Old School Americana & Nostalgia


Paul McCartney’s ‘Let it Be’ Inspired By Bittersweet Dream

Paul McCartney’s ‘Let it Be’ Inspired By Bittersweet Dream

Paul McCartney created a lifelong classic when he wrote Let It Be for the Beatles. But he can’t take all the credit for it. The legendary singer’s late mother gave him the inspiration for the lyrics when she visited him in a dream. 

During an appearance on James Corden’s Carpool Karaoke, McCartney explained that his mother visited him in his dream during a time of turbulence and reassured him that he was going to be okay. 

“I had a dream in the sixties where my mum who died came to me in a dream and was reassuring me saying, “It’s going to be okay. Just let it be,” he explained. 

Paul McCartney was in a rough place when he penned the now-hit, which appeared on the White Album. He and his bandmates were on the cusp of breaking up, and the Vietnam War was raging. McCartney was suffering from anxiety and crumbling under the stress of his current life, so the otherworldly message gave him an undeniable sense of peace. In turn, he was able to give the peace back to his fans. 

“I felt so sort of great,” he admitted to Corden. “…She gave me positive words. So I woke up and thought, “Whoa, what was that? What did she say? Let it be. I never heard that. That’s kinda good.’ So I wrote the song Let It Be out of positivity.”

Paul McCartney Says His Late Mother Has Been His Muse on Several Occasions

As the lyrics “Mother Mary comes to me” suggest, the singer’s mom was Mary McCartney. She passed away from cancer in October 1956 when she was 47, and her son was only 14. 

In his 2021 memoir, titled Lyrics: 1956 to Present, Paul McCartney admitted that his mother was a muse for several of his songs. The upbeat Lady Madonna featured a “very present, nurturing mother” who was inspired by his loss. He even shared that while he had denied it for decades, he does believe he subconsciously wrote Yesterday about her.

The pages also included a more detailed memory of the dream that led to Let it Be. The Grammy winner wrote that he and his bandmates had been pushing themselves to the brink of burnout at the time, “and there didn’t seem to be any way out of the mess.” When he fell asleep, she visited to offer “hope and fortitude” with the iconic phrase. 

“When you dream about seeing someone you’ve lost, even though it’s sometimes for just a few seconds, it really does feel like they’re right there with you, and it’s as if they’ve always been there,” he continued.” I think anyone who’s lost someone close to them understands that…But in this dream, seeing my mum’s beautiful, kind face and being with her in a peaceful place was very comforting. I immediately felt at ease and loved and protected.” 

McCartney explained that his mother had a “very reassuring” way about her, and he gave her credit for being the uniting force of his family, like “so many women often are.”

“She seemed to realize I was worried about what was going on in my life and what would happen, and she said to me, ‘Everything will be all right. Let it be.”