The gradually expanding credits for Beyonce's Cowboy Carter album have revealed a deeper Beatles connection with her cover of "Blackbird."

Beyonce's update was built on instrumental elements from the original master recording of the song from 1968's White Album, including Paul McCartney's foot tapping and acoustic guitar. A McCartney representative confirmed the news to Variety, citing Beyonce's team.

McCartney is officially listed as guitarist and co-producer on the track. Beyonce's version also includes strings, violin and bass credited to fellow co-producer Khirye Tyler. Stevie Wonder's contribution to the Cowboy Carter update of Dolly Parton's "Jolene" was announced earlier this week. Certain other credits on Beyonce's album are still incomplete.

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Though co-credited with the late John Lennon, the original version of "Blackbird" was written and recorded by McCartney himself during June 1968 sessions for the Beatles' self-titled LP – later nicknamed the White Album. He'd turn 26 the following week.

McCartney has not yet commented on Beyonce's update, which she re-titled "Blackbiird." This isn't the first time he's given someone permission to use the master recording of "Blackbird." Rachel Fuller created a lush reworking in 2019 with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and Chamber Choir of London.

Listen to the Beatles' 'Blackbird'

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McCartney's song took inspiration from Bach and the burgeoning '60s-era struggle for equality.

"Those were the days of the Civil Rights movement, which all of us cared passionately about, so this was really a song from me to a black woman, experiencing these problems in the States," McCartney told Barry Miles in Many Years Ago. The idea was to encourage them to "keep trying, to keep your faith."

He developed the lyric around something more symbolic: "Rather than say 'Black woman living in Little Rock' and be very specific, she became a bird, became symbolic, so you could apply it to your particular problem."

The guitar figure traced back to the classical piece "Bouree in E minor," which McCartney and Beatles bandmate George Harrison both learned when they were starting out as guitarists.

"Bach was always one of our favorite composers; we felt we had a lot in common with him," McCartney told Miles. "I developed the melody on guitar based on the Bach piece and took it somewhere else, took it to another level – then I just fitted the words to it."

Listen to Beyonce's Update of 'Blackbird'

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Gallery Credit: Nick DeRiso

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