100 Greatest Beatles Songs

From 'Helter Skelter' to 'Sgt. Pepper's,' ranking of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison's output

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'Dig a Pony'
Michael Webb/Keystone/Getty Images92/100

92. 'Dig a Pony'

Main Writer: Lennon
Recorded: January 22, 24, 28 and 30, February 5, 1969
Released: May 18, 1970
Not released as a single

This witty jumble of words was recorded at the Beatles' rooftop performance, with an assistant holding up Lennon's lyrics for him as a cue. "I roll a stoney/Well, you can imitate everyone you know," Lennon sings. It might simply be an agreeable bit of nonsense (in 1980, Lennon dismissed "Dig a Pony" as "another piece of garbage"), or it might be a dart hurled at the Beatles' chief rivals in English rock & roll, the Rolling Stones. Lennon and McCartney wrote the Stones' second single, 1964's "I Wanna Be Your Man" (Lennon later wryly noted, "We weren't going to give them anything great"), and Keith Richards had played with Lennon on the Stones' Rock and Roll Circus in late 1968. But in an interview with Rolling Stone in 1970, Lennon's resentment spilled out: "I would like to just list what we did and what the Stones did two months after on every fuckin' album. Every fuckin' thing we did, Mick does exactly the same. They are not in the same class, musicwise or powerwise — never were."

Appears On: Let It Be

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