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Paul McCartney Wrote 1 Beatles Song After a ‘Mystical Religious Experience’



Paul McCartney wrote a large portion of The Beatles’ songs based on a variety of his personal experiences. “Let It Be” came to him after having a dream about his mother and he wrote “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window” after a fan did just that. Beatles associate Alistair Taylor believed McCartney wrote a different Beatles song after a seemingly paranormal experience.

Paul McCartney wrote a Beatles song after a strange experience

In 1967, McCartney and Taylor were walking McCartney’s dog Martha in the morning. As they turned to look for Martha, they realized a man was behind them.

“We turned round to go and suddenly there he was standing behind us,” Taylor said, per the book A Hard Day’s Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song by Steve Turner. “He was a middle-aged man, very respectably dressed in a belted raincoat. Nothing in that, you may think, but he’d come up behind us over the bare top of the hill in total silence.”

They greeted one another. When McCartney and Taylor turned around again, though, the man had vanished.

“There was no sign of the man,” said Taylor. “He’d just disappeared from the top of the hill as if he’d been carried off into the air! No one could have run to the thin cover of the nearest trees in the time we had turned away from him, and no one could have run over the crest of the hill.”


Both McCartney and Taylor both felt shaken by the interaction. 

“Paul and I both felt the same weird sensation that something special had happened,” Taylor said. “We sat down rather shakily on the seat and Paul said, ‘What the hell do you make of that? That’s weird. He was here, wasn’t he? We did speak to him?’ … It sounds just like any acid tripper’s fantasy to say they had a religious experience on Primrose Hill just before the morning rush hour, but neither of us had taken anything like that … We both felt we’d been through some mystical religious experience, yet we didn’t care to name even to each other what or who we’d seen on that hilltop for those few brief seconds.”

Paul McCartney shared what he thought about the Beatles song

According to McCartney, he wrote “Fool on the Hill” about a figure like the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. He served as a spiritual guide for The Beatles. 

“‘Fool on the Hill’ was mine and I think I was writing about someone like Maharishi,” he said in the book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now by Barry Miles. “His detractors called him a fool. Because of his giggle he wasn’t taken too seriously. It was this idea of a fool on the hill, a guru in a cave, I was attracted to. I remember once hearing about a hermit who missed the Second World War because he’d been in a cave in Italy, and that always appealed to me.”

McCartney began writing the song while sitting at a piano in his father’s house.

John Lennon enjoyed the song

McCartney worked on lyrics for the song with John Lennon as Beatles biographer Hunter Davies looked on.

“Paul sang it many times, la la-ing words he hadn’t thought of yet,” Davies said. “When at last he finished, John said he’d better write the words down or he’d forget them. Paul said it was OK. He wouldn’t forget them.”


Lennon said this was an example of McCartney’s stronger lyricism.

“Paul,” he said in the book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview With John Lennon and Yoko Ono by David Sheff. “Proving he can write lyrics if he’s a good boy.”

Source: Cheat Sheet

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