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George Harrison‘s “Here Comes The Sun” is about sitting in an English garden, specifically Eric Clapton’s. However, the famous Beatles song is a little more complicated than that. George might not have written it if he didn’t play hooky. Thankfully, he did.

George Harrison playing guitar in 1969.
George Harrison | Keystone/Getty Images

George Harrison’s ‘Here Comes The Sun’ came about after he played hooky

By the time The Beatles started work on Abbey Road, they were barely speaking to one another, let alone working together. Crack by crack, they were slowly breaking up. Plus, there were endless meetings about the band’s legal problems.

One day, George, sick of it all, decided not to show up and drove to his friend Eric Clapton’s house instead. If he hadn’t, he might not have written “Here Comes The Sun.”

In an interview for BBC Radio’s Scene and Heard (per George Harrison on George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters), David Wigg asked George, “You must have been inspired by the sun, but where were you?”

“We had meetings and meetings and with all this, you know, banks, bankers, and—you know—lawyers and all sorts of things,” George said.

“And contracts and shares. It was really awful, ‘cuz it’s not the sort of thing we enjoy. And one day I didn’t come in to the office. I just sort of, it was like sagging off school. I went to a friend’s house in the country. It was just sunny and it was all just the release of that tension that had been building up on me.

“And it was just a really nice sunny day. And I picked up the guitar, which was the first time I’d played the guitar for a couple of weeks because I’d been so busy. The first thing that came out was that song. It just came. And I finished it later when I was on holiday in Sardinia.”

George’s ‘Here Comes The Sun’ was written in Eric Clapton’s garden

George went to Clapton’s house to seek refuge from the disastrous Apple.

In his 1980 memoir, I Me Mine, George explained, “‘Here Comes The Sun’ was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be business men, all this signing accounts, and ‘sign this’ and ‘sign that.’

“Anyway it seems as if winter in England goes on forever; by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So one day I decided–I’m going to ‘sag off’ (play truant) Apple, and I went over to Eric Clapton’s house.

“I was walking in his garden. The relief of not having to go and see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I was walking around the garden with one of Eric’s acoustic guitars and wrote ‘Here Comes The Sun.'”


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He called the song ‘cute’

Following The Beatles’ break up, George often referred to “Here Comes The Sun” and his other Abbey Road hit, “Something,” as his “cute” songs.

George didn’t think they were that great either. He told Wigg, “I thought these, ‘Something’ and ‘Here Comes the Sun’ was OK … probably, maybe a bit more commercial, but as songs not much better than the songs on the last album.”

Despite what George thought of “Here Comes The Sun,” it almost made it on NASA’s first interstellar space probe in the 1970s. Of all the songs and sounds on Earth, scientists almost chose the song to greet any future extraterrestrial life if they happened upon the probe. That’s got to count for something.

Now, “Here Comes The Sun” is one of the most famous Beatles songs ever.