First Hit #1: April 11, 1970
This wasn’t The Beatles’ last single. It should have been.
This isn’t a knock against The Long and Winding Road/For You Blue, which is a fine pair of songs. No, the reason is that Let it Be is the perfect way to end a career. It’s a song about letting go and trusting that everything will be fine. In a sense, it’s a note to fans, a message that even if the band is gone, things will be okay, and time has to move on and people need to move on as well. It’s just the kind of song on which to end a group that defined a decade, and a group which still had a large group of devoted fans. In a way it sounds like McCartney wrote it to himself, perhaps to console himself that the band that had defined his life was gone and he would soon leave the people he’s spent most of his adult life with. It’s just the song that tends to exist at the end of something, there’s a sense of loss and a reminder that one has to move on from that loss. There’s no better way to end a band, no better song to give fans as a parting gift, as everyone begins to move on with their lives. The Beatles are gone, but everything’s going to be okay.
As a side note, I’ve brought up my mom a few times in this project, mostly because she absolutely adores novelty music that I actually can’t stand, a generational difference that ensures we really can’t pick music for each other – though we both do like Elvis a lot. In spite of disliking pretty much all of the songs she might hum around the house – though in her defense her versions are largely better than the original – my mom is a great person and I’m forever grateful that she’s my mother. Also, it’s her birthday! So happy birthday mom.