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The Fool on the Hill…McCartney’s ode to differentness

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Here’s the thing about Paul. As I have written before on more than one occasion, McCartney rubs a lot of people the wrong way. He’s the most musically gifted of The Beatles (though George Harrison fans would likely argue) and in some ways the most creative force in the band (which will likely make John Lennon fans see red). He has even been accused of being an occasional threat to Ringo’s self-esteem (unjustified) which seems unconscionable, especially to the most lovable Beatle’s fans.

Here’s some truth that I doubt anyone would deny: Paul was and is the most driven Beatle, the one who wanted/needed to achieve. In a very real way, that has made him odd man out, even within The Beatles. Even within that close knit band of brothers, he felt his differentness.

As I noted in a piece written for his 70th birthday, if you want to know Paul, you’ll find him in his music. One of the songs that tells us a lot about Paul is “The Fool on the Hill.”

Paul, of course, as he is wont to do, explains away the composition of the song as a meditation on, of all people, the Maharishi:

“The Fool On The Hill” was mine and I think I was writing about someone like Maharishi. His detractors called him a fool. Because of his giggle he wasn’t taken too seriously. It was this idea of a fool on the hill, a guru in a cave, I was attracted to.

By: Jim Booth

Source: Scholars and Rogues

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