Paul McCartney: “Scrambled Eggs… Oh my darling you’ve got lovely legs.”


The Dream of Paul McCartney that led to Yesterday

The Beatles were in London in 1965 filming Help! and McCartney was staying in a small attic room of his family’s house on Wimpole Street. One morning, in a dream he heard a classical string ensemble playing, and, as McCartney tells it:

I woke up with a lovely tune in my head. I thought, ‘That’s great, I wonder what that is?’ There was an upright piano next to me, to the right of the bed by the window. I got out of bed, sat at the piano, found G, found F sharp minor 7th — and that leads you through then to B to E minor, and finally back to E. It all leads forward logically. I liked the melody a lot, but because I’d dreamed it, I couldn’t believe I’d written it. I thought, ‘No, I’ve never written anything like this before.’ But I had the tune, which was the most magic thing!”

Paul McCartney woke up with the tune for Yesterday in his head, along with some strange lyrics. For a long time, he was sure he must have heard it elsewhere, the dream was so clear. The lyrics he had with the simple tune were –

Scrambled Eggs
Oh my darling you’ve got lovely legs

McCartney mulled over the tune for a while, convinced he must have heard it on the radio or elsewhere. But finally he played it for his fellow Beatles, and none of them remembered the tune from anywhere else. They put it together, leaving out the scrambled eggs and lovely legs:


All my troubles seemed so far away,

Now it seems that they are here to stay,

Oh I believe in Yesterday.

Paul McCartney — Many Years From Now, Barry Miles (NY, Henry Holt, 1997)
The Committee of Sleep, D. Barrett, 2001

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