“Fixing a Hole” by The Beatles
There is one aspect of researching classic songs via legendary artists, such as “Fixing a Hole” by the Beatles, that needs to be acknowledged from the onset. And that is as the years progress and the writer is interviewed time and time again concerning the meaning of its lyrics, his explanation of them tends to change. This is very-common occurrence with both male and female songwriters alike. And with that being the case in this particular instance, then outside of an analysis of the lyrics, truly understanding “Fixing a Hole” also becomes an exercise in trying to find the common theme(s) amongst Paul McCartney’s various expositions of the song.
What really is “Fixing a Hole” all about?
With all of that in mind, the simplest way to describe this track is as it being an espousement of self-realization. So basically, “fixing a hole” is a metaphor for the singer rectifying a certain issue in his life. Said issue isn’t necessarily interpersonal in nature but rather more along the lines of him – in some way – not practicing the type of lifestyle which he idealizes. We could also look at the sentiment being expressed as one in which the singer has decided to cast off his usual inhibitions and free himself.
Now the likely reason that the lyrics are so “colorful” and some of McCartney’s own explanations of them incomprehensible is because, as he once asserted, “Fixing a Hole” is actually an “ode to pot”. Or stated otherwise, Mr. McCartney was super stoned throughout the era in which he wrote this song and at the time was a known advocate of grass smoking. That’s another way of saying that to some degree the lyrics probably aren’t going to make sense. But this is Macca we’re talking about, one of the greatest songwriters in the history of the industry.
So even though the “ode to pot” aspect isn’t abundantly evident in the lyrics, the general idea of a person expressing themselves, even when doing so may not be accepted by others, is. That is to say that this song came out back in the 1960s. And such was an era in which, unlike more-modern times, rolling up a joint was still perceived as a genuinely-countercultural activity.
Thus at the end of the day, let it be once again noted that the “hole” the singer is fixing is actually some aspect of his life which he does not approve of. Said aspect would be akin to some type of self-imposed restriction, as in being apprehensive towards achieving true happiness by being himself. And based on Macca’s own explanations of the song, in his case ‘fixing his hole’ would be achieved by being able to freely smoke grass.
Writing Credits for “Fixing a Hole”
This song was written by McCartney. And another entity called Lennon-McCartney (a portmanteau of he and bandmate John Lennon) is also credited.
“Fixing a Hole” was produced by the iconic producer and composer George Martin.
There’s a couple of interesting stories concerning the recording of this song. First off it marked the first time the Beatles did so in a facility that wasn’t owned by their label, EMI (i.e. Abbey Road Studios). Instead it was conducted at London’s famous Regent Sound Studios. Moreover, there was some random dude present who showed up at Macca’s home shortly before he set off to the studio. He introduced himself to McCartney as “Jesus Christ”, and interestingly enough McCartney actually let him attend the session.
This classic came out, via Parlophone Records, on May 26, 1967. It was one of the tracks on the Beatles’ famed album entitled “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.
McCartney talks about “Fixing a Hole”
As stated earlier, McCartney has given a number of explanations of “Fixing a Hole”. One of the most-interesting (and confusing) is when in 1968 he described it as follows:
However the most-succinct interpretation he has given, as aforementioned, is as this track being an “ode to pot”.
Popular theory about the song’s real meaning
Also there have been a number of fans theories concerning the meaning of “Fixing a Hole”. The most-pervasive is that Macca wrote it about the experience of repairing a hole in the roof of his farmhouse. However, he totally shot down that explanation, rather describing it as a theory that “people just make… up”.