HIGHER CULTURE: Mother's Day With the Beatles

(AP Photo, File)

Essential Listening

In honor of Mother’s Day, my friend and colleague here at RedState, Thomas LaDuke shared a song Sunday morning on social media. As any good Beatles fan can tell you, “Your Mother Should Know” comes from the band’s iconic “Magical Mystery Tour” (1967) record.

As I’ve mentioned in a previous VIP article, I grew up with Baby Boomer parents–that is, Beatles-obsessed Boomer parents. So, much of the Beatles’ oeuvre acted as a soundtrack to my childhood, even though that childhood happened in the ’70s and ’80s, not the ’50s and ’60s.

Now, I’m not sure if the song Duke posted is the first song one would think of when trying to come up with fitting songs about moms or motherhood on their special day. But there is another Beatles song that does, which came out three years after “Your Mother Should Know.” This one:


Below is a clip of Paul McCartney explaining how the song connects so much to mothers and how they nurture us throughout our lives, on James Corden’s “Carpool Karaoke”:

(But the video with the full “tour” of Liverpool is about 23 minutes long– totally worth a watch, if you’re a Beatles fan.)

McCartney also shared more details during an episode of Wired magazine’s YouTube series, “The Autocomplete Interview”:

I had a dream. It was in the years when we were probably overdoing everything–drinking and staying out too late and getting crazy.

So, I was a bit… sort of, exhausted, and I went to bed. Anyway, I had a dream.

And my mother, who died probably about 10 years previously, was in the dream. She came to me in the dream.

It’s a magic moment, ’cause you’re actually there with your mother.

So, she seemed to know that I was a bit stressed out. And she said: “Don’t worry, it’s going to be fine. Just let it be.”

As he explained in the Corden clip, when he woke up the next day, he went to the piano and–ho hum–wrote one of the greatest songs of all time. And really, one of the signs you’ve managed to do that is when great performers cover your songs.

There are just two examples for “Let It Be.”

Aretha Franklin, whom I’ve written about before (here and here), did this rendition in ’70:

Ray Charles recorded it in 1977 (you can listen to it on vinyl here):

In case you aren’t all that interested in the Beatles’ music, here are a few other Mother’s Day songs for you to enjoy.

Pop songstress Adele captured her experience with how motherhood made her grow up, on her 2015 album, “25,” using some recordings of her young son talking, on the song “Sweetest Devotion”:

And she included more of him (chatting with her this time) on the bittersweet “My Little Love,” from the “30” (2021) record.


Paul Simon released this ode to mom as a single, off his 1973 album, “There Goes Rhymin’ Simon.”


Lastly, just for fun, here’s the “Wayne’s World” version of Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”:

Essential Listening verdict: This time, no need for some ponderous decision on the music. Mother’s Day is a special day for every family — whether mom is here with us or has gone on to more peaceful environs. When that gets captured in music, everybody wins.

Happy Mother’s Day to you and your families, RedState readers!


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