Recently, while moving about the Internet, I came upon a long list of Beatle tunes. Apparently, I could play anyone of them. So as I moved down the list, I didn’t want to hear any of those early songs from the first couple of albums. I slowed when I reached the Rubber Soul album. It’s one of my favorites, but so was Magical Mystery Tour. For some reason, I paused when I reached Fool on the Hill.
I never knew quite what to make of that McCartney song. I would pick Lennon’s Strawberry Fields Forever over it any day. Are we supposed to feel sorry for the fool? Are we each the fool on the hill at some point? Fortunately, there are no hills in South Florida. But then I don’t need a hill to act foolish.
In the book Yesterday, author Alistair Taylor reports a mysterious incident involving a man who inexplicably appeared near him and McCartney during a walk on Primrose Hill and then disappeared again. Soon after, McCartney and Taylor had conversed about the existence of God, and that, Taylor suggests, prompted Paul to write the song.
Ah, so God is the fool on the hill? Hmm, maybe Paul was writing about Alistair.
In the end, I didn’t click on the song, didn’t play any of them. But then early the next morning, as I was driving to the airport, what comes on the radio but…Fool on the Hill. Of course, synchro, I thought.
But synchronicities should be ‘meaningful’ coincidences. So how was it meaningful? I didn’t know. I’d just spent a week in the North Country visiting my mother–a quiet respite–and was soon subjected once again to the news of the world and politics, and I couldn’t get that song out of my head. When I heard that the U.S. Congress was heading once again toward a disastrous fight over the budget after the election, it occurred to me that Congress is called The Hill. It seems there are many fools on that hill.
However, that didn’t feel right. And the song kept playing in my head. I noticed that I heard it when the presidential race came to mind. So maybe I’d narrowed it two people, the candidates. But which one?
For me, that was a no-brainer. There’s much I could say to argue my choice. But I’ll avoid turning a Beatle song into a political diatribe, and let you make your own pick. But, if for some reason, you can’t figure it out, well, there’s always Bush.