Paul McCartney on Beatles song John Lennon wrote when band was ‘disillusioned’ | Music | Entertainment

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This week’s podcast episode of A Life in Lyrics sees Paul McCartney looking back on the Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band track, A Day in the Life.

The Beatles’ classic 1967 track is attributed to Lennon-McCartney but was mainly written by John Lennon with Macca contributing to the song’s middle section.

Reflecting on the opening lyrics about a “lucky man who made the grade”, McCartney wondered if the words were inspired by Lennon’s own struggles.

The 81-year-old said: “When John would bring these things in, it’s only these days that I would say, ‘Was he talking about himself? Was there some sort of psychological aspect where he’s a lucky man who made the grade?’

“And John did, around about this time, get a little bit out in Weybridge doing drugs. And we were a little disillusioned because we’d sort of given up playing live. So him bringing that in, I would just go with the picture that he was painting.”

McCartney also shared how the pressures of Beatles fame inspired Sgt Pepper’s: “Here’s the idea. We are these four space cadets. We’re just these four people in this slightly weird band. But what it’s going to do is. Going to free us up. 

“So we’re not going to be the Beatles, which we are now getting a little bit sort of inhibited by, having to be those boys. We’ll now just chuck all that away and we’d be these guys.”

Macca also spoke of Lennon’s love of history and Churchill when reflecting on the lyrics “I saw a film today, oh boy/The English Army had just won the war”.

McCartney added: “John was quite a World War II buff. He had the works of Winston Churchill. He was a big Winston Churchill fan, I think, till later. I think he’d read a lot about it. I’ve not read any of his stuff. John had. They had the complete set. I remember it’s like a set of encyclopaedias.”

Paul McCartney: A Life in Lyrics is co-produced by iHeartPodcasts and Pushkin.

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