LET IT BE: John's Song of Praise --- To Mary!

JTB: While my ipod is filled with all sorts of music, for some reason I don't have much music by the Beatles. Perhaps that's because most of my tunes are either very contemporary or because I'm stuck in the 80's, at least musically!

However, upon further review, that may be changing!

Over the weekend, Father Conrad showed me an article he thought I'd find interesting. Posted in the Green Bay Catholic Compass, the article was written by Simon Caldwell of Catholic News Service. I have included that short article here:

In interview, Lennon called himself 'One of Christ's biggest fans.'
By Simon Caldwell Catholic News Service

LONDON (CNS) -- British radio has broadcast an interview with John Lennon in which the late singer-composer claimed the Beatles were a Christian band that wanted to bring people closer to God. In the interview, aired for the first time in the U.K., Lennon described himself as "one of Christ's biggest fans." He claimed he was misunderstood when he said in 1966 that the Beatles were "more popular than Jesus," and he expressed disappointment that he could not marry his second wife, Yoko Ono, in a church.

The interview was conducted in Montreal by the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. in 1969 when Lennon, who was raised an Anglican, was at a peace protest. Three years ago, National Museums Liverpool bought the interview, which was broadcast on British Broadcasting Corp. Radio Four's Sunday program July 13. The Liverpool-born musician was asked to clarify infamous remarks to the London Evening Standard newspaper in which he said that Christianity will "vanish and shrink" and might not outlast rock and roll. Lennon said: "It's just an expression meaning the Beatles seem to me to have more influence over youth than Christ."

Now I wasn't saying that was a good idea because I'm one of Christ's biggest fans," he said. "And if I can turn the focus of the Beatles on to Christ's message, then that's what we're here to do." He said: "If the Beatles get on the side of Christ, which they always were, and let people know that, then maybe the churches won't be full, but there'll be a lot of Christians dancing in the dance halls." He said that he thought "community praying was probably very powerful" but that he was against "the hypocrisy and the hat-wearing and the socializing and the tea parties." He said he did not have a notion of a "physical heaven," adding that "the kingdom of heaven is within you, Christ said, and I believe that."

The interview was given the year Lennon quit the Beatles and embarked on a solo career that ended with his death in 1980 when he was shot by Mark Chapman in New York.

JTB: Not only was I surprised by what I found in the article, but our discussion on the 4th floor was also pretty provocative. Our discussion shifted to John's song, "Let it Be." Father Gery mentioned that many in the 70's suggested that "Mother Mary" referred to marijuana usage. But there were some, perhaps even more after reading the above article, who thought that the song really referred to John's love of Mary, the Mother of God. What do you think? Here's the text of that song of John's Praise of Mary:

When I find myself in times of trouble
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
And in my hour of darkness
She is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And when the broken hearted people
Living in the world agree,
There will be an answer, let it be.
For though they may be parted there is
Still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be. Yeah
There will be an answer, let it be.

And when the night is cloudy,
There is still a light that shines on me,
Shine on until tomorrow, let it be.
I wake up to the sound of music
Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.
Let it be, let it be.
There will be an answer, let it be.
Let it be, let it be,
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.

And in case you miss Evening Prayer tonight, here's Mary's Song of Praise to God:

My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord,
My Spirit rejoices in God my Saviour
For He has looked with favour on His lowly servant.
From this day all generations will call me blessed.

The Almighty has done great things for me,
And holy is His Name.
He has mercy on those who fear Him
In every generation.

He has shown the strength of His arm,
He has scattered the proud in their conceit.
He has cast down the mighty from their thrones,
And has lifted up the lowly.

He has filled the hungry with good things,
And the rich He has sent away empty.
He has come to the help of His servant Israel
For He has remembered His promise of mercy,
The promise He made to our fathers,
To Abraham and his children for ever.

Let the Song Sing On:


Anonymous said...

"Let It Be" is one of my favorite songs. However, most sources attribute its writing to another of the Fab Four, Paul McCartney. Here is what Wikipedia has to say: "Let It Be" is a song written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon/McCartney), released by The Beatles as a single in March 1970 and later the same year as the title track of their album Let It Be. The single reached #1 in the U.S. and #2 in the UK. In 2004, it was ranked number 20 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time."
"McCartney said he wrote "Let It Be", inspired by a dream he had during the tense period surrounding the Get Back/Let It Be sessions. He dreamt of his mother, and the "Mother Mary" lyric refers to her (Mary (Mohin) McCartney). She died of cancer when McCartney was 14. He said, "It was great to visit with her again. I felt very blessed to have that dream. So that got me writing 'Let It Be'.""

Personally, I like to think the song is about all of our mothers coming to us in times of trouble, especially Mother Mary. I find it very comforting.

Anonymous said...

Interesting to read this posting, coincides with the little prayer card I gave you re intercession to our Blessed Mother.

The following has always been a powerful prayer in my times of need:

"Remember, Oh Most Gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired by this confidence I fly unto thee, Oh Virgin of Virgins my Mother, to thee I come before thee I stand sinful and sorrowful. Oh Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petition but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen."

"Let it Be" has always been, for me, a direct link to our Blessed Mother.


Katie C said...

I never heard that it might be about "Mary Jane"!!! I always assumed it was the Blessed Mother. Such a comforting song. Its been on my iPod - not exactly a work out song though!! I think no matter what the song was about you can make it into anything you want it to be and for me its the Blessed Mother.
If you are looking for more contemporary stuff that is actually based in Christianity you should check out more U2 stuff. Many of the lyrics are actually religious messages!

Anonymous said...

Jim - you do a beautiful job with your blog. Whether or not the original intent was to honor the Mother of God, the lyrics can be "prayed" in that way. It is what is in the pray-ers heart and mind that counts. BTW, an early greeting for "your day" tomorrow.
John B.

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