Let Me Roll It

Album: Band On The Run (1973)
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  • Many have interpreted this song as an olive branch offering to John Lennon after all the bitterness arising from his Beatles breakup song, "How Do You Sleep?." However, in an interview with Clash magazine in 2010 McCartney explained this was more of a drugs song. Said Macca: "'Let Me Roll It' wasn't to John, it was just in the style that we did with The Beatles that John was particularly known for. It was really actually the use of the echo. It was one of those: 'You're not going to use echo just cos John used it?' I don't think so. To tell you the truth, that was more [about] rolling a joint. That was the double meaning there: 'let me roll it to you.' That was more at the back of mind than anything else. 'Dear Friend,' that was very much 'let's be friends' to John."
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Comments: 24

  • Don from Sevierville, TnWhen I first heard this song, I thought it was Denny Laine singing lead, until I saw Paul singing it on Rock Show/Wings Over America. It's Denny delivering the final wail before the fade-out. I think Denny's vocal range resembled that of both John and George.
  • Kevin from Calgary, AbMy comment continues because it was rudely submitted before I wanted it to - Continuing on with the feud that started with Ram - Paul puts two Beatles having sex on his album cover (as in somebody got f'd) and has a picture of him and Linda in clown masks holding a bag (referring to John and Yoko's bed ins and bagism thing and in Paul's song "Too Many People", he sings "That was your first mistake you took your lucky break and broke it in two, now what can be done for you....." Lennon freaks and has a picture of him holding the ears of a pig similar to how Paul had held a ram or sheep on Ram. He sings Crippled Inside about Paul and sings the totally brutal "How Do You Sleep". It is possible that Dear Friend is about John but it's vague. Back in the 70's among some critics and some Beatles fans, it was considered that "Let Me Roll It"was Paul's final was Paul's final was Paul's fi"stab" at John as it seemed to be ripping off the structure of Cold Turkey in a slight variation and the line "you gave me lovin' in the palm of my hand"was considered to be a rude way of telling John he'd been wanked off and to f off. This seemed to end the feud and Mccartney seemed to be the final musical victor - but then again - in comes Beef Jerky by John which sounds just like Paul's "Let Me Roll It" which sounds like John's Cold Turkey and the same riff comes back to us again with a whole lotta people chanting Beef Jerky and then laughing -was that the final dig back at Paul? Don't know but the feud ended then for good.
  • Kevin from Calgary, AbI'm old enough to remember the Lennon-McCartney feud on album. It starts on John Lennon and The Plastic Ono Band with Lennon's song" God" in which he states "I don't believe in Beatles" and continues with "I Found Out" in which he states "I found religion from Jesus to Paul". It seemed rather hard but just part of a stream of consciousness of Lennon's state of mind at being an ex- Beatle and dealing with it and telling the world to deal with it at the time. All of a sudden, the thing explodes on "Ram" by Paul McCartney
  • Jim from West Palm Beach, FlThe musical reference to Mind Games and Cold Turkey, along with the mock Lennon reverb vocals are pretty cool.
  • Tony from Wilmette, IlI always thought this was either a love song or a song about his friendship to John Lennon Im surprised to find out its about getting high
  • Jenn from Toronto, OnThis was most definitely a (friendly/peacemaking) message to John. Look how these lyrics are connected:

    "You gave me something, I understand,
    You gave me loving in the palm of my hand" to

    "Oh yeah, I´ll tell you something
    I think you´ll understand
    When I say that something
    I wanna hold your hand"

    I personally think Paul was telling John he was acknowledging and grateful for the part he played in his life and success... and that although he might not say it, he does love him. (I think the second verse is just words that sounded good with the song though, as often happens in songwriting)
  • Rosa from Burton, MiI wonder who actually wrote this song. I hear Michael Jackson's name all over it!!
  • Britt from Boston, MaSteve, do you mean this is about masturbating?
    I am so confused, I always thought it was a drug reference, but now it seems like it has a double meaning, You know?

    Anyway Paul is and always will be my favorite singer/songwriter in the world. Long live the Beatles.
  • Steve from Salt Lake City, UtRegardless of what Paul set out to do with this song, he obviously wandered as usual. It is just what he does; he continually wanders off course (by his own admission) when he finds a phrase hat fits with a cadence. He always said Hey Jude was written for Julian Lennon and for most of the song it sounds like it was. But as always there come the drug implications and God only knows what at the end. Paul is simply the best and that he weaves and backtracks is part of his allure.
  • David from Buffalo, NyI agree that the song was in reply to "How do you sleep"
    It was always my understanding that "Let me roll it to you" referred to Paul rolling another song to John. These were two larger than life egos clashing.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThe lyrics had nothing to do with John, it was just a generic love song. But Paul deliberately sang and played it in John's style and even immitated John's voice, as a homage.
  • Lateeka from Kelowna, CanadaYea it is a cool beat I agree Mauricio
  • Jose from São Paulo, BrazilNo questions about. It's for John. And the song 'I Know' (Mind Games) is from John to Paul. These two songs are connected.
  • Andre from Rimouski, CanadaI think lyrics are not that important in this song. According to me (but only McCartney really knows), Paul barely wanted to reply to John's malicious words (and since you're gone, you're just Another Day) by showing him how easy it was to write the type of songs John was into at this time (remember the break-up, John's problems with heroin, his first and second albums, etc..): a hard guitar riff, a fully echoed nasal voice, but a strong melody to team that up. I do not know who was right and who was wrong between these two, maybe none of them, but Jesus what good musicians they were together. For they continued to write very good stuff on their own, but nothing to be compared to what they did together as The Beatles: and there we can see the importance of George Martin.
  • Liquid Len from Ottawa, Canada"you gave me lovin in the palm of my hand" means, you jerked me around... A rather obscure way of saying it, that's all.
  • Paul from Bucharest, RomaniaI hardly think this song could be about drugs..

    And it sounds a little too 'friendly' to be for John.. More likely it's for a girl (maybe his wife Linda) she was part of Wings.
  • Farrah from Elon, NcI love this song. Heck, I love Paul McCartney!! He's my absolute favorite singer of all time.
  • Mark from Austin, TxSteve, I can see where this song could be about John and Paul's strained friendship, but I'm not so sure about the "palm of my hand" line, considering the fact that Johna and Paul were WELL into their teens by the time they met. They probably both knew how to "please themselves" by then. (If not, Paul was WAY behind.)
    It probably is more about John teaching Paul more about the guitar.
  • Chuck from Joppa, Md, MdYOu know, almost all of the song sounds like a make up song between friends....except for the line "You're going to be mine." Certainly doesn't sound like something that would be said from one friend to another in a strained relatioship.......sounds almost like a challenge to me.
  • Matt from Uk, EnglandThe electric guitar riff is also used in the instrumental John Lennon track "Beef Jerky". The first time we hear it is 0.40 seconds into the track.
  • Nathan from Defiance, OhThis song is definetly a response to John.
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaPossible to be about John&Paul, impossible to be about drugs. B side to Jet.
  • Mauricio from Hanford, CaI love this song, such a kool beat
  • Steve from Fenton, MoI have read that this song by Paul is in response to John Lennon's song "How Do You Sleep" off the Imagine album. It has a guitar riff that is similar in style, although "Let Me Roll It" has a better melody. I believe the line "you gave me lovin in the palm of my hand" is a reference to John and Paul's childhood where John introduced Paul to a certain method of pleasing himself.
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