Paul McCartney has disclosed the inspiration behind the lyrics to Yesterday, admitting that he misspoke.

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The inspiration for the line “I said something wrong” in the Beatles’ hit Yesterday was revealed by Paul McCartney.

McCartney suggested that the phrase may have stemmed from a time when he playfully imitated his mother’s upper-class accent without realizing it.

The phrase “I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday” is often interpreted as referencing the end of a romantic partnership.

On his A Life in Lyrics podcast, McCartney clarified that the lyrics may pertain to a discussion where he caused embarrassment to his mother.

He remarked, “It’s often only in hindsight that we can truly value something. I distinctly recall a day when I felt very ashamed for embarrassing my mother.”

“We were in the backyard and she spoke with an upper-class accent. She was of Irish descent and worked as a nurse, which gave her a higher social status.”

“She had a certain charm and sophistication in her speech, which we perceived as being somewhat posh. There was also a hint of Welsh influence, likely due to her family ties – her aunt Dilys was Welsh.”

“I remember her asking, ‘Paul, can you check if he’s going…'”

“I exclaimed ‘Arsk! Arsk! It’s ask mum.’ My mother became slightly embarrassed. Later, I regretted saying it and it stayed with me. After she passed away, I thought ‘Oh dear, I really wish…'”

The song was written by McCartney at the age of 24, which was almost ten years after his mother, Mary, passed away from cancer.

In 1997, it was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and was later voted as the top pop song of all time by Rolling Stone magazine and MTV in 2000.

It is worth noting that this song has been covered a staggering 2,200 times, making it one of the most widely covered songs in the history of recorded music.

McCartney has stated in the past that the passing of his mother aided in conveying his feelings of grief.

He stated that the amount of experiences and lessons learned during one’s youth and formative years may be overwhelming, making it difficult to fully comprehend and appreciate them.

“I have a few minor issues that I am aware people would forgive me for, as they are not major problems, but rather small things. However, those small things still bother me and I wish I could just erase them with a simple eraser.”

When she passed away, I couldn’t help but wonder if I had said something to upset her. Does this bring us back to that chaotic little situation?

“I am unsure. Is this a common occurrence? Do you catch yourself subconsciously incorporating lyrics about a lost lover that actually reflect your deceased mother? I have a feeling it could be accurate. It seems to make sense when examining the lyrics.”

Paul Muldoon and McCartney co-host a podcast that delves into the inspiration behind the singer’s songwriting. The podcast has two seasons and 24 episodes.


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