The Top 20 Beatles Songs, #17: “Let It Be”


Photo by UPI. Public Domain.
Photo by UPI. Public Domain.

“Let It Be”

Album: Let it Be (1970)

Composer: Lennon/McCartney

Paul’s voice and galloping piano work alone start the song, but it soon builds beautifully: a perfect sequence brings in backup vocals, drums, bass, organ and horns. Finally, George Harrison’s penetrating guitar solo signals that euphoric moment when the song collapses on itself. The storm then subsides, the confused melody unravels, and any listener (first-time or otherwise) is at least temporarily speechless.

While Paul McCartney was the first Beatle to express interest in disbanding, he is also responsible for this moving ballad of peacefulness and togetherness. The song provides a sense of closure for any listener, but is particularly relevant for the band itself as this was the last Beatles single released while the band was still together. The song’s message is universal- both religious and secular, complicated and understated, piercing and humbling, conflicted and at peace. A fitting au revoir to the end of a spectacular era.


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