Your Mother Should Know

Album: Magical Mystery Tour (1967)
  • songfacts ®
  • Artistfacts ®
  • Lyrics
  • As detailed in Beatles In They're Own Words by Barry Miles, Paul McCartney wrote this at his place on Cavendish Avenue in London on the harmonium in the dining room. His Aunty Jin, Uncle Harry, and other relatives were there, and he just sat and wrote it for a few hours with the door opened so they could all listen from another room. Paul said, "I was basically trying to say your mother might know more than you think she does. Give her credit." He also said that the family atmosphere and his Aunty Jin being there influenced it and its music-hall idea. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Julia - OH
  • This was used in the last scene of the movie Magical Mystery Tour, where the four Beatles dance in tuxedos. Paul McCartney wore a black carnation while the others wore red, fueling rumors that Paul was dead.
  • Every Mother's Day, this is still a very popular song. There are surprisingly few contemporary songs with the word "Mother" in the title that are actual tributes to mothers.
  • The vocals are on the left channel for the first verse, move to the right for the second, then back to the left for the third. The song has an old-fashioned sound to fit with the idea that it's a favorite of a past generation.
Please sign in or register to post comments.

Comments: 56

  • Jennifur Sun from RamonaStill is one of my very fav tunes by the Beatles. Love the piano.
  • Aiken Nutz from Tahlequah OkBack in '67 I bought the MMT album & my brother did too! I always have thought this song just does not fit with the rest of the LP. Of course, you have weird songs like Blue Jay Way in there too, but it was a more progressive sound. YMSK is more like a Roaring Twenties show tune!! Good grief. But it's catchy and some people do like it. I always say if you're gonna be in rock & roll, do rock & roll. But YMSK got onto the LP and that was that. Besides, the Beatles were so creative and always pushing the limits of music. So I guess I'm wrong. (Sob) Anyway, I love the albums other songs, especially "I Am The Walrus." Now there's a song! So much background "urban legend" connected to it that it makes the mind reel. It is still considered a Lennon masterpiece. As for this song, I still shun it whenever I play the MMT album. But---that's me.
  • Mary from Grand Rapids, MiAdrian, ob la di ob la da is a wonderful song each time I hear a Beatles song I memorize it instantly
  • Mary from Grand Rapids, MiPersonally I think this is a great song, I heard it once, bought it, AND got it stuck in my head along with maxwells silver hammer, and paperback writer at the same time being born in 99 and i love the Beatles THEY SHALL LIVE ON FOREVER my children will be forced to listen to and enjoy true song writing
  • Olivia from Philadelphia, PaOh and btw.... Adrian, this song is nothing close to crap so shuddup please. Thanks. I am litterally emotionally attatched to this song. So don't make fun of it
  • Olivia from Philadelphia, PaI love this song! And Paul is alive so all you conspiracy theorists, you're all idiots. No offense.....
  • Julia from Milton, PaOhhh. So THEY invented "Yo Mama" jokes.
  • Julia from Milton, PaAll people who believe Paul is dead, go to the doctors and have them clean the crap out of your head. Paul is alive and well with his wife.
  • Rocco from New York City, NyWhat the #@!*!@ was up with Paul and his annoying fixation with Hoagy Carmichael/Cole Porter-ish 20s and 30s sounds? "Your Mother Should Know", "Honey Pie", "When I'm 64", etc. I thought that this was the era that the Beatles were rebelling against. I know, I know, this was Paul's tribute to those who came before... but still... ugggh.
  • Nikolai from Los Angeles, Ca"Paul got the idea to this song after listening to a song by "The Rutles" called "Your Mother should go" from their "Tragical History Tour" album.
    - Asef , Silkeborg, Denmark "

    The Rutles were a band in the 1970's created by Eric Idle (of Monty Python fame) to PARODY the Beatles. The song "Your Mother Should Go" is a parody of "Your Mother Should Know". Your history is backwards.
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvAdrian, this song is great! I agree with Tyson.
  • John from Grand Island, NyThis was most probably the last song Brian Epstein ever heard the Beatles sing as he was at this recording session a mere few days before his untimely death. By this time Brian rarely showed up at recording dates but this was the last song the group worked on before heading to Wales to hear a Mahareshi lecture. It was there that they got the news of his death. Pictures from the recording session are seen in the poster included in the white album where the Beatles were fooling around with trumpets.
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxThis beat an lyric-sound style were used in some Monkee songs because the song writers for them were pretty much copying anything that was popular...and in '67 - it was the Bealtes! So this sounds a lot like some of their filler tunes.
  • Julia from Richland, WaThis song is awesome for when I'm ever mad at my mom, because, as Paul says, "Your Mother Should Know."
  • Jorge from Birmingham, AlI don't know what, but there is something about this song that makes me sing along.
  • Yvette from Sydney, AustraliaYeah, it doesn't make sense to us, but it obviously did to Paul. I totally agree, all that "Paul is dead" was just a waste of time and completely annoying. This song is so catchy, who cares if it's not their best song! What is their best song? It is so catchy and I love the scene in M/M/T!
  • Yvette from Sydney, AustraliaYeah, it doesn't make sense to us, but it obviously did to Paul. I totally agree, all that "Paul is dead" was just a waste of time and completely annoying. This song is so catchy, who cares if it's not their best song! What is their best song? It is so catchy and I love the scene in M/M/T!
  • Lennix from Hamburg, GermanyThis song doesn't make any real sense - the same few lines repeated over and over, really simple words; I think that's why I love it so much. And all that "Paul is Dead" bulderdash is completely ridiculous! And besides, if Paul really was dead - and they went to the point of getting a stand-in Paul - why would they leave "clues" like a black carnation and the bare feet in Abbey Road?? It doesn't make any sense people. Let's just listen to the song.
  • Julia from *, OhI don't listen to this song often for some reason, 'cause whenever I do I love it so much! I just think it's a catchy little tune. And I agree with James and Talitha, now that I think about it, it is a bit eerie. Love it!
  • Rosario from Naples, FlI like this song but it's not one of my favorites. I'm glad they didn't do it for they're sattelite broadcast, "All You Need Is Love" is a much better song.
  • Tony from Red Deer, AbHas never been one of my personal favourites. Nice catchy tune though.
  • Talitha from Austin, Txi love this song. the movie though was... weird. i couldn't really concentrate (sp?). it has a rather eeire sound to it.
  • @ndrea from San Nicolás, ArgentinaI think we should respect everyone's opinions, including Adrian's...

  • Adam from Los Angeles, CaBlack Carnation... Yeah, He must have been dead... Oh wait... IT WAS HIM WEARING IT ON SCREEN!!!! BREATHING AND EVERYTHING!!!
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmI Love this song! It's cool. And the rason Paul wore a black carnation is cos they ran out of red ones. He said it himself!
  • Erik from Bloomfield Hills, MiYeah James, especially the melody in between verses, when that little "parade" marches through the room in the "video" for this song. Bizarre imagery to go with a trippy melody, great stuff.
  • James from Liverpool, EnglandJust listened to this song for the first time in years - absolutely love it. Does no one else find it slightly eerie? I mean this positively, I think that's one of it's great strengths. There's just SOMETHING about it that is impossible to describe. Can't agree at all with the comments about it being typical McCartney jaunty/ silly number - I think it's anything but. Slightly unsettling and all the more moving for it.
  • Jerry from Brooklyn, NyI always thought that maybe the Beatles' intent here was to stage an old fashioned musical extravaganza, in the spirit of the old MGM movies of the 40s. They did a great job! On another note, my stepmom actually liked a lot of the Beatles but this song annoyed her because she was very sensitive about her age. She was only 44 when the song came out, but many women of her generation believed that life essentially stopped at 40. The line "though she was born a long, long time ago" just drove her up the wall. So, I played it alot to bug her!
  • Krista from Elyria, OhI love this song (and album)! I like it so much it was stuck in my head for a WEEK and I couldn.t concentrate on my schoolwork! One of those miserable days was my 12th birhday! :|
  • Dirk from Nashville, TnThis is one of a very few Beatle songs that were not recorded in Abbey Road, Studio Two. The studio was booked at the time, so the lads trotted across town to Chappell Studios.
  • Tesla from Lander, WyYessss! I really love this song, I don't know... It's just... one of Paul's better songs. I really love "I will" too though. ^^
    P.s. Steve, you really do know ALOT about the Beatles... there's this website that always pops up when I'm looking for Beatles lyrics, and it's entitled, "Steve's Beatles Page" or something like that. Might that be yours, or not?
  • Johnny from Los Angeles, CaOkay there is no reason Adrian should "have" to be better then Paul McCartney, which I'm sure he is not. Movie critics do not have to make movies, music critics do not have to write/play songs. Paul was better at melodies, John was better at lyrics. There we go.
  • Asef from Silkeborg, DenmarkPaul got the idea to this song after listening to a song by "The Rutles" called "Your Mother should go" from their "Tragical History Tour" album.
  • Lee from Clearwater, FlSteve, Thanks for taking the time to explain it all. Have a nice day.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoLee, this was the deal according to Paul's book, "Many Years From Now". I hadn't remembered this, but when I went back and checked, songwriting royalties were excluded from the four way equal division of revenue. When the Beatles formed Apple in July 1967, they signed a contract that bound them together financially for the next ten years. So any money other than from "songwriting royalties" made as The Beatles or as solo artists went to Apple and was divided four ways. It was Paul's desire that any money made from The Beatles would continue to be divided four ways, but that any money from post Beatles work would go to the individual Beatle that recorded it. So the Beatle solo project money was divided equally four ways until the business arrangement was terminated. Paul initiated the court case in February 1971 and a settlement was reached and was due to be signed in December of 1974. John slept in that day, but presumably signed. It's unclear to me whether the solo work up through Dec 74 was split evenly. There may have been an agreement to place earnings in escrow or something until it was sorted out. So earnings from Double Fantasy wouldn't have been covered under this agreement, but very possibly the Imagine album was.
  • Lee from Clearwater, FlSteve, I don't really know anything about the subject, but are you saying that under that agreement Ringo, Paul, and George got royalties for Imagine, and Starting Over? I am not disputing what you say, as I don't know, but that is a wild arrangement. If you read this, please let me know more. thanks
  • Steve from Fenton, MoMonica, Paul didn't sue the other Beatles for no reason. For one thing, he wanted the Beatles to go on more than any of the others. But John had insisted for some time that the group would disband. Under their existing contract, all of the money that ANY of them made would be split four ways. Paul was incredibly generous to agree to that arrangement within the Beatles (where he and John were the heavy lifters), there is no reason he should accept it as a solo artist. Because the agreement didn't just apply to Beatles music, but also their post-Beatles work as well.
  • Monica from San Francisco, CaIm a huge beatles fan, but for some reason i was never a big Paul fan, i liked his songs, but im sorta mad that the he sued the other beatles for no reason when they broke up. I'm more of a George-John fan!
  • Stefanie from Rock Hill, ScI think I get what Adrian means too, but at first glance it seems like he should have made up hos mind or written his words more carefully.
  • Ankur from Moonman, CanadaThis song paints the perfect picture of the "high class english tea drinking society" that Pual McCartny was so much experementing with, much to the annoyance of John Lennon. Paul blends the melodies with a kitchen appliance; it's a beautiful piece of work.
  • Stuart from London, EnglandAdrian - Sorry mate but only an American would relate baseball to the Beatles
  • Mark from Virginia Beach, Vavery "June with spoon" typically McCartney but at the same time you just love the melody, also very Mccartney-esque
  • George from Itaberaba, BrazilThis is one of my favs by Paul, although its lyrics are silly. The melody is one of the best by Paul, and that's what really matter. Love it.
  • Anthony from Tampa, FlObviously Adrian has some serious issues if he doubts the creative genius of one of the most successful songwriters ever, Paul McCartney... Remember the song "Yesterday" Paul wrote that, it's the most covered song with something like > 4000 versions--I think the general public made our point. Can you do better "Adrian"? -- I don't think so...
  • Lee Newham from London, EnglandGreat song. Love it. Paul has done some bad work, as did Lennon, but he always got scalded for it. This however is great fun. I agree with Adrian about Paul being a genius, but the Beatles, as with many groups were greater than the sum of its parts.
  • Rich from Birmingham Uk, EnglandThis song was origanilly intended for the one world sattelite broadcast.
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeNo doubt McCartney is a musical genius. "Hey Jude" is my favorite Beatles song and the group would not have been nearly as big without his contributions. All I'm saying is that he really came up with some bad ideas just like anyone else. I mean no one would disagree that Mike Schmidt belongs in the Baseball Hall of Fame. He's one of the best third basemen to ever play the game, but he also struck out 1,883 times and often led the league in striking out.
  • Jon from Encinitas, CaThe vocals go mono at 1:44 into the song.
  • Scott Baldwin from Edmonton, CanadaAlso that Picture where the beatles dance in carnatians is in the booklet of the album.
  • Catherine from Glasgow, EnglandObviously Adrian has never listened to hey jude wich is an incredible song anyone who has heard this would never doubt McCartney's genius
  • Shirley from Ocean, NjObviously, too, Adrian has no real taste in music or he would know that pretty much no matter what they sang, was genius. I wonder who he thinks has talent hmmmmmm.
  • Jesse from London, EnglandObviously Adrian has never been to England. This song is the mecca of the music vibe, pure fullfilling, which it once was. To all those in the great state of Washington. "Sing it again."
  • Adrian from Wilmington, DeTyson, just listen to lyrics. This song is crap. Typical sappy McCartney that would only get worse as time went on (i.e.-"Ob La Di Ob La Da," "My Love," etc.).
  • Tyson from Ruidoso, NmA great Mccartney song, that shows the strength he has always had throughout his career with or without the Beatles.
  • Brooke from Sedona, AzWhat a weird experience that was.. watching that movie. Crazy.
  • Adam from Beaver Falls, PaReminds me of 10th grade.. for no real reason
see more comments

Judas PriestSongwriter Interviews

Rob Halford, Richie Faulkner and Glenn Tipton talk twin guitar harmonies and explain how they create songs in Judas Priest.

Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Black Star RidersSongwriter Interviews

Writing with Phil Lynott, Scott saw their ill-fated frontman move to a darker place in his life and lyrics.

Joe JacksonSongwriter Interviews

Joe talks about the challenges of of making a Duke Ellington tribute album, and tells the stories behind some of his hits.

Butch VigSongwriter Interviews

The Garbage drummer/songwriter produced the Nirvana album Nevermind, and Smashing Pumpkins' Gish and Siamese Dream.

Chris Fehn of SlipknotSongwriter Interviews

A drummer for one of the most successful metal bands of the last decade, Chris talks about what it's like writing and performing with Slipknot. Metal-neck is a factor.

Jon Oliva of Trans-Siberian OrchestraSongwriter Interviews

Writing great prog metal isn't easy, especially when it's for 60 musicians.