Paul McCartney confesses to stealing classic Beatles track chorus from old song | Music | Entertainment

Sir Paul McCartney may be joint most successful singer-songwriter in music history alongside John Lennon, but even Macca admits to nicking lyrics.

In the latest episode of his podcast A Life in Lyrics, The Beatles legend was speaking about the Abbey Road song Golden Slumbers.

The 81-year-old said: “That chorus that I’ve used as a chorus, literally, is the lyrics to an old Victorian song.”

Asked by Muldoon, the host, if it was called sampling, McCartney simply replied: “Well, it’s called stealing. 

“But because I don’t read music, I didn’t know what the melody that went with this was. So I put my own melody to it and just took these words.”

McCartney had discovered the sheet music for Thomas Dekker’s lullaby Cradle Song at his father’s home in Liverpool. Left on the piano by his stepsister Ruth, Macca was unable to read music but created his own tune to the first stanza of the original with some minor word changes.

On Jennifer Hudson covering Golden Slumbers for the movie Sing, he said: “You know what’s really nice about this, talking about this touching a nerve in the human psyche. One of the things I love about writing songs is you’ll be watching a film or listening to the radio something, and it’ll reappear. It’ll appear with someone else singing it. And I just love that it’s touched their nerve so much so that they think, ‘this would be a good song for this film.’”

McCartney added: “They use Golden Slumbers to open the thing, and it’s very powerful. Then right at the end, when you’ve heard the whole story and everything’s worked out, they use it again…What’s great about it is the next generation who are watching a kid’s animation thing now know Golden Slumbers.”

McCartney: A Life in Lyrics is an iHeartPodcast and can be listened to here.

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