Let it Be - The Beatles.

Discussion in 'Music Ministry' started by Ben W, May 1, 2005.

  1. Ben W

    Ben W
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    What really is the message of this Beatles song?

    Let it Be

    When I find myself in times of trouble, mother Mary comes to me,
    speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
    And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me,
    speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

    Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be.
    Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

    And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree,
    there will be an answer, let it be.
    For though they may be parted there is still a chance that they will see,
    there will be an answer. let it be.

    Let it be, let it be, .....

    And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light, that shines on me,
    shine until tomorrow, let it be.
    I wake up to the sound of music, mother Mary comes to me,
    speaking words of wisdom, let it be.

    Let it be, let it be, .....
     
  2. Travelsong

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    Catholic imagery. Mary is likely a mother figure who represents wisdom and comfort.

    Acknowledge, perhaps support some undefined action, event, or understanding.

    ...broken hearted people living in the world agree

    Expression of an idea based on the commonality of mankind. This sentiment is a common them in the likes of Martin Luther King jr, Gandhi and many Christians will say Jesus.


    Basically a summary of the entire song, Catholic imagery reiforced.

    Hopeful, transcendental, melodic, but not of much substance or profit lyrically.
     
  3. Mike McK

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    Actually, he's not referring to the Virgin Mary, as is commonly assumed, but to his mother, who's name was Mary.

    Where's the Catholic imagery here?

    I disagree. It's an expression of longing such as all people have. It's a beautful song. Not one of my favorite Beatles' songs, but a beautiful one, nonetheless.


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  4. Travelsong

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    I tend to separate the author from the art Mike. I can only judge the music and words on their own merits. When I hear that song, I picture mother Mary as a Catholic image and a depiction of motherly wisdom and comfort. I may be incorrect about who Mary represents specifically, but I am still on the mark in terms of the role she plays in the song.

    Of course it's obvious by the phrasing "Mother Mary comes to me" that Mary the mother of Jesus was intended to also be depicted.
     
  5. Mike McK

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    Sorry, but the fact that Paul wrote the song in homage to his mother, who died when he was fifteen is one of the best known stories in rock and roll lore.

    If you choose to believe that the "Mary" here is the Virgin Mary then that's up to you, but it wasn't the intention of the composer.


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  6. WallyGator

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    Thanks Mike for your input. For years I thought it was Catholic but some years ago I read about his mother.
     
  7. Travelsong

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    Sorry, but the fact that Paul wrote the song in homage to his mother, who died when he was fifteen is one of the best known stories in rock and roll lore.

    If you choose to believe that the "Mary" here is the Virgin Mary then that's up to you, but it wasn't the intention of the composer.


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    </font>[/QUOTE]mother Mary comes to me, speaking words of wisdom...

    He must have known it would be taken that way simply by the phrasing Mike. No one speaks like that about their mother.
     
  8. Mike McK

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    Why not? I talk all the time about my memories of my father and my grandfather and how the wisdom they passed on to me still speaks to me, even after all these years since their deaths.


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  9. Travelsong

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    Why not? I talk all the time about my memories of my father and my grandfather and how the wisdom they passed on to me still speaks to me, even after all these years since their deaths.


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    </font>[/QUOTE]Well, you don't typically name your mother. "Mother Birtha came to me".

    So we have a mother figure specifically named as Mary and not explicitly designated as the singer's mother.

    Add to that Billy Preston's organ which sounds very traditional and Catholic, and it's hard to believe that They didn't intentionally put that imagery in the song.
     
  10. Mike McK

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    First of all, let's remember that it is just a song and allow them a little poetic license.

    This is not an Oscar Wilde play with stilted dialogue.

    I often do name my mother to people who may not be familiar with my family structure.

    If I were setting up a premise, telling about an event that happened with my mother, then, of course I would explain to my audience that she is my mother.

    Actually, he designates her as his mother in the opening line: When I find myself in times of trouble/Mother Mary comes to me.

    There is no reason to assume that he is talking about anyone but his mother and, in interviews, he does explain that the song is, in fact, an homage to his mother, Mary, who died when he was very young.

    I don't see what is specifically Catholic about Preston's organ or what necessarily makes a Catholic organ different from a baptist organ or a Methodist organ.

    I'm starting to think that you're just having a little sport with us.


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  11. Travelsong

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    No, I'm not at all. There's a reason so many people find the song to be Catholic, and it isn't the human mind creating oder where there is none. The name Mary, the concept of wisdom and comfort which are attatched to it without the personal possessive of my mother, coupled with the solo organ interjections all portray a Catholic imagery. It's not such a wild tangent.

    Now the song may in actuality only be about his mother from his perspective, but I don't see how you can make the argument that he didn't know how the song would be perceived.
     
  12. Mike McK

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    I believe it is.

    Obviously you're going to see Catholicism where McCartney didn't intend, so I'll leave that to you.

    I and the rest of the world will continue to enjoy a pleasant song about a man remembering his mother's wise words.

    Now, what I'm curious to know is if you believe "Hey, Jude" is about St. Jude or whether or not "Martha, My Dear", is about Martha of Mary and Martha fame. If not, why not?

    I'm also curious as to why you're convinced that a man who has never made any overtures to Catholicism in public statements or in his music all of a sudden, feels compelled to write such an intimate song about the Virgin Mary. Why does he identify her as his mother and not as the Virgin Mary?


    I don't understand why you can't simply accept that his mother's name was Mary and she gave him good advice.

    Again, why is this organ necessarily "Catholic" and what makes it more Catholic than a baptist organ?

    The more you say, the more I'm starting to suspect that I might be the victim of a joke.

    I don't know whether he did or not. I don't believe that he had any control over the name that his mother's parents picked for her.


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  13. Travelsong

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    Lady Madonna
    (Lennon/McCartney)

    Lead vocal: Paul

    ~~~

    Lady Madonna, children at your feet.
    Wonder how you manage to make ends meet.
    Who finds the money? When you pay the rent?
    Did you think that money was heaven sent?
    Friday night arrives without a suitcase.
    Sunday morning creep in like a nun.
    Monday's child has learned to tie his bootlace.
    See how they run.

    Lady Madonna, baby at your breast.
    Wonder how you manage to feed the rest.

    See how they run.

    Lady Madonna, lying on the bed,
    Listen to the music playing in your head.

    Tuesday afternoon is never ending.
    Wednesday morning papers didn't come.
    Thursday night your stockings needed mending.
    See how they run.

    Lady Madonna, children at your feet.
    Wonder how you manage to make ends meet.
     
  14. Mike McK

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    I know a ditty nutty as a fruitcake
    Goofy as a goon and silly as a loon
    Some call it pretty,
    others call it crazy
    But they all sing this tune:

    Mairzy doats and dozy doats
    And liddle lamzy divey
    A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?
    Yes! Mairzy doats and dozy doats
    and liddle lamzy divey
    A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?

    If the words sound queer
    And funny to your ear,
    A little bit jumbled and jivey
    Sing "Mares eat oats
    And does eat oats
    And little lambs eat ivy"

    Oh! Mairzy doats and dozy doats
    And liddle lamzy divey
    A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?
    A kiddley divey too, wouldn't you?


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  15. Travelsong

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    Oh come on now. I'm just making the point that Catholic imagery is there in the song. I'll grant the possibility that it's entirely coincidental and not intended by the artist in any way, but it is still there.

    Now the only reason I posted the lyrics to Lady Madonna is because you said:

    If Paul wanted to portray the mother figure of Mary as a personal expression, then he could have easily done so, but he obviously chose to broaden it a bit in the phrasing.

    Like I said, it's no great leap of the imagination to perceive a mother figure named Mary who comforts, render's wisdom and advice, and helps you come to terms with the world as a Catholic image.

    ...and ok, the organ bits could be any denomination, but the point is they are solo chords which give the song a sense of reverence and contemplative pause in a very traditional, religious sounding way.
     
  16. Mike McK

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    What Catholic imagery?

    There are dozens of songs about women named Mary.

    IIIrd Tyme Out does "John and Mary".

    The Country Gentlemen had a hit with the traditional song, "Bringing Mary Home".

    The Monkees sang "Mary, Mary".

    An then, of course, there's the traditional "Mary of the Wild Moor".

    Do these songs also contain Catholic imagery?

    Since the composer has already stated that it's about his mother and since it's a pretty well established fact in rock music, I don't think you're really going out on a limb there.

    I understand. Often, when I refer to my mother, I really mean Chuck Bednarik.

    The key word here being "imagination".

    Have you been reading Dial-the-Truth?


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  17. Travelsong

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    Mike, if it can be mistaken by so many people for exactly the reasons I gave, how can you say it isn't really there?

    You and I both know that you are able to see the obvious Mary mother figure in the song. The traditional Catholic notion of Mary being the super benevolent, wise matriach of the church is consistent with the Mary of Let It Be. The connection is intuitive, and quite honestly jumping up and down waving it's hands.
     
  18. Mike McK

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    But even you're acknowledging that it's mistaken.

    I'm not going to blame Paul McCartney for someone else's mistaken assumption.

    If you want to believe that it's about the Virgin Mary, even after the composer has said that it's not and even though it's a well established fact that he is singing about his mother that's up to you.

    OK. Whatever.

    Like I said, if you want to see Catholic boogeymen behind every tree, then that's completely up to you.


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  19. Mike McK

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    In interview in which Macca explains the origins of "Let it Be" can be heard here:

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio2/soldonsong/songlibrary/indepth/letitbe.shtml

    From AllMusicGuide.com:

    Paul McCartney wrote ["Let it Be"]. It was inspired by his mother, Mary, who died when he was 14. Many people thought "Mother Mary" was a biblical reference when they heard it.
    Since this was The Beatles last album, it made an appropriate statement about leaving problems behind and moving on in life.



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  20. Travelsong

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    You're missing or ignoring the point Mike. How much evidence for the connection needs to be presented for it to be legitmately perceived on it's own?

    You're really fighting a strawman because you come from the assumption that seeing an obvious Mother Mary connection forces one to accept or identify with the song that way.
     

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