Songs for Sound Minds are our picks of the best music that uplifts, inspires and boosts mental health. Songs written as an anthem to overcoming the storms of life. The songs that give hope in those times when we are struggling. This week our pick is the legendary ‘Let It Be’ by The Beatles.
‘Let It Be’ – The Beatles
“I was going through a really difficult time around the autumn of 1968. I think I was sensing the Beatles were breaking up, so I was staying up late at night, drinking, doing drugs, clubbing… I was really living and playing hard. Some nights I’d go to bed and my head would just flop on the pillow; and when I’d wake up I’d have difficulty pulling it off, thinking, “Good job I woke up just then or I might have suffocated.”
“Then one night, somewhere between deep sleep and insomnia, I had the most comforting dream about my mother, who died when I was only 14… when she died, one of the difficulties I had, as the years went by, was that I couldn’t recall her face so easily. That’s how it is for everyone, I think. As each day goes by, you just can’t bring their face into your mind, you have to use photographs and reminders like that.”
“So in this dream twelve years later, my mother appeared, and there was her face, completely clear, particularly her eyes, and she said to me very gently, very reassuringly: “Let it be.”
“It was lovely. I woke up with a great feeling. It was really like she had visited me at this very difficult point in my life and gave me this message: Be gentle, don’t fight things, just try and go with the flow and it will all work out. So, being a musician, I went right over to the piano and started writing a song: “When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me”… Mary was my mother’s name… “Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.” There will be an answer, let it be.”
“Not very long after the dream, I got together with Linda, which was the saving of me. And it was as if my mum had sent her, you could say.”
“So those words are really very special to me, because not only did my mum come to me in a dream and reassure me with them at a very difficult time in my life – and sure enough, things did get better after that – but also, in putting them into a song, and recording it with the Beatles, it became a comforting, healing statement for other people too.” Paul McCartney