Paul McCartney Shares Which Historical Figure Helped Inspire The Beatles Hit “Let It Be”

While most artists hope to one day gain a place in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, for Paul McCartney, that honor happened twice. Not only did the singer receive an induction for his contribution to the Beatles, but McCartney also landed a spot as a solo artist as well. Lending his hand to numerous hits like “My Love,” “Band on the Run,” and “Silly Love Songs,” the singer received an impressive 18 Grammy Awards. And recently, he admitted that one historical figure might have helped craft another hit song of The Beatles, “Let It Be.” 

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Although McCartney discussed the hit song in the past, he recently brought the subject back up on his Paul McCartney: A Life in Lyrics podcast. Besides once claiming his mother said “let it be” in a dream, the singer is now suggesting that William Shakespeare helped create the hit thanks to his work Hamlet. “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.’”

Showcasing how the title came from the past, McCartney pointed out how the famous writer used the line. “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.'”

Paul McCartney Thanks Shakespeare And His Mother

Finding a connection between Shakespeare and his dream with his mother, McCartney suggested, “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.”

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Back in 1968, while McCartney wrote with the Beatles, his mother appeared to him in a dream. The dream stuck with the musician as in 1956, his mother passed away due to cancer. Holding the dream close, the singer admitted, “It was great to visit with her again. I felt very blessed to have that dream. So that got me writing ‘Let It Be’.”

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)

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