The Long and Winding Road


Hmm, I think he wrote this one about his mum also… Even if he didn’t, it still feels very much like an elegy to a loved one. As Paul McCartney pointed out himself, writing sad songs does save one from having to go to the psychiatrist. The Let It Be sessions were famously a time of intense stress for everyone involved, but were probably especially rough on McCartney, since he was the one who initiated the legal action that led to the eventual demise of The Beatles. McCartney’s dissatisfaction with Phil Spector’s production (and his handling of this song in particular) was so strong that he felt forced to take legal action to wrest control of his work and career from the collective Beatles management. After that there was no turning back, and he had to face being painted as the bad guy, even though The Beatles were falling apart as an entity anyway. McCartney has said that he feels bad about it to this day – it can’t feel good to have to sue your closest friends – but he truly felt he had no choice. So, in the midst of this crisis, he wrote some sad songs to soothe himself, and those sad songs – this one and Let It Be – turned out to be two of his most uplifting. These are the songs people turn to to soothe their own sad spirits. The capacity to aid and comfort through music is an incredible, miraculous gift, and the number of people that Paul McCartney has been able to give solace to with just these two songs – it’s enough to qualify him as a saint.

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