Paul McCartney’s creative process for his 1971 hit song “Eat at Home” was a combination of both straightforward and obscure sources of inspiration, leading to a remarkable end result.
Paul McCartney’s ‘Eat at Home’ Song Inspired by Wife Linda’s Cooking
One source of inspiration was his wife Linda’s cooking, which led him to write about the pleasures of eating at home. Another source was the view outside his window at High Park Farm in Scotland, where he saw lambs frolicking in the fields while he and Linda enjoyed their meal. When these ideas came together, they created a memorable song.
During a dinner at their High Park Farm in Kintyre, Scotland, Paul McCartney and his wife Linda had a life-changing moment that turned them into vegetarians. They realized the meat they were eating was not appetizing, which prompted Linda to come up with meatless recipes and eventually write her own cookbook. Paul noted in his book “The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present” that there were no simple and easy-to-follow recipe books for meat-free home cooking, and this was one of the inspirations for their hit song “Eat at Home.”
Living in a comfortable domesticity, Paul found inspiration in the simple pleasures of life on the farm, where he and Linda could escape the bustle of London and the pressures of fame. In contrast to John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Bed-In for Peace,” the McCartneys sought a quieter life away from the world’s press. They found joy in drawing, writing, and taking snapshots of their everyday family life.
On the farm, Paul and Linda McCartney found a way to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and find a unique source of inspiration and enjoyment. Their newfound peaceful environment led them to explore their creativity and artistic pursuits, with Paul discovering a deep appreciation for the simplicity of life on the farm. Though their journey wasn’t without its challenges, their time in Kintyre ultimately allowed them to discover new passions and inspire each other in unexpected ways, resulting in some of the most iconic music of their career.
Buddy Holly and a Sheep: The Unlikely Inspiration Behind Paul McCartney’s ‘Eat at Home’
Paul McCartney’s time on the farm provided him with many new experiences, including learning how to shear sheep, a task he never imagined doing as a kid in Liverpool. A photo of Paul shearing a sheep even graced the cover of his album RAM, but his love for sheep didn’t stop there. In fact, a sheep played a key role in inspiring his hit song “Eat at Home.”
According to Paul’s book The Lyrics, the song owes much of its inspiration to his childhood idol Buddy Holly, whose influence on The Beatles’ early songwriting was immense. However, the song’s unique twist of incorporating a sheep’s “baa” into the phrase “eat in be-e-e-e-d” was all Paul’s doing. He was particularly proud of this creative addition, which was a nod to Holly’s tendency to mimic speech hesitations in his music.
Overall, Paul’s time on the farm allowed him to explore new interests and incorporate them into his music, resulting in a fun and memorable song that pays tribute to his childhood hero and his newfound love for sheep.