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The Beatles - Let It Be

Updated on January 8, 2014

Let It Be - The Beatles

"Let It Be" was originally recorded by the Beatles and released as a single in March of 1970. Two months later on May 8th, 1970 the song was used for the title track to the Beatles' album "Let It Be" which was originally to be called "Get Back."

Written entirely by Paul McCartney, "Let It Be" surprisingly never made it to number one on the UK charts. However, it did reach number one within the U.S. billboard charts on April 11th, 1970 where it stayed for 2 weeks before being replaced by the Jackson Five's hit "ABC."

Table of Contents

What you will find on this lens.

  1. Let It Be Song Facts - Quick facts about the Beatles' song Let It Be.
  2. Let It Be - Song History - Information about the song's origins, recording and other notes of interest.
  3. Let It Be - Personnal - Who contributed to the song recording.
  4. Let It Be Trivia Quiz Game - How much do you know about the song Let It Be? - Find out here.
  5. Let It Be Song Poll - How does Let It Be rate?
  6. Let It Be Trivia Facts Interesting trivia facts about the song Let It Be
  7. Let It be Videos - Videos of the Beatles performing the song Let It Be.
  8. Let It Be Album - Track listing and other album related facts.
  9. Let It Be Cover Videos- Videos of Let It Be performed by various artists.
  10. Let It Be Guitar/Piano Instruction Videos - Learn how to play the song Let It Be on piano or guitar.
  11. Beatles Sheet Music - Beatles sheet music at Amazon.
  12. Trivia Links - Some of my favourite trivia links.
  13. Let It Be Guestbook Take a minute and let me know your thoughts about the song Let It Be and/or the Beatles.

Let It Be Song Facts

Song Writer: Lennon/McCartney (Paul wrote 100%)

Lead Singer: Paul

Length: 3:50 (single) 4:01 (album)

Recorded: January 31st, 1969

Studio: Apple Studios

Released: March 6th, 1970

Album: Let It Be

Single: B Side - "You Know My Name (Look up the Number)"

US Chart: April 11th, 1970 - Number 1

UK Chart: Number 2

Producer: George Martin (Single) Phil Spector (Album)


Listen to/Buy Let It Be Album

Let It Be Ringtone

Print Let It Be Sheet Music



Beatles Let It Be - Song History

Origin and Recording

When Paul McCartney was asked about his inspiration for the song "Let It Be" he said that it came to him after a dream that he had about his mother who had died of cancer when he was fourteen years of age. Many believe that the song has religious connotations but according to Paul the mother Mary lyric refers to his mother. He claims that the dream came to him during a stressed period in his life and his mother told him, "It will be alright, just let it be."

On January 31st, 1969 the final master take was recorded. The actual session can be seen in the Beatles' movie "Let It Be." George overdubbed a new guitar solo using the master track two additional times with one of the overdubs being used for the single release and the other for the album release.

Single Version Release

Produced by George Martin, the single was released on the Apple label March 6th, 1970 with the b-side being, "You Know My Name (Look Up My Number)." This version of the song includes orchestration (very low) and backing vocals that were purportedly overdubbed on the 6th of March, 1970. The guitar solo that was used for this mix was recorded by George on April 30th, 1970.

The single version can be heard on the Beatles' compilation album entitled "1967-1970."

Album Version Release

The album version of "Let It Be" was mixed by Phil Spector on March 26th, 1970. Notable differences from the single release are George's guitar solo (which was recorded January 4th, 1970) and a more prominent orchestration throughout the song. Another subtle yet notable difference from the single is that the mix includes an extra line of repeated lyric - "there will be an answer" during the last chorus.

According to Paul, he was not asked whether Phil should be brought in to do the finishing mix of the song and he did not like the final result.

Let It Be... Naked Version Release

In 2003 another mix of the song appeared on the Beatles' "Let It Be... Naked" album. Major differences from previous versions include yet another different guitar solo by George and Ringo's original drumming (which had been somewhat overdubbed on earlier versions).

Noteworthy

The song "Let It Be" finally reached number one on the UK charts (and remained there for 3 weeks) when it was released as a charity single in aid of the Sun newspaper's Zeebrugge ferry disaster fund in April of 1987. The single featured Paul McCartney, Kate Bush, Mark Knopfler, Boy George, as well as, many others.

The Beatles - Let It Be - Personnal

Lennon/McCartney

Paul McCartney - Lead vocals, piano, maracasJohn Lennon - BassGeorge Harrison - Lead GuitarRingo Starr - DrumsBilly Preston - Electric piano, organLinda McCartney - Backing vocals (on the single release)

Let It Be Song Poll

How do you rate the song Let It Be?

See results

The Beatles - Let It Be Trivia Facts

  • "Let It Be" includes backing vocals by Linda McCartney - the only known contribution that Linda ever made to a Beatles' song.
  • Sesame Street used the song "Let It Be" with the title changed to "Letter B." The lyrics were changed to list words that begin with B.
  • Aretha Franklin released "Let It Be" on her album "This Girl's In Love With You". Interestingly enough, the album was actually released before the Beatles' release.
  • During an interview given to Playboy magazine, John had the following to say when asked about who composed the song: "That's Paul. What can you say? Nothing to do with the Beatles. It could've been Wings. I don't know what he's thinking when he writes [sic] 'Let It Be.' I think it was inspired by 'Bridge Over Troubled Waters.' That's my feeling, although I have nothing to go on. I know he wanted to write a Bridge Over Troubled Waters."
  • Rolling Stone magazine ranked "Let It Be" as number 20 within it's list of the 500 greatest songs of all time.
  • In 1972, "Let It Be" was the first Beatles' song to be released in the Soviet Union.
  • The "Let It Be" album had the largest initial sales in US record history up to that time with a whopping 3.7 million advance orders.
  • In 2001, McCartney helped organize and participated in the "Concert For New York," a concert put together to help victims of The World Trade Center disaster. His final number for the show was the song "Let It Be" in which he invited the other acts and some New York cops and firefighters on stage to sing with him.
  • In 1998 during a memorial service for the late Linda McCartney, Paul, George and Ringo sang "Let It Be" along with the complete congregation of 700 people.

The Beatles - Let It be Videos


Beatles - Let It Be Facts

Released: 8 May 1970

Recorded: Apple Studios

Length: 35:13

Label: Apple, EMI

Producer: George Martin
















Track Listing

All songs by John Lennon and Paul McCartney, except where noted.

Side one

"Two of Us" - 3:33

"Dig a Pony" - 3:52

"Across the Universe" - 3:47

"I Me Mine" (Harrison) - 2:25

"Dig It" (Lennon/McCartney/Starkey/Harrison) - 0:49

"Let It Be" - 4:01

"Maggie Mae" (Traditional arr. Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey) - 0:41

Side two

"I've Got a Feeling" - 3:37

"One After 909" - 2:52

"The Long and Winding Road" - 3:37

"For You Blue" (Harrison) - 2:32

"Get Back" - 3:07

Listen to/Buy Let It Be Album

Let It Be Ringtone

Print Let It Be Sheet Music



Let It Be - Covers

Some of the Artists that have covered the song.

"Let It Be" has been covered by many different artists throughout the years. Although no-where complete, the following list is of some of the more notable covers.

  • The first recording of the song to be released (even before the Beatles' version) was a cover by Aretha Franklin, in January 1970, on the album This Girl's in Love with You, along with her cover of "Eleanor Rigby".
  • Gladys Knight and The Pips released a version of the song on the tribute album, Motown Sings The Beatles.
  • Ike & Tina Turner recorded a version, featuring largely re-written lyrics, for their 1971 album Workin' Together.
  • Singer-songwriter Bill Withers covered "Let It Be" on his 1971 debut album, Just As I Am.
  • John Denver included a version of "Let It Be" on his 1971 album, Poems, Prayers, and Promises.
  • Joan Baez included "Let It Be" on her 1971 album, Blessed Are..., and released the song as a single. The song also appears on her live album, Diamonds & Rust in the Bullring, and she performed it at the Isle of Wight Festival 1970, as captured in the film, Message to Love. The song remains a staple of Baez' concerts.
  • Leo Sayer covered the song for the 1976 ephemeral musical documentary, All This and World War II.
  • Ray Charles covered it on his 1977 album, True to Life.
  • The Ethiopians covered it in traditional reggae style on their 1977 album, Slave Call.
  • Former Fleetwood Mac guitarist and vocalist, Danny Kirwan recorded a version for his 1976 album Midnight in San Juan.
  • Charity ensemble Ferry Aid-in the wake of the Zeebrugge ferry disaster-recorded a version (featuring McCartney) which reached #1 on the UK singles chart in March 1987
  • In 1995, Meat Loaf covered the song on his single, "Not a Dry Eye in the House", which the single reached up to #7 in the UK.
  • Collin Raye recorded a version in 1995 for the Beatles tribute album Come Together: America Salutes The Beatles.
  • Nick Cave recorded a cover of the song for the soundtrack to the 2001 film, I Am Sam.
  • Lesley Garrett sang an operatic version on her 2002 album, The Singer.
  • The song is featured in the film Across the Universe, sung by Carol Woods, Timothy Mitchum and a gospel choir.
  • Eric Burdon recorded it, probably in the early 1980s, it was bootlegged and released on 27 February 2008 on the album "Ultimate Rarities Vol. 2".
  • Shawn Lane and Paul Gilbert performed an eight-minute rendition of the song at the NAMM 1993 show.
  • Chevy Chase did a version on his 1980 album, with Alvin & The Chipmunks style vocals.
  • Brooke White, the fifth place finalist on the seventh season of American Idol performed the song during the Lennon/McCartney week.

Let It Be Cover Videos

If you are a Beatles fan, this is a must have! Starting from the very beginning, all the way to the present. Interviews with Paul, George and Ringo (and footage of interviews with John), it really gives a personal point of view to go along with photos, images and footage of the fab four.

Let It Be Guitar/Piano Instruction Videos - Learn how to play Let It Be on Guitar or Piano!

Trivia Links

Trivia sites and other useful resources for the Beatles or trivia fan.

Let It Be Guestbook - Let me know your thoughts about Let It Be and/or the Beatles

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    • profile image

      Sanam 2 years ago

      - these are awesome! She is gogoreus and so are these portrait! And she totally does not look like that cat is giving her ANY trouble totally casual haha!

    • bornot2b1 profile image

      bornot2b1 4 years ago

      This is a very incredible lens. I learnt lots about "Let it be" from this. Thank you so much.

    • profile image

      les777 5 years ago

      Great lens, very informative. Not my most favourite Beatles song but up there amongst them.

    • justDawn1 profile image

      justDawn1 5 years ago

      Great lens! :)

    • emmakeynes profile image

      emmakeynes 5 years ago

      Fantastic lens!

    • gypsykitschpres profile image

      gypsykitschpres 5 years ago

      One of my favorite Beatles Songs. Thanks so much for this.

    • nickirc lm profile image

      nickirc lm 5 years ago

      Let it Be is in my top ten of favorite songs. great lens, thanks.

    • flinnie lm profile image

      Gloria Freeman 5 years ago from Alabama USA

      Hi I like this songs.This is a great lens thinks for all the info.I am new hear at squidoo trying to find my way.I do like making lens and learning from other.

    • JMaltman profile image

      JMaltman 6 years ago

      One of my all time favorite songs, and my son loved it too in his Top 10 Beatles songs we worked together on. He's 2.5 with great taste already. :) We even linked to the Letter B video from Sesame Street.

    • realizeme profile image

      realizeme 6 years ago

      great song, great lens... thank you :)

    • profile image

      PhillipConte 6 years ago

      This is certainly a very informative lens about the song and album (LP). When I have trouble meditating I focus on this song to help my miind become silent, Such a relevant closing of an era, We're getting a "divorce" - Let it Be .

    • gleken profile image

      gleken 6 years ago

      I love this song thank you for the great information

    • dawngibson lm profile image

      dawngibson lm 6 years ago

      I like this song so much, but I prefer Aretha's version. The depth of her voice and presentation takes this already great song to the next level.

    • uncreative lm profile image

      uncreative lm 6 years ago

      wow! really informative lens. Let it be was an awesome album.

    • efriedman profile image

      efriedman 6 years ago

      One of my favorite songs

    • profile image

      grannysage 6 years ago

      This is one of my favorite Beatle songs. Oh, who am I kidding? How can you pick a favorite. I like that you told the story of how Paul came up with the inspiration for the song. I also didn't know that LInda sand on it. Thanks for all the great info and for stopping by and blessing my Traveling Wilburys lens.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      Wonderful lens, beautiful song. Having been a teen-ager when the Beatles made their famous Ed Sullivan appearance, I'm naturally a fan for life. This song deserved a lens of its own!

    • writercb1 profile image

      writercb1 6 years ago from United States

      Awesome lens! I love The Beatles! They are a favorite of mine. "Let It Be" is one of my favorite songs of theirs. Poo on John for pooing this song, I think it is awesome! Interesting facts on this song you've got here. and I have a friend who might like to know how to play this on her guitar. thanks!

    • RawBill1 profile image

      Bill 6 years ago from Gold Coast, Australia

      One of the great songs of all time. The Let It Be album is probably my favourite Beatles album as well.

    • profile image

      zaptrollwen 6 years ago

      A great song!

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is a fantastic Lens Thanks.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      One of the best albums ever, and one of the best songs ever created. Simply beautiful!

    • profile image

      KDimmick 6 years ago

      Blessed by an angel :)

    • greenerme profile image

      greenerme 6 years ago

      One of my favorite Beatles songs!! Great lens!

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 7 years ago from So Cal

      Great lens with interesting information. It's my favorite Beatles song.

    • Ann Hinds profile image

      Ann Hinds 7 years ago from So Cal

      Let it be is the song that comes to me when I need to be reminded to "let it be" I can be out or at home and when I need it the most, it will play somewhere. It is my favorite Beatles song. Great lens.

    • profile image

      KDimmick 7 years ago

      Great lens

    • chrissuard lm profile image

      chrissuard lm 7 years ago

      Thanks, Really enjoyed reading this.

    • sallemange profile image

      sallemange 7 years ago

      A real classic I love it

    • KOrazem profile image

      Seeking Pearls 7 years ago from Pueblo West

      I love the song Let It Be and enjoyed reading about how the song came to be. Thanks for sharing this interesting information.

    • Yourshowman LM profile image

      Yourshowman LM 7 years ago

      Its pretty damn good song. One of the best song by one of the best band

    • kraji lm profile image

      kraji lm 7 years ago

      Best music group and my favourite from this album is Across the universe

    • profile image

      RebeccaE 7 years ago

      given that I love the beatles i found this trivia fascinating, I didn't know John dever made a cover of this song!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Beatles are all time favorite. I feel their music is mesmerizing. Great lens on one of my favorite topics.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      @anonymous: It is on the original Let it Be album/cd. Not sure if it is on Let it Be (Naked) or on any versions in the Anthology recordings.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      The only version I really love is the one with George's fuzzed guitar riff. What CDs is it on?. The Billy Preston solo is good but I like the guitar better.

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Please if someone has notation of this song tell it to me on the e-mail: Nikolija_niki@hotmail.com

    • ruthswrite lm profile image

      ruthswrite lm 9 years ago

      Really interesting lens - love the song!

    • Spook LM profile image

      Spook LM 9 years ago

      Brings back so many happy memories of when I used to be able to hear; so thanx for the memories and a really great lens.

    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 9 years ago from Royalton

      I had forgotten that Let It Be was turned into Letter B on Sesame Street.

      To everything there is a season but any time is the time for a great Beetles song like Let it Be. For such a great lens, Garner Rix has made some virtual maple syrup to pour on your waffles and pancakes.

    • profile image

      rockycha 9 years ago

      I totally Dig a Pony! :) Great work!

    • Winter52 LM profile image

      Winter52 LM 9 years ago

      Love the little stories behind the songs... didn't know the history behind Let It Be and have probably listened to the song a million times. :)

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 9 years ago

      A great song although I have many of theirs among my favorites. I even like many of the re-do's by new artists.