The Beatles' Revelatory White Album Demos: A Complete Guide

We delve deep into the 1968 home recordings that planted the seeds for the band's classic self-titled double LP

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"Mother Nature's Son"

The tranquil setting of the Maharishi's ashram by the banks of the Ganges led the band to pen several pastoral odes. As Lennon was moved to write "Child of Nature," McCartney countered with "Mother Nature's Son." Initially inspired by a lecture given by the master, the lyrical theme fully materialized after he had returned to England, when a visit to his father's home in Liverpool unleashed memories of happy days exploring the natural world as a boy. "I was always able to take my bike and in five minutes I'd be in quite deep countryside. This is where my love of the country came from," he says in Many Years From Now. "I remember the Dam Wood, which had millions of rhododendron bushes. ... 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." Remembrances of these idyllic summers, coupled with his recent experiences in India, coalesced into a deeply affecting Earth Mother lullaby.

As with most of McCartney's acoustic tracks on the White Album, the demo doesn't stray too far from the final product, with the lyrics and much of the final structure of the song already solidified. Ironically, the vocals on the Esher tape are actually more complex than the official version, with McCartney overdubbing an exquisite harmony line on the wordless outro. This countermelody would be approximated, though not quite bettered, with a guitar on the official release.

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