♫ Fool On The Hill ♫

Yes, I know I promised to ease off on the reduxes, and no, I haven’t run out of fresh music to play.  But, fact is this one has been in my head the whole bloomin’ day, even to the point that I can picture McCartney with that little tilt of his head … so anyway … it’s a good song … just sit back and listen, okay?  Humour da old woman!

Written and sung by Paul McCartney, it was released in 1967.  I find it interesting that a year later Sérgio Mendes & Brasil ’66 recorded the song and their version fared much better than the one by The Beatles.  While I like Sérgio Mendes’ music, I much prefer The Beatles’ version of this particular song.  Nonetheless, I shall play both and let you guys choose your favourite.

The story, according to Alistair Taylor’s book, Yesterday, goes …

An event which prompted this song happened when Paul was walking his dog, Martha, on Primrose Hill one morning. As he watched the sun rise, he noticed that Martha was missing. Paul turned around to look for his dog, and there a man stood, who appeared on the hill without making a sound. The gentleman was dressed respectably, in a belted raincoat. Paul knew this man had not been there seconds earlier as he had looked in that direction for Martha. Paul and the stranger exchanged a greeting, and this man then spoke of what a beautiful view it was from the top of this hill that overlooked London. Within a few seconds, Paul looked around again, and the man was gone. He had vanished as he had appeared.

A couple of the music critics really did not like this song at all …

  • “Possibilities in this song outweigh its substance—it’s the most unworthy Beatles standard since ‘Michelle.'” — Tim Riley, NPR contributor
  • “… shows signs of becoming a favorite of the Simon & Garfunkel crowd and the transcendental meditators, who deserve it. A callow rendering of the outcast-visionary theme, it may be the worst song the Beatles have ever recorded.” — Robert Christgau, Esquire magazine

The Fool on the Hill
The Beatles

Day after day, alone on a hill
The man with the foolish grin is sitting perfectly still
Nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
But he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

His head in a cloud
The man with a foolish grin is talking perfectly loud
But nobody wants to hear him
They can see that he’s just a fool
But he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
But he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning round

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney
The Fool on the Hill lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

13 thoughts on “♫ Fool On The Hill ♫

  1. I find that betwixt the chosen song and the comments below, this requires a two part response by myself. Admittedly, I am somewhat emboldened by the fact that it is now over a day later and it seems rather unlikely that anyone will read my comments anyway, but nevertheless I shall add them…for posterity! 1) If memory serves me correctly, I mentioned both the album and the movie that this song appears on…”Magical Mystery Tour”. That album was the first by the Beatles following the death of their manager, Brian Epstein, by accidental overdose of drugs in August 1967. Both were the brainchild of Paul McCartney as a vehicle for a Beatle’s psychedelic moment. The movie showcased this well, but was not well received by critics. The album fared better. I love this song and this video of the early solo performance by Paul at the piano is very good. Listening to it on the album is also very good, but watching the adorable Paul in the movie is superb! It has always puzzled me that this song is credited to John Lennon/ Paul McCartney as it was Paul’s alone. Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 has a decidedly good but different feeling, but Paul cannot be outdone on this one! 2) I’m definitely venturing out on that limb and it is definitely not without risk. With regard to a Beatle’s Week. I love the Beatles, that goes without saying, but just in case there is any doubt I’ll say it again. That said, it would only be fair to have other performers given a week’s worth of singular attention as well. Say, a Simply Streisand Week! Only jesting, as undoubtedly there would be no followers following the music posts by Wednesday. The point that I seriously want to make is that it is the variety of performers as well as the songs that appear on any given day in any given week that keep the music posts vibrant. It is, of course, your choice to do as you wish and as I said elsewhere : “You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” – John Lydgate. Thank-YOU!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aha … being sneaky, commenting a day after-the-fact, are ye? You do know that I get notifications about most comments, right? 😉 Now, I fully agree with all you say in #1, though I haven’t seen the aforementioned movie, so I suppose I should stop short of agreeing with that. I do agree, however, that I love the McCartney video and while I also think Sergio Mendes did well with this, nothing outshines Paul here. As re #2 … hmmmm what you say actually makes sense. (Who could have guessed you’d call for a Barbra week???). Actually, though, most of my readers like Barbra Streisand quite well. I agree with you about the variety aspect, but every now and then I don’t mind doing an “In honour of” week, as David has suggested. ‘Twill be a rarity, but I think I will do a Beatles’ week this week … what’s left of the week, and perhaps sometime this spring, I will do a Barbra week. Perhaps there is a special commemoration date you would like that to happen?

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  2. Well, I fit into two of the critic’s categories: I loved Simon and Garfunkel—and I meditate (though not TM). So I deserve it! I think it holds up well through the two very different interpretations.
    Thank you, Jill!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Heh heh … I fit at least one, the Simon & Garfunkel one … never tried the meditation, though … heck, I can barely keep my focus long enough to vacuum the floor without getting sidetracked. 😉

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  3. I wasn’t a big fan of this until I heard Sergio Mendes’ version and then I knew McCartney was good.Maybe it’s time for a Beatle’s week, classics like Hey Jude, She’s Leaving Home, Eleanor Rigby and Norwegian Wood are all clamouring to be played…..
    Cwtch

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    • Ha ha … at first I thought you were most pleased by the Sergio Mendes version, which would have surprised me greatly! Then I read it more closely and realized what you were saying. What a great idea … a Beatles’ week!!! Since Suze suggested other Beatles’ tunes she would like to hear as well, I figure its unanimous and so it shall be! Stay tuned …
      Cwtch

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      • Jill probably I forgot because I’ve been spaced out on pain meds. ❤
        I had an MRI and some other tests on the 18th, and a few days later my doctor called and said he was sending a car to take me to hospital for inflamed liver, kidneys, and other vital things. They put me on a couple of drips, and inserted a cathater, and I've been mostly bed bound ever since. There's a pretty full story on my blog.
        Wish I was in hospital near you so you could visit me.
        Love and Hugs ❤ ❤ ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • I just popped over to your blog and viewed most of your latest posts. I’m so sorry you’ve been through such a hard time, but hopefully there is a light at the end of the tunnel now. Indeed, I would visit you if it weren’t 4,000 miles away! Hugs! ❤

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