Mother Nature's Son
|"Mother Nature's Son"|
|Song by the Beatles|
|from the album The Beatles|
|Released||22 November 1968|
|Recorded||9 & 20 August 1968|
"Mother Nature's Son" is a song written primarily by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and released by the Beatles on The Beatles ("the White Album"). It was inspired by a lecture given by the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi while the Beatles were in India. The same lecture inspired Lennon's unreleased song "Child of Nature", the tune of which he later re-used for "Jealous Guy".
McCartney recorded the song during the height of the tensions that marred the sessions for the White Album. On 9 August 1968, he recorded 25 takes singing and playing acoustic guitar simultaneously. Take 24 was perceived to be the best (take 2 later appeared on Anthology 3). McCartney recorded overdubs of timpani, another guitar, and drums on 20 August, when George Martin's orchestral contributions were also added. The drums were put halfway down an uncarpeted corridor with the microphones at the far end, resulting in a bongo-like staccato sound. John Lennon did not play on the recording, but McCartney said he contributed some words to the song in India. When Lennon and Ringo Starr walked into the studio after McCartney had finished, "you could have cut the atmosphere with a knife", recalled engineer Ken Scott.
- Paul McCartney – double-tracked vocal, acoustic guitars, timpani, bass drum
- George Martin – brass arrangement
Covers and mashups
- Jack White covered the song at the White House when McCartney was being given the Gershwin Prize on 2 June 2010.
- Ramsey Lewis covered the song and used it as the title of his 1968 album Mother Nature's Son. The album includes other songs from The Beatles.
- Harry Nilsson covered the song in 1969 for his album Harry.
- John Denver covered the song on his Grammy winning "An Evening with John Denver" album, it was also on his 1972 album Rocky Mountain High, and after his death it became the title of a biography of Denver by John Collis.
- Gryphon covered the song in 1974 on the album Raindance.
- Sheryl Crow covered it for the movie I Am Sam.
- Danger Mouse included a sample of the song in his "mashup" version of the Jay-Z song "December 4th" for his The Grey Album.
- DJ Reset used it along with Slick Rick's "La-Di-Da-Di" for the "mashup" song "Mother Nature's Rick".
- Glay covered the song on their 2007 single "Ashes".
- Brad Mehldau covered the song in a medley on his album Largo and also on the album Don't Explain with tenor saxophonist Joel Frahm.
- Chihiro Onitsuka covered the song in her 2012 cover album FAMOUS MICROPHONE.
- On Angel Heart, a music storybook. Arranged by David Sanford and performed by countertenor Daniel Taylor, baritone Sanford Sylvan, mandolinist Mike Marshall, and cellist Matt Haimovitz and his all-cello ensemble Uccello.
- Phish covered the song on October 31, 1994 as part of a full set covering the entire White Album. It can be found on Live Phish Volume 13.
- Hirini "Sidney" Melbourne, a New Zealand Māori, used some of the melody for his song "Nga Pipi O Te Pipiwharauroa(Chicks of the Shining Cuckoo)" on the 1979 album Children of Tāne.
- Carlin 2009, p. 172.
- Miles 1997, pp. 423, 490.
- Sheff 2000, p. 200.
- The Beatles Bible 2009.
- Morin 1998.
- "80 - 'Mother Nature's Son'". 100 Greatest Beatles Songs. Rolling Stone. Retrieved 17 June 2012.
- MacDonald 2005, p. 305.
- "Live Phish, Vol. 13: 10/31/94, Glens Falls Civic Center, Glens Falls, NY - Phish". AllMusic. Retrieved 7 September 2017.
- "Children of Tāne at Discogs".
- "Mother Nature's Son". The Beatles Bible. 2009. Retrieved 14 April 2009.
- Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt & Company. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6.
- Morin, Cari (1998). The Evolution of Beatles' Recording Technology.
- Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. New York: St. Martin's Press. ISBN 0-312-25464-4.
- Carlin, Peter (2009). Paul McCartney: A Life. ISBN 1-4165-6209-5.