Song Lyric Sunday — Fool on the Hill

Jim Adams continues filling in for Helen Vahdati’s Song Lyric Sunday prompt. His theme this week is hills and mountains. My song choice for this theme is The Beatles “The Fool on the Hill.”

The song was written and sung by Paul McCartney and recorded in 1967 as a track on The Beatles Magical Mystery Tour album. It wasn’t a hit for The Beatles, but a 1968 cover version by Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 went to number 6 in the U.S.

The story behind this song is a very strange event that occurred once to Paul McCartney and his friend Alistair Taylor when they both walking McCartney’s dog together one morning. They saw a man on a hill behind them, though there had been nobody there only a couple of seconds before, when they passed. That man told them what a great view of London there was from the top of the hill. When the two friends looked back a few seconds later, though, the man was gone, although it was impossible for him to hide anywhere.

McCartney said that the song was about a man who is considered a fool by others, but whose foolish demeanor is actually an indication of wisdom. He said, “I think I was writing about someone like Maharishi. His detractors called him a fool. Because of his giggle he wasn’t taken too seriously. It was this idea of a fool on the hill, a guru in a cave, I was attracted to.”

Here are the song’s lyrics:

Day after day, alone on the hill
The man with the foolish grin is keeping perfectly still
But nobody wants to know him
They can see that he’s just a fool
And he never gives an answer

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

Well on the way, head in a cloud
The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud
But nobody ever hears him
Or the sound he appears to make
And he never seems to notice

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

And nobody seems to like him
They can tell what he wants to do
And he never shows his feelings

But the fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

He never listens to them
He knows that they’re the fools
They don’t like him

The fool on the hill
Sees the sun going down
And the eyes in his head
See the world spinning around

And in case you’re interested, here is the Sergio Mendes & Brasil 66 cover of “The Fool on the Hill.”

15 thoughts on “Song Lyric Sunday — Fool on the Hill

    • Fandango February 17, 2019 / 7:28 am

      For me, too, but it’s the song that popped into my head when I first saw the prompt.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. pvcann February 17, 2019 / 5:50 am

    One of my faves, like most songs from that album/period, interesting melody line.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. newepicauthor February 17, 2019 / 6:55 am

    This was my original choice, before I switched to the Grateful Dead. I am happy that you picked it.


  3. Mary B February 17, 2019 / 11:07 am

    I don’t know that I have ever heard the Sergio Mendes version before. It has a very different feel to it than the Beatles.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. msjadeli February 17, 2019 / 11:17 am

    Had never heard the song origin before. It has always been one of my favorite Beatles tunes. It’s whimsical and mystical at the time.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Marleen February 17, 2019 / 11:30 am

    I kinda miss Brazilian and French style music being on the radio; enjoyed the nostalgia of the cover. Liked the original too; funny story!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. JT Twissel February 17, 2019 / 11:38 am

    I love that song – I think of it when I’m in the garden doing nothing but enjoying a fine day. I’m sure I look like a fool!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. John Holton February 19, 2019 / 11:07 am

    I actually like the Sergio Mendes version of this better, so thanks for including it.

    Liked by 1 person

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