a moral to this song

The Beatles through the looking glass onion: Recordings, rhetoric, images, interviews, articles, album sessions, and intrigue. On hiatus.

Paul McCartney at the 11th birthday party of his Joseph Williams Junior School classmate James, Childwall, Liverpool, photographer unknown. (1953)


Paul loved everything sweet. He’d eat sweets and cakes until he exploded if somebody didn’t stop him. Toleration and Moderation, young Paul! He ate so much sweet stuff that he grew very fat in his early teens. I used to call him Fatty. He didn’t like that, of course. But he was a fatty. Weren’t you, Fatty?

It was a nuisance to him, all that fat. One day it got us both into trouble. We used to do our fair share of knocking off apples in a nearby orchard – it was called Chinese Orchard and it was in Horseshoe Woods. That day there were four of us altogether – Paul and I, a neighbouring tearaway called Roger the Dodger – and our shaggy dog, Prince.

We were doing very nicely when Prince suddenly started barking. We turned and saw a man lurching towards us, shouting. We all dropped the apples and ran. Prince got clear and Roger the Dodger vaulted the fence like a greyhound and I wasn’t far after him. But Paul, because of his weight, got stuck on top of the fence and couldn’t get over in time. The man grabbed him and yelled after us: “Come back, all of you or I’ll take it out on your pal!” Trust me, of course. Like a nutter, I ran back. The man locked us both up in a dark shed until Dad came for us. This time he simply read us the riot act – which made a greater impression on us than half a dozen hidings.

— Mike McCartney, Woman: Portrait of Paul. (August 21st, 1965)

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