Saturday, May 08, 2010
Let It Be Mother's Day
With its gospel flavor and allusions to "Mother Mary," it would be easy for one to mistake The Beatles' "Let it Be" for some sort of Bibilical allegory along the lines of Bob Dylan's "All Along the Watchtower" or something by The Band or Blind Faith, who were very much into that kind of thing at the time.
But the "Mother Mary" in "Let it Be" is not that Mary, but Mary McCartney, mother of Paul McCartney, who died of breast cancer when Paul was a wee lad of 14 in Liverpool (that's young Macca on the right). A couple years later, he was at a church fete where he met a rough & tumble scruff named John Lennon, who had also lost his mum when she was hit by a drunk-driving off-duty policeman. The two bonded quickly over their mutual losses and love of rock & roll and went on to some success as The Quarrymen and later The Beatles.
"Let it Be," of course, was recorded in early 1969 at a low ebb of The Beatles career in terms of their ability to relate to one another. The song has also been seen as Paul's message to his mates, to just let their partnership end and accept it. But even though they were all majorly bummed out, it still made for some amazing music.
With its beautiful melody and timeless words of wisdom betwixt mother and child, "Let it Be" is perhaps the ultimate Mother's Day song. The piano intro gives me chills every time I hear it - and it's been a lot of times.
The Let it Be film and LP was released 40 years ago this week. But the film has still yet to make it to DVD. Fortunately, it is on YouTube in its entirety. Here's part 1 of 9, You can find the rest of them there. Happy Mother's Day.
Mother's Day Bonus: John Wayne presents Paul & Linda McCartney with the 1971 Grammy for Best Film Soundtrack for Let It Be