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  • Paul McCartney wrote The Beatles’ “Let It Be” when his relationship with John Lennon was strained.
  • He was also dealing with drug issues around the time he wrote “Let It Be.”
  • He gets asked if the song bring backs negative memories for him.
Paul McCartney wearing a scarf
Paul McCartney | Chris Walter/WireImage

Paul McCartney says he wrote The Beatles‘ “Let It Be” during a difficult time in his life. Fans asked him if the song triggers bad memories. In addition, Paul helped create a new version of the song with Boy George and Kate Bush.

Paul McCartney wrote The Beatles’ ‘Let It Be’ at a time when the breakup of the Fab Four ‘was looming’

In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul discussed what he went through when The Beatles made Let It Be. “This was a very difficult period,” he recalled. “John was with Yoko full-time, and our relationship was beginning to crumble: John and I were going through a very tense period. The breakup of The Beatles was looming and I was very nervy.”

Paul’s issues extended beyond his relationship with John. “Personally, it was a very difficult time for me, I think the drugs, the stress, tiredness, and everything had really started to take its toll,” he added. “I somehow managed to miss a lot of the bad effects of all that, but looking back on this period, I think I was having troubles.”

Paul McCartney said ‘Let It Be’ is one his best songs and he doesn’t think about the times associated with it

During a 1989 interview with the Los Angles Times, Paul was asked to name his favorites among his own songs. He mentioned several ballads, including “Eleanor Rigby,” “Maybe I’m Amazed,” “Yesterday,” and “Let It Be.”

Paul says he repeatedly received a certain question about “Let It Be.” “People sometimes ask if the song has painful memories for me because of what was happening at the time, but it doesn’t at all,” he said. “Time is a wonderful healer. The painful memories fade quickly. Like a bad holiday, you tend to remember the best things.”

The singer released a famous version of the song without The Beatles

“Let It Be” became a standard, inspiring covers from numerous artists. Those artists include Aretha Franklin, Joan Baez, Nick Cave, and Ike & Tina Turner. Paul was part of a group called Ferry Aid which released a version of “Let It Be” for charity. The charity single included vocals from Boy George, Bananarama, Kate Bush, Bonnie Tyler, and numerous others.

“Let It Be” also played an important role in a famous medley called “4 Chords” by the comedy group Axis of Awesome. “4 Chords” highlights the ubiquity of the I–V–vi–IV chord progression in pop music. The group combined many songs that use the progression into “4 Chords.” Axis of Awesome included Elton John’s “Can You Feel the Love Tonight,” Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin’,” Lady Gaga’s “Paparazzi,” and other tunes in the medley.

“Let It Be” is an iconic song even if it came out of a difficult time in Paul’s life.