Cry Baby Cry

“Cry Baby Cry” is a Beatles’ song from their 1968 release, the “White Album” but there’s a version on the “Anthology 3” as well. The track also ends with “Can You Take Me Back?”

In Detail


Release Date: 22nd November, 1968
Recorded: 15th, 16th and 18th July, 1968
Studio: EMI Studios, London
Genre: Rock
Track Duration: 3:03
Record Label: Apple Records
Songwriter: Lennon-McCartney
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Geoff Emerick, Ken Scott


John Lennon: lead vocal and harmony vocal, acoustic guitar, piano, organ
Paul McCartney: bass guitar
George Harrison: lead guitar
Ringo Starr: drums, tambourine
George Martin: harmonium

Track Sources**

The White Album
Anthology 3

Cry Baby Cry is a song on The Beatles' White Album together with Can You Take Me Back?

White Album (1968)

Cry Baby Cry is a song on The Beatles'

Anthology 3 Album (1996)

** On their 2006 “Love” album, track 19 is “Come Together” – “Dear Prudence” together with “Cry Baby Cry” transition.

Cry Baby Cry

Written by John Lennon, “Cry Baby Cry” came from influences such as a TV advert and a nursery rhyme. In 1967, Lennon wrote another song inspired by a TV commercial for Kellogg’s Corn Flakes, “Good Morning Good Morning“.

“I’ve got another one here, a few words, I think I got them from an advert – ‘Cry baby cry, make your mother buy'”.

John Lennon
The Beatles, Hunter Davies

Of course, that television advert disappeared from our screens a long time ago. However, the “Sing a Song of Sixpence” nursery rhyme is a classic which dates back to at least the 1700s and Lennon loosely based his song on that as well.

Credited to the Lennon-McCartney partnership, the song, or at least a variant of it goes back to late 1967. We know this because of some early home piano demos from John Lennon. A lot of material comes from their time in India so it’s clear that this track outdates that.

Recording Studio

The band began recording “Cry Baby Cry” properly on the 15th July, 1968, in Studio Two of the EMI Studios, London, during the 3.30pm-3.00am session. However, they deleted those rehearsal takes and the next day they recorded 10 others.

The version on their 1996 album, “Anthology 3” is take 1 while take 10 became the master rhythm track suitable for overdubbing. The track was complete on the 18th July after a little further tweaking, in particular the addition of new lead vocals, some piano pieces and extra percussion instrumentation.

The album track that we are so familiar with has another song attached to the end, “Can You Take Me Back?“. Although sung by Paul McCartney, it is a separate song and it does actually compliment Lennon’s song.

Sing a Song of Sixpence Nursery Rhyme

Some people may not know the children’s nursery rhyme to which John Lennon took inspiration from, so we show this below. Obviously it’s easy to see just how Lennon adapted the lyrics to suit his song.

Sing a song of sixpence,
A pocket full of rye.
Four and twenty blackbirds,
Baked in a pie.

When the pie was opened
The birds began to sing;
Wasn’t that a dainty dish,
To set before the king.

The king was in his counting house,
Counting out his money;
The queen was in the parlour,
Eating bread and honey.

The maid was in the garden,
Hanging out the clothes,
When down came a blackbird
And pecked off her nose.

In some cases, one of the following two verses becomes an addition to the nursery rhyme.

They sent for the king’s doctor,
who sewed it on again;
He sewed it on so neatly,
the seam was never seen.
There was such a commotion,
that little Jenny wren
Flew down into the garden,
and put it back again.
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About Bobby

I have been a Beatles fan since the early 1960s so I speak from my heart and soul. It was a pleasure to accept the role of Editor on The Beatles Forum when we left our old site. If you feel that something needs correcting with the information I provide, please contact me.

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