Fixing A Hole - The Beatles

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"Fixing A Hole" - The Beatles (1967)

McCartney has given two versions as to what served as the inspiration for “Fixing A Hole”:

In one interview, he explained:

“It was about all those pissy people who told you ‘Don’t daydream, don’t do this, don’t do that.’ It seemed to me that this was all wrong, and that it was now time to fix all of that. Mending was my meaning. I wanted to be free enough to let my mind wander, let myself be artistic, let myself not sneer at avant-garde things.”

In his 1997 autobiography he wrote:

“It was the idea of me being on my own now, able to do what I want. If I want I’ll paint the room in a colourful way... I was living now pretty much on my own in Cavendish Avenue, and enjoying my freedom and my new house and the salon-ness of it all. It’s pretty much my song, as I recall. I like the double meaning of ‘If I’m wrong I’m right where I belong’.”

In a rare occurance, Lennon compliments his former songwriting partner:

“Paul - again, writing a good lyric.”

The composition has a split stylistic personality: the verse is a Gershwinesque jazz/blues hybrid, while the bridge is more of a torch-song pop march.

The highlight is George’s solo. The bass line is flowing and dreamy yet not overpowering. McCartney also shows off his highly flexible tenor range voice. The backing track is dominated by the unusual appearance of a “rhythm harpsichord” played by George Martin and McCartney’s hyperactive bass work. It is a daydreaming novelty number - with both whimsical and surreal overtones.

“Fixing A Hole” could be interpreted to be about a person who has been deeply troubled in the past and has had a lot of negative and life-changing thoughts in his mind. He is finally letting go of the past and thinking more clearly. He may be trying to separate himself from his ego.

The line, “Where I belong, I’m right,” endorses “contextualism” - any view that sees some phenomenon as relative to a context, or insists on the relevance of context for interpretation.

The idea of “keeping out the rain” by creating a sanctuary echoes a biblical motif found in the book of Genesis. Fixing holes and cracks is a way of preserving an ordered and safe cosmos, free from chaos. We can all make our own choices and are free to choose the colors to paint the rooms the way which allows our minds to wander.

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