Paul McCartney Wrote The Beatles’ ‘The Long and Winding Road’ So He Wouldn’t Have to Go to Therapy

TL;DR:

  • Paul McCartney Said The Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road” is a sad song.
  • He said writing sad songs prevents arguments.
  • “The Long and Winding Road” appeared on one of The Beatles’ most famous albums.
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon on a stage
The Beatles’ Paul McCartney, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

Paul McCartney said he considered The Beatles’ “The Long and Winding Road” a sad song. The “Ebony and Ivory” singer explained why he enjoys writing melancholy tracks. In addition, he discussed what the road in “The Long and Winding Road” represents.

The Beatles’ Paul McCartney said writing sad songs helped him ‘acknowledge some deeper feelings’

In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul discussed “The Long and Winding Road.” “It’s a rather sad song,” he opined. “I like writing sad songs; it’s a good bag to get into because you can actually acknowledge some deeper feelings of your own and put them in it.

“It’s a good vehicle, it saves having to go to a psychiatrist,” Paul added. “Songwriting often performs that feat, you say it but you don’t embarrass yourself because it’s only a song, or is it?”

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Paul McCartney revealed what the road in The Beatles’ ‘The Long and Winding Road’ symbolized

Paul said writing sad songs prevents arguments. “You are putting the things that are bothering you on the table and you are reviewing them, but because it’s a song, you don’t have to argue with anyone,” he said. “I was a bit flipped out and tripped out at that time.”

Paul discussed the meaning of “The Long and Winding Road.” “It’s a sad song because it’s all about the unattainable; the door you never quite reach,” he revealed. “This is the road that you never get to the end of.”

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How ‘The Long and Winding Road’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom

“The Long and Winding Road” was released as a double A-side single with “For You Blue.” Together, the songs reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 for two weeks, staying on the chart for 10 weeks in total. The tracks became the Fab Four’s final No. 1 singles in the United States.

“The Long and Winding Road” and “For You Blue” appeared on The Beatles’ Let It Be. The album topped the chart for four of its 79 weeks on the Billboard 200.

On the other hand, The Official Charts Company reports neither “The Long and Winding Road” nor “For You Blue” charted in the United Kingdom. Meanwhile, Let It Be became a huge hit there. The album was No. 1 for three of its 53 weeks on the chart. 

Paul said “The Long and Winding Road” is a sad song but that didn’t stop it from becoming a massive hit.

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