George Harrison


What Is Life

What I feel, I can’t say
But my love is there for you anytime of day
But if it’s not love that you need
Then I’ll try my best to make everything succeed

Tell me, what is my life without your love
Tell me, who am I without you, by my side

What I know, I can do
If I give my love now to everyone like you
But if it’s not love that you need
Then I’ll try my best to make ev’rything succeed

Tell me, what is my life without your love
Tell me, who am I without you, by my side
Tell me, what is my life without your love
Tell me, who am I without you, by my side

What I feel, I can’t say
But my love is there for you any time of day
But if it’s not love that you need
Then I’ll try my best to make everything succeed

Tell me, what is my life without your love
Tell me, who am I without you, by my side
Oh tell me, what is my life without your love
Tell me, who am I without you, by my side

What is my life without your love
Tell me, who am I without you, by my side

(fade:)
Oh tell me, what is my life without your love
Tell me who am I without you by my side

“What Is Life” is a song by George Harrison and is the first track on side two of his 1970 solo album All Things Must Pass.

It was released as the second single from that album in the United States on February 15, 1971 with another album track, “Apple Scruffs,” as the B-side.

On March 27, “What Is Life” peaked at #10 in the Billboard Hot 100, making Harrison the first member of the Beatles to log two Top 10 solo hits on that chart.

On the album, the “O’Hara-Smith” singers are credited as background vocalists. Whitlock explains: “That’s Eric Clapton and me. If you listen, you can hear Eric and me wailing away.”

The song was written for Billy Preston in 1969, but Harrison decided not to ask Preston to record the song during his “funky” phase, seeing the song as too much of a “catchy pop tune”.

Harrison was writing many religious songs at the time, but this wasn’t one of them. The lyrics are directed to a person, not God.

The song was co-produced by George Harrison and Phil Spector, who also produced the rest of the All Things Must Pass album.

An instrumental outtake version of the song appears on the 2001 re-release of All Things Must Pass. Featuring a piccolo trumpet and oboe, it was discarded because Harrison “didn’t like the feel”.

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