Mother Nature’s Son — The Beatles
“If a man is able to submit himself to nature, then nature will react to his needs. Almighty nature is all powerful and all loving, for the laws of nature are for the creation and evolution of all beings and creatures throughout the cosmos. There is no greater kindness than the kindness of nature.” (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi)
Mother Nature’s Son is a song written primarily by Paul McCartney and released by the Beatles on their album The Beatles, best known as “the White Album”. It is credited to Lennon-McCartney because, even if Lennon did not play on the recording, McCartney said he contributed some words to the song.
“At that time I considered myself a guy leaning towards the countryside. But I would have to tip a wink to Nature Boy. Though, when you think about it, the only thing they have in common is the word ‘nature’- the rest of the link is pretty tenuous.”
The lyrics are deeply inspired by a lecture on nature given by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, world renown Indian guru, while the Beatles were in India.
In February 1968, the Beatles travelled to Rishikesh in northern India to attend an advanced Transcendental Meditation training session at the ashram of Maharishi. Their visit was one of the band’s most productive periods and received widespread media attention. The Beatles’ interest in the Maharishi was led by George Harrison’s commitment, and it changed Western attitudes about Indian spirituality and encouraged the study of Transcendental Meditation. Maharishi has also been credited to have persuaded the Beatles to give up on drugs, namely LSD, as themselves later stated: “We think we’re finding new ways of getting there.”
The same lecture also inspired Lennon’s unreleased song “Child of Nature”, the tune of which he later re-used for “Jealous Guy”.
Mother Nature’s Son was recorded during the height of the tensions that marred the sessions for the White Album. In fact, by the time McCartney recorded the song the White Album sessions had nearly become simultaneous solo projects and Mother Nature’s Son is one of four songs on the album that McCartney recorded by himself. He did the basic track on 9 August 1968, after the rest of the band had gone home for the night, and returned to it 11 days later, playing drums (set up in a corridor to alter their sound) and overseeing a brass ensemble. When Lennon and Ringo Starr walked back into the studio after McCartney had finished, “you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife”, recalled engineer Ken Scott.
Born a poor young country boy
Mother Nature’s son
All day long I’m sitting singing songs for everyone.
Sit beside a mountain stream
See her waters rise
Listen to the pretty sound of music as she flies.
Find me in my field of grass
Mother Nature’s son
Swaying daises sing a lazy song beneath the sun.
Mother Nature’s son.