Sir Paul McCartney agonises over painful memory behind Yesterday lyric

Sir Paul McCartney has shared the painful memory behind a candid lyric in Beatles song Yesterday - revealing one of the lines refers to a moment when he embarrassed his mum and spent years regretting it



Sir Paul McCartney has opened up about the pain behind Yesterday
Sir Paul McCartney has opened up about the pain behind Yesterday

Sir Paul McCartney has shared the painful childhood memory behind the lyrics to Beatles song 'Yesterday'.

The 81-year-old music legend has opened up about how his past inspired his music by revealing a particular line in the band's 1965 classic hit- "I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday" - is actually a reference to a time when he was young when he "embarrassed" his mum Mary and he wishes he'd said sorry before she died.

McCartney explained on his 'A Life in Lyrics' podcast: "Sometimes it’s only in retrospect you can appreciate it. I remember very clearly one day feeling very embarrassed because I embarrassed my mum.

"We were out in the backyard and she talked posh. She was of Irish origin and she was a nurse, so she was above street level. So she had something sort of going for her, and she would talk what we thought was a little bit posh.

"And it was a little bit Welshy as well – she had connections, her auntie Dilys was Welsh. I know that she said something like ‘Paul, will you ask him if he’s going' ... "

McCartney explains he then called his mum out over her "posh" accent and has regretted it ever since.

He added: "I went ‘Arsk! Arsk! It’s ask mum.’ And she got a little bit embarrassed. I remember later thinking ‘God, I wish I’d never said that’. And it stuck with me. After she died I thought ‘Oh, I really wish … "

The musician's mum died in 1956 when he was just 14 and he went on to writer 'Yesterday' with bandmate John Lennon a decade later when he was 24.