And a friend suggested Jerry Jordan’s comedic ‘Phone Call from God’, which carries truth still.
In a coffee shop just before closing time, a man walked in wearing a Beatles t-shirt (pictures of the Fab Four), with the words, 'Let It Be', below. While he got his coffee, I played 'Let It Be' by the Imperials. A friend tells me Paul McCartney’s mother was Mary and the song is ‘his musing over the break up of the Beatles as it was happening’. I asked, ‘In your view, is he singing this to get advice from his mother (was she still living at the time, or is he praying to her as a saint?), or is it a reference to Mary, mother of Jesus, or a double reference?’ He responded, ‘In my view he was praying or talking to her since she was dead. I believe he dreamed seeing her and wrote the song from that. I don't believe there is any reference to Mary, the mother of Jesus. He wasn't and isn't a Catholic.’
Christians use the song, changing 'Mother Mary' to 'blessed Jesus', and the rest of the song is fine, just as non-Trinitarians change 'trinity' to 'deity' or 'unity' in 'Holy, Holy, Holy', and the rest of the song is fine).
The word 'Christian' was itself first used by non-Christians against Christians—‘you people always talk about Christ, Christ, Christ—you're Christians'. The Christians responded by saying, 'good point, we do in fact always talk about Jesus Christ, and we do follow him, so 'Christians' describes us very well, thank you'. The Imperials sing it very well, both in a stand-alone version and in a medley on another album.
John Lennon's statement--'We're more popular than Jesus now' was inaccurate then and is even more inaccurate now. The Beatles, like JFK's presidency, will finally face the history of judgment when all the people who remember them have passed away and they have to face other singers (and other presidencies) on a strictly historic, factual basis.
All of the Beatles had gone to Maharishi Yogi to study transcendental meditation, and the one who got into it apparently more than the others was George Harrison—his song, 'My Sweet Lord', has a background chant very faint at the beginning, but growing in volume, until by the end of the song the lyrics are obvious—‘Hare Krishna, Hare Rama'. Again, by means of a small lyric change, the Imperials again (and I'm sure others) substituted with 'Hallelujah, hallelujah' and the rest of the song was OK (except 'it takes so long, my Lord'—devotional closeness to God, in normal experience, does take time, but it need not). Why Harrison, a TM devotee, allowed 'My Sweet Lord' to be used as a song celebrating Jesus Christ, I don't know: perhaps his attitude was, 'as long as I get my royalties, I'm happy.' I wrote devotional lyrics to Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Memory'--maybe he'll take the same attitude if someone records his melody with my lyrics!
Ringo Starr, like me, 'got by with a little help from friends'. He directed or produced a caveman movie that has one good scene: cavemen are squatting around a slain mastodon, gnawing meat off bones. One caveman sees that his bone has no more meat, so he throws it down, where it hits the foot of the caveman squatting next to him, who hollers out, 'AAAAGH'. The first caveman has a bright expression come over his face—you can almost see the lightbulb over his head—and throws the same bone down on the same man's foot and gets the same AAAAGH. So he tries it on the foot of the man on his other side, who hollers out in a lower tone. So now the caveman has a xylophone, and that's how music was invented! (speculates Ringo Starr).
A meme somewhere of Paul McCartney's average day says he spends a good portion of it raking in royalties.
Last observation: the Beatles' melodies are idiosyncratic, individualistic, new, creative, apparently not derived from anything gone before (unless it might be Tin Pan Alley songs of Gershwin, Porter, Kern, etc). For instance, consider the introductory instrumental tune at the start of 'Ticket to Ride' (my favorite version of this is the Carpenters): where does that melody come from? It's free and roams around, yet a bit mystic and haunting. 'Yesterday' is a bit trite in lyrics, as 'Ticket to Ride' is depressing and 'Imagine' is a mix of hopeful and simply atheistic), but the melodies are outstanding.