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(Credit: Mary McCartney)


Paul McCartney explains the lyrics of Beatles song 'Fixing a Hole'


Paul McCartney’s newest book, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, is filled with insights about some of his most beloved songs of all time, including commentary on a number of Beatles classics. Although one of the lesser commonly cited songs on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, ‘Fixing a Hole’ remains one of McCartney’s most successful combinations of his music hall roots and the psychedelic sounds of the time.

“Before I write a song, there’s a black hole and then I get my guitar or piano and fill it in,” McCartney explains in The Lyrics. “The notion that there is a gap to fill is no less honourable a basis for an inspiration than a bolt of lightning coming down out of the sky. One way or another, it’s a miracle”.

McCartney goes on to explain that ‘Fixing a Hole’ solidified his experiments with LSD as ultimately producing some great work. “I was the last in the group to take LSD,” he said. “John and George urged me to do it so that I could be on the same level as them. I was very reluctant because I’m actually quite straightlaced, and I’d heard that if you took LSD you would never be the same again,” McCartney added.

“Around this time, when I closed my eyes, instead of being blackness there was a little blue hole. It was as if something needed patching,” McCartney continues. “The fact is that the most important influence here was not even the metaphysical idea of a hole, which I mentioned earlier, but this absolutely physical phenomenon – something that first appeared after I took acid. I still see it occasionally, and I know exactly what it is. I know exactly what size it is.”

McCartney explains that LSD and marijuana were the only drugs in mind during the song’s writing, unlike what some other interpretations have theorised. “Some people take ‘Fixing a Hole’ to be about heroin. That’s most likely because they’re visualising needle holes. At the point the song was written, the drug was more likely than not to be marijuana.”

McCartney concludes: “As it happens, I was living pretty much on my own in London and enjoying my new house. So the whole world of home improvements was beginning to impinge on me in a quite literal way.”

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