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The Beatles song Paul McCartney never gets tired of: “The kid was good”

For someone who has been as omnipresent in the pop world as Paul McCartney, there are bound to be a handful of songs he doesn’t like performing. It might be a great way to get people engaged, but there also could be the odd time that he’s tearing through a song like ‘Band on the Run’ or ‘Ob La Di Ob La Da’ and thinking that he could swap them out with almost anything else in the setlist. But even after years of playing it in the studio and as a key moment of his touring life, Macca claims to never get tired of ‘Let It Be’ no matter how many times he plays it.

Then again, it’s hard to really go wrong with a chord progression that simple. Compared to the more intricate ballads McCartney wrote in the past, like ‘Yesterday’, this is the kind of tune that could be played in a church because of how easy it is, only using a handful of chords as he sings about everything being alright.

In fact, this could have been considered the spiritual sequel to a song like ‘Hey Jude’. That tune was about McCartney comforting Julian Lennon after the fallout of his parents’ divorce, but this was the flipside where the Beatle got a visit from his mother in a dream telling him to relax amid the pressure of the band’s final days.

Something that simple seems like the easiest thing in the world, but it’s incredibly difficult to make a song like that resonate throughout each era of music history. With just a handful of chords leading the way, McCartney created something universal, being able to be played to someone dealing with a broken heart, a stressful episode, or just wanting to find some relief from everyday life.

McCartney has used the song to close his set numerous times, but he admits that the magic in that song has never dulled in the years since, telling The New York Times, “You know, strangely it hasn’t changed that much. I always expect to reach a point where I’m really jaded, and I’ll think, Oh, not again! But as I start it up, I’m reviewing this young guy’s work. And maybe a line or a phrase will strike me, and I’ll think, the kid was good!”.

If McCartney tried to avoid being jaded about his work, though, John Lennon was always the cynical retort to him. Whereas McCartney would try to find the good in every track they made, Lennon would be the one usually badmouthing the more schmaltzy side of their catalogue, to the point where he called ‘Let It Be’ one of the more tepid parts of the group’s final days.

In the grand scheme of things, though, McCartney never tried to make music to wake people up like Lennon did. He was interested in making people happy whenever they heard his music, and even though ‘Let It Be’ is a bit more sombre than a lot of his other ballads, there’s never a point where it starts to become too cheery for its own good.

No, this is the kind of song that gets right to the point and never overstays its welcome from the minute that it starts to those fading piano chords. And given the world has gone through more than its fair share of shakeups following its release, the song’s mantra about letting everyone be and dreaming of a brighter day on the horizon could afford to be taken to heart by more than a few people today.

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