours with me if you feel like I was way off!
    tigers1219on August 11, 2012   Link
  • +1
    General CommentWhat are you talking about? Clapton played lead guitar on the original version on the album.
    song4juliaon January 21, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentinteresting trivia... the strage guitar sound on the album is a guitar being played backwards. They recorded a guitar seperately from the rest of the song, and reversed the track to create the music for the song. Just shows how the beatles became a complete studio band... it's impossible to recreate the effect live.
    rhinkon April 14, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentNo...he's not saying "Paul, Paul, Paul..." it's "Oh, Oh, Oh..." and Paul DIDN'T actually DIE...It's just a Rumor. (that's a line from "Help!" George says it...)
    Tuesdayz_goneon July 04, 2002   Link
  • +1
    metallicaman123on August 22, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General Commentyeah, i know what you mean metallicaman123, it misses that 'play you are staging' bit, i just noticed that, how annoying
    jack_the_braton August 27, 2002   Link
  • +1
    General CommentThis song is about everthing going in the world and the only thing george is doing is playin his guitar in a band (god bless him)
    'i look at the world and i notice its turnin while my guitar gently weeps'
    better than his other songs 'piggies' and savory truffle
    terraryzinon August 27, 2002   Link

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