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All Things Must Pass, George Harrison

Apple/EMI, November 27, 1970

Track Listing: Disc 1: 1. I’d Have You Anytime, 2. My Sweet Lord, 3. Wah-Wah, 4. Isn’t It a Pity [Version One], 5. What Is Life, 6. If Not for You, 7. Behind That Locked Door, 8. Let It Down, 9. Run of the Mill, 10. Beware of Darkness, 11. Apple Scruffs, 12. Ballad of Sir Frankie Crisp (Let It Roll), 13. Awaiting on You All, 14. All Things Must Pass, Disc 2: 1. I Dig Love, 2. Art of Dying, 3. Isn’t It a Pity [Version Two], 4. Hear Me Lord, 5. Out of the Blue, 6. It’s Johnny’s Birthday, 7. Plug Me In, 8. I Remember Jeep, 9. Thanks for the Pepperoni

Every year, summer is snuffed out in an iridescent burst of wounded decay. Fall comes round, the same as always: rusty, spent, weary, and dead.

Thoughts of July linger in the copper bed before oxidation decomposes the barbecue smiles, crowded paths, beach towels and bikinis, booze cruises, tee times, convertibles, rally caps, kayaks, street fests, shorts and T’s, skin, potato salad, and fireworks—all, at last, nothing but a blister. Tattooed tan lines inked by the blazing sun now trace a quick fade. It is a losing game, trying to fit everything in during a summer season that is as short as winter is long. When its blaze ignites, it is a wildfire—alive and out of control—but then, oddest of all, it is gone, fizzling quickly.

The flurries come first. The snow is like a bed of clean white sheets. Soldiers of memories line up, readying to fend off all comers in a last-ditch attempt to win the battle of the closing heart. As the fight rages on, the music of The Beatles—the soundtrack to an awakening—accompanies a slide show of youth. Out on the front lines, solo years flash first with the heavy artillery of Plastic Ono Band and Ram, but even before that, out of the gate first is George, charging, paving the way for the new post-Beatles world order.

“All things must pass
All things must pass away
All things must pass
None of life’s strings can last
So, I must be on my way
And face another day”

-from the songAll Things Must Pass

As the sweet and sour trajectory of all things passing plays on the minds of many, there are those like George Harrison who manage to exude peace and grace in spite of it all. And there are rock and roll hymns—road maps to spirituality, hope, and faith—that celebrate the movement of time while obeying the rules that tell us that eternity belongs no more to the past and present than it does to the future.