Is it any wonder the Beatles broke up? John Lennon hated "Let It Be," the No. 1 single this week in 1970.
"I don't know what he's thinking when he writes 'Let It Be,'" Lennon later told an interviewer, referring to his former songwriting partner Paul McCartney. "Nothing to do with the Beatles. It could've been Wings."
Or Simon and Garfunkel. Lennon believed the soothing hymn was largely inspired by "Bridge Over Troubled Waters," the song it dislodged from the top of the Billboard Hot 100—one day after McCartney announced he was quitting the Beatles.
"That's my feeling, although I have nothing to go on," Lennon said. "I know he wanted to write a 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters.'"
McCartney claims the ballad was actually triggered by a dream he had during the "tense time" when the Beatles' were unraveling. That night, he says, he saw "my mum," Mary McCartney, who died on Halloween in 1956 when he was 14.
"It was so wonderful for me and she was very reassuring," he told Barry Miles, author of the 1997 McCartney biography "Many Years From Now." "In the dream she said, 'It'll be all right.' I'm not sure if she used the words "let it be," but that was the gist of her advice."
Most listeners, of course, associated the song's "Mother Mary" with the Virgin Mary, which is just fine with McCartney. "I'm quite happy if people want to use it to shore up their faith," he once said. "I think it's a great thing to have faith of any sort, particularly in the world we live in."
Speaking words of wisdom. Let it be.