Little Known History: Mom

A series bringing history to light that was forgotten by or unknown to history.

Let It Be

Family portrait: Michael (left), mother Mary, father Jim and Paul (right).

Family portrait: Michael (left), mother Mary, father Jim and Paul (right).

Paul McCartney penned the song ‘Let it be’ for his Mother – Mary McCartney who had died of an embolism when Paul was just 14.

Paul would later say it came about as a result of a dream he’d had in 1968, when, though The Beatles were at the height of their fame and creativity, fissures had begun appearing in the camaraderie of the band.

John Lennon had recently become attached to Yoko Ono, and the future looked uncertain for The Beatles, which devastated Paul.
Suddenly, in the middle of the turmoil, he found himself dreaming about his mother.

‘There was her face, completely clear, particularly her eyes,’ he would recall. ‘And she said to me very gently, very reassuringly: “Let it be.”

‘It was lovely. I woke up with a great feeling. It was really as if she’d visited me at this very difficult moment in my life and had given me this message: “Be gentle, don’t fight things, just try and go with the flow and it will work out.” ’

Then on a night in 1968, when playing ‘Let It Be’ for the first time, for an impromptu private audience – it was cut short when a young, fair-haired American woman in a raincoat turned up at the studio along with her small daughter. Her name was Linda Eastman, and she and Paul were to marry, in the face of much opposition from the group’s fans, a few months later.

‘It was as if my mum had sent me her,’ he would say.

Words of wisdom: Paul McCartney, left, with his mother Mary and brother Michael during a family trip to Wales.

Words of wisdom: Paul McCartney, left, with his mother Mary and brother Michael during a family trip to Wales.

From all the traumas and trials of The Beatles relationship break-ups, theirs was to become a spectacularly happy marriage, with Linda a rock at his side, helping create the close family life that had been cut short in his teenage years.

Their first daughter was named Mary, after his mother, and when, following the birth of Stella, a son was born, he was called James, after Paul’s father.

Lyrics to ‘Let It Be’

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

And when all the brokenhearted people
Living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be

For though they may be parted
There is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Yeah, there will be an answer let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

And when the night is cloudy
There is still a light that shines on me
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be

I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be

Yeah, let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be

Let it be, let it be
Let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom
Let it be

Crash

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