The Beatles: Paul McCartney used an ancient poem to write an Abbey Road song | Music | Entertainment

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Beatles star Paul McCartney has been very open about how he wrote songs for the band throughout his career. From composing Yesterday in his sleep to writing Hey Jude for John Lennon’s son Julian, McCartney has done it all.

But one of the most surprising came when he was struck by the words of a touching poem.

McCartney based the composition of a song on the poem “Cradle Song”, which is from Thomas Dekker’s play, Patient Grisel. The Liverpudlian star is said to have seen the play when he was a child with his father.

The play and poem were originally published in 1603, hundreds of years before McCartney was born.

As revealed in the 1997 book, Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, the star confessed, “I loved the words so much.”

But there was a problem.

McCartney couldn’t perform the song as it was written, as he lacked the skills.

He said: “I thought it was very restful, a very nice lullaby – but I couldn’t read the melody, couldn’t read the music.” So he did the next best thing. “I just took the words and wrote my own music. I didn’t know at the time that she was four hundred years old.”

With the words of the poem ringing in his ears, McCartney wrote the Abbey Road song Golden Slumbers.

READ MORE: The Beatles: John Lennon called rival band’s song ‘greatest’

The Quiet Beatle said in the book George Harrison: Interviews and Encounters that “Because” was his favorite track. He added: “Just because I like the three-part harmony. We haven’t done anything like this in years, I think, from a B-side, ‘If you’re wearing red tonight’, and ‘what I said tonight.'”

He continued, “So I like that. I like, I don’t know – I like a lot of them. I like ‘You Never Give Me Your Money’ and ‘Golden Slumbers’ and stuff.”

Golden Slumbers was never released as a single, but it has grown in popularity over the years.

Golden Slumbers has been covered by a number of artists. American star Judy Collins covered the track on her 2007 album Judy Collins Sings Lennon and McCartney.

The track was also covered by rock band Elbow for the John Lewis Christmas advert in 2017, peaking at number 29 on the UK Singles Chart.

Pop princess Dua Lipa also covered the song on her Live Acoustic EP in 2017.

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