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"Let It Be" Written For Aretha??!!

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Last post 06/12/2016

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      Perusing a long meaty juicy biography of Aretha Franklin (by David 'Ritz, 2014) I was startled by a passage which asserts "Let It Be" was "written for" Aretha by Lennon/McCartney, but she turned it down because of her "Baptist upbringing"--she thought the "Mother Mary" line sounded "a bit Catholic."
      "Let It Be" is so personal to Paul I can't imagine him actually writing it for anyone but him. Or his giving it to someone else to record first.
      I wonder if the author got this right. If so, rejecting it was another big mistake for Franklin (she kept making whoppers, she wouldn't listen to anyone and was very hard headed and stubborn) in her career. Of course, she got enough right (mostly her awesome singing pipes) to enjoy a long often very successful career. She wrote a lot of good songs, too, especially "Think." I'd been unaware she penned that herself.

        If Aretha would have read some of The Beatles' biographies, she would have found out that Mother Mary was Paul's late Mother and not Jesus's Mother Mary!

        I'm going to have to read that book Susy, I really don't think that "Let It Be" was written for Aretha Franklin. As we both know, Paul's writing that song about himself! Like you said Susy, "Let It Be" is Paul's personal song!

          I think that most people hearing Let It Be do not think it's about Paul or his "mother Mary" at all. I think most people hear it personally and think of THE "Mother Mary". Ever since I heard it as a boy, I thought of Jesus' Mother Mary. He didn't sing "my mother Mary", he sang "Mother Mary". So I can understand Aretha's reluctance at recording it because of that since she isn't a Catholic. It DOES have a strong religious feeling to it. Whether Paul meant it that way or not, that's what Let It Be's become. The song turns into a real show stopper in concert with all the lighters and cell phones lights shining. It's a beautiful thing.

            beatlesfanrandy:I think that most people hearing Let It Be do not think it's about Paul or his "mother Mary" at all. I think most people hear it personally and think of THE "Mother Mary". Ever since I heard it as a boy, I thought of Jesus' Mother Mary. He didn't sing "my mother Mary", he sang "Mother Mary". So I can understand Aretha's reluctance at recording it because of that since she isn't a Catholic. It DOES have a strong religious feeling to it. Whether Paul meant it that way or not, that's what Let It Be's become. The song turns into a real show stopper in concert with all the lighters and cell phones lights shining. It's a beautiful thing.

            You're right beatlesfanrandy! I was just thinking about what one of my ex-fiance's told me 5 years ago. My ex thought that Mother Mary was Jesus's Mother. That was because she was not a Beatles fan 5 years ago. Now, she's a hard core Beatles fanatic and knows everything about The Beatles! Sadly, I'm not with her anymore! As the saying goes, sh*t happens!

              If it's true, I had NO idea. A quick Google search revealed a bit of info about the topic, but I'm not so sure of the reliability.

              -Rubber Soul13

                Well, I always knew that the Mary in the song was Paul's mother since I've been a super fan since 1964 and knew all about his mum. I do however remember reading that Paul offered the song to Aretha first and she turned it down. It was not written for her though.
                Hmmm...just read in Wikipedia that Aretha released a version in January 1970, before The Beatles did!
                https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let_It_Be_(song)
                That link will take you to the album discussion. Just Google or do a Wikipedia search for Let It Be (song)
                And what would being Catholic or not have to do with it? Protestants also believe in "Mother Mary" i.e. The Virgin Mary.

                  SusyLuvsPaul:Perusing a long meaty juicy biography of Aretha Franklin (by David Writz, 2014) I was startled by a passage which asserts "Let It Be" was "written for" Aretha by Lennon/McCartney, but she turned it down because of her "Baptist upbringing"--she thought the "Mother Mary" line sounded "a bit Catholic."
                  "Let It Be" is so personal to Paul I can't imagine him actually writing it for anyone but him. Or his giving it to someone else to record first.
                  I wonder if the author got this right. If so, rejecting it was another big mistake for Franklin (she kept making whoppers, she wouldn't listen to anyone and was very hard headed and stubborn) in her career. Of course, she got enough right (mostly her awesome singing pipes) to enjoy a long often very successful career. She wrote a lot of good songs, too, especially "Think." I'd been unaware she penned that herself.

                  This topic is confusing. Aretha Franklin is "hard headed and stubborn"? She's one of the most successful recording artists of all time, so she probably didn't make too many big mistakes.

                  She recorded "Let It Be" in 1969, so she didn't turn it down.

                  She sang gospel music all the time, so I doubt she would be turned off by the religious interpretation. In fact, her version sounds more like a hymn than The Beatles' version.

                    This contradicts Wikipedia about the release date.

                    https://lostandsound.wordpress.com/2010/04/10/paul-mccartney-originally-wrote-let-it-be-for-aretha-franklin/

                      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/This_Girl%27s_in_Love_with_You

                      Says she released Let It Be on this album in January 1970 before The Beatles.

                        I think we all agree on one thing, "Let It Be" was not written for Aretha Franklin!

                          jl4761:I think we all agree on one thing, "Let It Be" was not written for Aretha Franklin!

                          .........or for his Mother for that matter.

                          Like 'Yesterday', 'Let It Be' originated from a dream in which it was Beatles roadie Mal Evans who came to Paul. It was only after the song was completed that Paul decided that lyrically 'Mother Mary comes to me' was more universally appealing than 'Brother Malcolm comes to me.'

                            Kestrel:

                            jl4761:I think we all agree on one thing, "Let It Be" was not written for Aretha Franklin!

                            .........or for his Mother for that matter.

                            Like 'Yesterday', 'Let It Be' originated from a dream in which it was Beatles roadie Mal Evans who came to Paul. It was only after the song was completed that Paul decided that lyrically 'Mother Mary comes to me' was more universally appealing than 'Brother Malcolm comes to me.'

                            Paul wrote it for himself! In my opinion, sometimes I truly believe that Paul wrote "Let It Be" and "The Long And Winding Road" to help him deal with the heart break that The Beatles were breaking up! What do you think?

                              jl4761:Paul wrote it for himself! In my opinion, sometimes I truly believe that Paul wrote "Let It Be" and "The Long And Winding Road" to help him deal with the heart break that The Beatles were breaking up! What do you think?

                              I seem to remember reading that Paul wrote Let It Be (and The Long And Winding Road) in Somerset during September 1968, which was shortly after Ringo left the group and rejoined. Maybe LIB was partially inspired by that event,which was another sign of the Beatles growing apart.

                              The problem is the listener / reader can interpret the lyrics in any way they see fit. It could have been Beatles related. It could have been about Jane Asher and the recent ending of their 5 year relationship?

                                Kestrel:

                                jl4761:Paul wrote it for himself! In my opinion, sometimes I truly believe that Paul wrote "Let It Be" and "The Long And Winding Road" to help him deal with the heart break that The Beatles were breaking up! What do you think?

                                I seem to remember reading that Paul wrote Let It Be (and The Long And Winding Road) in Somerset during September 1968, which was shortly after Ringo left the group and rejoined. Maybe LIB was partially inspired by that event,which was another sign of the Beatles growing apart.

                                The problem is the listener / reader can interpret the lyrics in any way they see fit. It could have been Beatles related. It could have been about Jane Asher and the recent ending of their 5 year relationship?

                                Good point kestrel.

                                  Aretha would have turned it into a 10-minute gospel song!!!

                                    JoeySmith:Aretha would have turned it into a 10-minute gospel song!!!

                                    Maybe 20 minutes, Aretha will have the biggest Church choir singing in the back ground.

                                      Kestrel:

                                      jl4761:I think we all agree on one thing, "Let It Be" was not written for Aretha Franklin!

                                      .........or for his Mother for that matter.

                                      Like 'Yesterday', 'Let It Be' originated from a dream in which it was Beatles roadie Mal Evans who came to Paul. It was only after the song was completed that Paul decided that lyrically 'Mother Mary comes to me' was more universally appealing than 'Brother Malcolm comes to me.'

                                      Where did you read that about Mal?

                                        Nancy R:

                                        Kestrel:
                                        jl4761:I think we all agree on one thing, "Let It Be" was not written for Aretha Franklin!

                                        .........or for his Mother for that matter.

                                        Like 'Yesterday', 'Let It Be' originated from a dream in which it was Beatles roadie Mal Evans who came to Paul. It was only after the song was completed that Paul decided that lyrically 'Mother Mary comes to me' was more universally appealing than 'Brother Malcolm comes to me.'

                                        Where did you read that about Mal?

                                        I remember reading that recently but can't remember where. I've tried to google search it but no luck.

                                          Nancy R:Where did you read that about Mal?

                                          Some years back now. I think it was owing to the original manuscript coming up for sale somewhere but I could be wrong. I certainly don't think it was from an interview that Paul gave.

                                            Kestrel:

                                            Nancy R:Where did you read that about Mal?

                                            Some years back now. I think it was owing to the original manuscript coming up for sale somewhere but I could be wrong. I certainly don't think it was from an interview that Paul gave.

                                            No, because Paul has always said he dreamed about his mother.

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