Paul McCartney says one song from The Beatles‘ The White Album was about his admiration of nature. He says the music was partly influenced by his stint as a Boy Scout. In addition, Paul imagined his life as a Boy Scout would be a preparation to getting into the army.
Paul McCartney said 1 song from The Beatles’ ‘The White Album’ was about being a ‘child of nature’
In the 1997 book Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now, Paul revealed the meaning of one song from The White Album. “This is what I was writing about in ‘Mother Nature’s Son,’ it was basically a heart-felt song about my child-of-nature leanings,” he remarked.
Paul discussed his stint as a Boy Scout. “I was a Boy Scout and I remembered [Scouting Movement founder Robert] Baden-Powell’s remark ‘People never look up,’ so I would go in the woods and sit in a tree and watch people go by underneath,” he added. “I’d be like a super spy, the Silent Observer, the Sniper. It became evident to me that what I was doing was practising to be a soldier.”
What The Beatles thought of George Harrison’s brother who joined the armysPaul then described his relationship with the military. “National Service was still continuing and, like everyone else, I fully anticipated to have to go in the army for two years National Service,” he recounted.
“George Harrison’s elder brother Harry had went to Christmas Island and returned back with a magnificent tan in his army uniform and we thought, ‘My God, he’s been made a man of,'” Paul recounted. “You used to see this pretty routinely, somebody would be made a man of.”
How ‘Mother Nature’s Son’ and ‘The White Album’ performed on the charts in the United States and the United Kingdom
“Mother Nature’s Son” was never a single, hence it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. The tune debuted on The White Album. The album topped the Billboard 200 for nine weeks, staying on the list for 215 weeks.
“Mother Nature’s Son” was not a single in the United Kingdom either hence The Official Charts Company states it did not chart there. Meanwhile, The White Album was a smash there albeit it was not as popular as it was in the United States. In the U.K., The White Album reached No. 1 for eight weeks and remained on the chart for a total of 37 weeks.
While it was never a single, “Mother Nature’s Son” became something of a standard. Artists such as Sheryl Crowe, John Denver, and Harry Nilsson covered the piece. A cover of the song became the title track of Ramsey Lewis’ Beatles tribute album Mother Nature’s Son.
“Mother Nature’s Son” is a great track and it might not be the same without the Boy Scouts.