Singing “Golden Slumbers”

On Sunday afternoon (February 5), I listened to just a few tracks of the final medley from Abbey Road — “Golden Slumbers,” “Carry That Weight,” and “The End” — singing along as I listened. Below are some of the lyrics.

Golden slumbers fill your eyes
Smiles await you when you rise
Sleep pretty darling, do not cry
And I will sing a lullaby

[. . .]

Boy, you’re gonna carry that weight
Carry that weight a long time

[. . .]

And in the end, the love you take
Is equal to the love you make

At around noon the next day (Monday, February 6), I read a few pages from George MacDonald’s St. George and St. Michael — Chapter XL (“Love and Treason”) and the first part of XLI (“Glamorgan”).

In “Love and Treason,” Rowland attempts to win the heart of Dorothy. In this passage from pages 376-77, reference is made to “the love you make.”

At length he began to be aware that this was no light preference, no passing fancy, but something more serious than he had hitherto known — that in fact he was really though uncomfortably and unsatisfactorily in love with her. He felt she was not like any other girl he had made his shabby love to, and would have tried to make better to her, but she kept him at a distance, and that he began to find tormenting.

Later, on page 380, Dorothy tells Rowland that she cannot love him because he has not loved anyone — i.e., the love you take is equal to the love you make, both in this case being zero.

“[. . .] If thou canst not love me, wilt thou not then pity me a little ?”

“That I may pity thee, answer me what good thing is there in thee wherefore I should love thee.”

“Wouldst thou have a man trumpet his own praises ?”

“I fear not that of thee who hast but the trumpet. — I will tell thee this much : I have never seen in thee that thou didst love save for the pastime thereof.  I doubt if thou lovest thy master for more than thy place.”

Finally, when Rowland promises to reform and asks Dorothy if there is any chance in the future he may win her love, she replies (on page 384) that he lacks weight.

“[. . .] it is not like thou wilt ever have [my love], for verily thou art of nature so light that any wind may blow thee into the Dead Sea.”

But these are vague thematic parallels. What really made me notice the synchronicity was this passage from the next chapter, on page 387.

“Art thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers ?
O sweet content !”

sang the earl in a mellow tenor voice.


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