“Golden Slumbers” is one of the more over-the-top moments from the famous medley which closes the Beatles’ Abbey Road. It’s not really a song so much as a song-fragment and, in the medley, it’s sequenced between the brief but complete song “She Came in Through the Bathroom Window” and the fragment “Carry That Weight.” “Golden Slumbers,” like most Beatles songs credited to Lennon-McCartney, was actually an adaptation by McCartney of a poem by Thomas Dekker.
Jeremy Carter has decided to treat this minor McCartney fragment that doesn’t entirely work on its own and treat it as an actual song worth covering. Carter is a young American multi-instrumentalist from Vermont who has been releasing solo and band work for the last three years. He mercifully pares down the instrumentation to just his voice (doubled), acoustic guitar and autoharp. But, more importantly, he plays with the vocal melody of the verse and his interpretation lends itself to the idea of “Golden Slumbers” as an old folk song. The result is a revelation, quiet, peaceful, tasteful lullaby that sounds basically nothing like its source.
Of course, most Lennon-McCartney songs aren’t adaptations of Thomas Dekker—might want to alter that phrasing a bit! For what it’s worth, it’s not a “poem” but a song: McCartney at the time couldn’t read music, but the sheet music was on a piano at his father’s house, and he liked the words, so he wrote his own tune to sing them with.