The Beatles song that Paul McCartney was mocked for

the beatles and Stephen Hawking

Choosing the greatest Beatles song is an almost impossible task for both die-hard fans and casual listeners. The Fab Four left music with some of the greatest songs ever written during the course of their ten-year career. Their music has since dominated lists of the greatest songs of all time, from the upbeat twangs of “Here Comes the Sun” to the reassuring lyrics of “Let it Be”.

“Yesterday” stands out as a strong candidate for the band’s most well-known hit, despite the competition posed by the rest of their discography. The sombre ballad, composed by Paul McCartney and published on Help! in 1965, never came out as a single in the band’s native nation. However, went on to become one of their most famous releases.

The short, sorrowful song, accompanied by a soft acoustic guitar and rousing string arrangements, came after McCartney’s tender reflections on longing and loss. It was a far cry from the album’s singles, the jangly ‘Ticket to Ride’ and the iconic Help!, but it would eventually outshine them.

Over half a century later, ‘Yesterday’ has become one of the most covered songs in history, with everyone from Aretha Franklin to Billie Eilish giving their take on the melancholy song. ‘Yesterday’ may have left a massive legacy since its release, but McCartney’s bandmates were less complimentary of his songwriting achievements.

Understandably, the songwriter was particularly proud of the song, which drew mockery from his fellow Beatles. “I am proud of it,” he said in The Beatles Anthology, “I get made fun of for it a little. I recall George saying, ‘Blimey, he’s always talking about ‘Yesterday,’ you’d think he was Beethoven or something’. But I think it’s the most complete thing I’ve ever written.

Along with mocking McCartney’s admiration for his own creation, the band was initially embarrassed by the track. They believed that it didn’t live up to their rock and roll reputation. “In fact, we didn’t release ‘Yesterday’ as a single in England at all,” McCartney recalled. “We were a little embarrassed about it, we were a rock’n’roll band”.

Despite their initial embarrassment and mockery of McCartney, the songwriter’s pride in ‘Yesterday’ was justified. The melancholy album track received chart success, critical acclaim, and covers for years to come. It is still as popular as the Beatles’ most famous rock and roll songs.

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