The Beatles: Paul McCartney based Abbey Road song on ancient poem

The Beatles: Paul McCartney based Abbey Road song on ancient poem

The Beatles singer Paul McCartney has been very open about how he has written music in the past. From composing Yesterday in his sleep to writing Hey Jude for John Lennon‘s son, Julian, McCartney has done it all.

But one of the most surprising came when he was struck by the words of a touching poem.

McCartney based the composition of a song on the poem “Cradle Song”, which originated from Thomas Dekker’s play, Patient Grissel. The Liverpudlian star reportedly saw the play when he was a child with his father.

The play, and poem, were originally published in 1603, hundreds of years before McCartney was even born.

As revealed in the 1997 book, Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, the star confessed: “I liked the words so much.”

But there was one problem.

McCartney could not play the song as it was written, because he lacked the skills necessary.

He said: “I thought it was very restful, a very beautiful lullaby – but I couldn’t read the melody, not being able to read music.” So, he did the next best thing. “I just took the words and wrote my own music. I didn’t know at the time it was four hundred years old.”

With the poem’s words ringing in his ears, McCartney penned the Abbey Road song Golden Slumbers.

READ MORE: The Beatles: John Lennon called one rival band’s song ‘the greatest’

The Quiet Beatle said in the book George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters that “Because” was his favourite track. He added: “Just because I like three-part harmony. We’ve never done something like that for years, I think, since a B-side, ‘If you wear red tonight’, and ‘what I said tonight.’”

He went on: “So I like that. I like, I dunno – I like lots of them. I like ‘You Never Give Me Your Money’ and ‘Golden Slumbers’ and things.”

Golden Slumbers was never released as a single, but it has gained a lot of popularity as the years have gone on.

Golden Slumbers has been covered by a number of artists. American star Judy Collins covered the track on her 2007 album Judy Collins Sings Lennon and McCartney.

The track was also covered by rock band Elbow for the 2017 John Lewis Christmas advert, reaching number 29 in the UK’s singles chart in the process.

Pop princess Dua Lipa also covered the song during her Live Acoustic EP in 2017.

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Published at Wed, 25 May 2022 11:54:00 +0000