My iPod #68: George Harrison – Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll)

Another song from “All Things Must Pass”.

“Who is Sir Frankie Crisp?” You may ask.

Well, the video above is a black and white picture of George Harrison sitting in a huge garden with four, quite large, garden gnomes. This was the original artwork for his debut album in 1970, before it was colourated for its 2001 remaster release.

It turns out that garden is the main lawn of only one of the gardens at his home, Friar Park, which he bought in the winter of 1970. Friar Park was originally owned by Sir Crisp, and this song is a tribute to him and to the estate.

Did you know that the song contains part of the melody of an original song of his called “Everybody, Nobody”. That song was about motoring and travelling on the road, but Harrison rewrote the words to make “Let It Roll”.

This song is one of my favourites. It’s very descriptive. It’s almost like reading a movie script: ‘Let it roll across the floor/Through the hall and out the door/To the fountain of perpetual mirth/Let it roll for all it’s worth …’

This song is quite a whiplash in mood on the album; after listening to “Apple Scruffs” which is one of the happiest songs on there, this song comes up with quite a dark tone to it. The reverb on the snare drum and the repeats of “Oh, Sir Frankie Crisp” in the background reinforce the mysterious atmosphere. It’s not sad though, in fact he throws in a reference to a Monty Python in the midst of it.

Listen to it. You might like it too.

Until tomorrow.

Jamie.

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