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Paul McCartney reveals how ‘Let It Be’ was inspired by Shakespeare’s ‘Hamlet’

Paul McCartney has revealed how William Shakespeare’s Hamlet subconsciously inspired The Beatles track ‘Let It Be’.

  • READ MORE: Inside ‘Now And Then’: With a little help from AI, The Beatles live again

Macca opened up about the origins of the Fab Four’s 1970s hit, suggesting that his mother, Mary McCartney said the phrase “let it be” to him in a dream. In an episode of  McCartney: A Life in Lyrics podcast, Macca revealed how Hamlet may have inspired the track without him realising.

“In those days [at school], I had to learn speeches off by heart. So I could still do a bit of ‘to be or not to be’, or ‘O that this too too solid flesh’,” he said.

He continued: “And it had been pointed out to me recently that Hamlet, when he has been poisoned, he actually says, ‘Let it be’ – act five, scene two. He says ‘Let be’ the first time, then the second time he says, ‘Had I but time — as this fell sergeant, Death, Is strict in his arrest — oh, I could tell you. But let it be Horatio.’

“I was interested that I was exposed to those words during a time when I was studying Shakespeare so that years later the phrase appears to me in a dream with my mother saying it.”

McCartney’s mother passed away from cancer back in 1956 when he was 14. Speaking about his dream in which his mother said the phrase to him, he said: “It was great to visit with her again. I felt very blessed to have that dream. So that got me writing ‘Let It Be’.”

In other Beatles news, John Lennon‘s son, Julian Lennon recently spoke out about his relationship with his brother Sean, saying that rumours of an alleged feud between them are “such bull”.

The conversation arose as he looked back at the red carpet premiere of the Beatles’ 2021 documentary series Get Back, which he attended with Sean. Recalling the event, he explained that his younger brother initially had reservations about attending.

“He felt overwhelming pressure. And I didn’t particularly want to go. But he said he felt obligated to go,” he told the outlet. “So, because I love him so much I said, ‘Listen, I’m coming with you. We’ll face the demons together.’

“And it’s funny because there’s always been, especially in the U.K. press, ‘Lennon Sons Feuding,’ this, that. We’ve never had a fight in our life. It’s such bull.”

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