The Paul McCartney Project

Fixing A Hole

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1967
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Fixing a Hole” is a song written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney) and recorded by the Beatles, featured on their 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Writing

In a 1968 interview, McCartney said that the song was “about the hole in the road where the rain gets in, a good old analogy—the hole in your make-up which lets the rain in and stops your mind from going where it will.” He went on to say that the following lines were about fans who hung around outside his home day and night, and whose actions he found off-putting:

See the people standing there
who disagree, and never win
And wonder why they don’t get in my door

Recording

The first of two recording sessions for the song was at Regent Sound Studio in London on 9 February 1967 in three takes. Regent was used because EMI’s Abbey Road studios were not available that night. This was the first time that the Beatles used a British studio other than Abbey Road for an EMI recording. Overdubs were recorded on 21 Feb 1967 at EMI studios Abbey Road.

The lead vocal was recorded at the same time as the rhythm track, a change from their post-1964 approach of overdubbing the vocal.

Paul has also stated about the recording: “The funny thing about that was the night when we were going to record it, at Regent Sound Studios at Tottenham Court Road, I brought a guy who was Jesus. A guy arrived at my front gate and I said, ‘Yes? Hello’ because I always used to answer it to everyone. If they were boring I would say, ‘Sorry, no,’ and they generally went away. This guy said, ‘I’m Jesus Christ.’ I said, ‘Oop,’ slightly shocked. I said, ‘Well, you’d better come in then.’ I thought, Well, it probably isn’t. But if he is, I’m not going to be the one to turn him away. So I gave him a cup of tea and we just chatted and I asked, ‘Why do you think you are Jesus?’ There were a lot of casualties about then. We used to get a lot of people who were maybe insecure or going through emotional breakdowns or whatever. So I said, ‘I’ve got to go to a session but if you promise to be very quiet and just sit in a corner, you can come.’ So he did, he came to the session and he did sit very quietly and I never saw him after that. I introduced him to the guys. They said, ‘Who’s this?’ I said, ‘He’s Jesus Christ.’ We had a bit of a giggle over that…But that was it. Last we ever saw of Jesus!

Musical structure

The song alternates between the key of Fm (in verse) and F (in bridge) in basically 4/4 time with a structure of Intro -> Verse -> Verse -> Bridge -> Verse -> Verse (Guitar Solo) -> Bridge -> Verse -> Outro (fadeout). On track one George Martin opens on harpsichord briefly playing a descending chromatic line (resembling “Michelle“) in a staccato-like pattern 4/4 time, but Ringo’s hi-hat in the final measure of the introduction introduces a swing beat that stays for the remainder of the song. The first eight-measure verse begins with Paul’s vocals on track three (“I’m fixing a hole where the rain gets in“). The optimistic word “Fixing” here is sung to a piano F major chord (bass now also on track one playing an F note) but on “hole” a C aug chord (which includes a G# note that is a III (3rd) note in the thus predicted Fm scale) (bass now playing a C or V (5th) note in both the F major and F minor scales) pivoting towards the Fm pentatonic minor scale on the more negative mood of “rain gets in“. The Fm key melody in the verse is tinged both by blues flat 7th, and dorian mode raised 6th notes. The harpsichord repeats the descending chromatic line in the F minor key in swing beat.

In the second half of the verse Paul’s bass begins a syncopated three-note pattern that leaves the downbeat empty, meanwhile Paul’s vocal is dropping to F an octave below (on “stops my mind“), climbing back to C (“from wandering“) then sailing free of the song’s established octave to a high falsetto A flat on “where it will go.” George Harrison then comes in on track two in the seventh and eighth measure with a syncopated distorted Stratocaster with gain, treble and bass all turned up high, providing his distinctive counter-melody, double-tracked phrase descending from Paul’s high A flat vocal note through a “series of biting inversions on the tonic chord;” George later adding an eight bar solo that culminates in a two octave descent. McCartney, Lennon and Harrison do backing vocals on track 4 for the bridge (“And it really doesn’t matter if I’m wrong I’m right where I belong I’m right“) in the parallel major key (F). This shift between minor (verse) and major (bridge) is also seen in the songs “Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown)” (verse E, chorus Em); “Michelle” (verse F, chorus Fm); “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” (bridge A, verse Am), “I Me Mine” (chorus A, verse Am), “The Fool on the Hill” (verse D, chorus Dm) and “Penny Lane” (verse [bars 1-3] B, verse [bars 4-8] Bm).

Live performances

Paul McCartney performed the song live for the first time by any Beatle on his 1993 New World Tour. He later reprised the song on his 2005 US Tour. […]

Paul McCartney in "Many Years From Now", by Barry Miles:

It was much later that I ever got round to fixing the roof on the Scottish farm; I never did any of that until I met Linda. People just make it up! They know I’ve got a farm, they know it has a roof, they know I might be given to handyman tendencies so it’s a very small leap for mankind… to make up the rest of the story.

[…] It was the idea of me being on my own now, able to do what I want. If I want I’ll paint the room in a colourful way… I was living now pretty much on my own in Cavendish Avenue, and enjoying my freedom and my new house and the salon-ness of it all. It’s pretty much my song, as I recall. I like the double meaning of ‘If I’m wrong I’m right where I belong’.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 21 Feb 1967. edited.
    UK: Parlophone PMC 7026 Sgt Pepper 1967.
    US: Capitol MAS 2653 Sgt Pepper 1967.
  • [b] stereo 7 Apr 1967.
    UK: Parlophone PCS 7026 Sgt Pepper 1967.
    US: Capitol SMAS 2653 Sgt Pepper 1967.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46442 2 Sgt Pepper 1987.

The mono is two mixes edited together. The mono is a few seconds longer, long fade.

Last updated on November 30, 2016

Lyrics

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go

I'm filling the cracks that ran though the door
And kept my mind from wandering
Where it will go

And it really doesn't matter
If I'm wrong, I'm right
Where I belong I'm right
Where I belong

See the people standing there
Who disagree and never win
And wonder why they don't get in my door

I'm painting a room in a colorful way
And when my mind is wandering
There I will go

And it really doesn't matter
If I'm wrong, I'm right
Where I belong I'm right
Where I belong

Silly people run around
They worry me and never ask me
Why they don't get past my door

I'm taking the time for a number of things
That weren't important yesterday
And I still go

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go
Where it will go

I'm fixing a hole where the rain gets in
And stops my mind from wandering
Where it will go

Officially appears on


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1967

2:37 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Lead and backing vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Maracas
John Lennon:
Backing vocals
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Harpsichord, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Adrian Ibbetson:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 09, 1967
Studio:
Regent Sound Studio, London

Session Recording:
Feb 21, 1967
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 21, 1967
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1967

2:37 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Lead and backing vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Maracas
John Lennon:
Backing vocals
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Harpsichord, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Adrian Ibbetson:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 09, 1967
Studio:
Regent Sound Studio, London

Session Recording:
Feb 21, 1967
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Apr 07, 1967
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (2017)

Official album • Released in 2017

2:38 • Studio version


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (2017)

Official album • Released in 2017

Studio version • Take 1


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (2017)

Official album • Released in 2017

Studio version • Speech and Take 3


Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band (2017)

Official album • Released in 2017

2:38 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Lead and backing vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums, Maracas
John Lennon:
Backing vocals
George Harrison:
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin:
Harpsichord, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Adrian Ibbetson:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 09, 1967
Studio:
Regent Sound Studio, London

Session Recording:
Feb 21, 1967
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 21, 1967
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


Magical Toronto Night

Unofficial live

3:36 • Live

Concert From the concert in Toronto, Canada on Jun 06, 1993


Let Me Roll It To Boulder

Unofficial live

2:45 • Live

Concert From the concert in Boulder, USA on May 26, 1993


Live In Iowa 2005

Unofficial live

2:55 • Live

Concert From the concert in Des Moines, USA on Oct 27, 2005


Lumpy Trousers

Unofficial live

2:45 • Studio version


Take It Off!

Unofficial album

2:39 • Outtake


Live performances

“Fixing A Hole” has been played in 67 concerts and 1 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “Fixing A Hole” has been played


Los Angeles • Staples Center

Nov 30, 2005 • Part of The US Tour


Los Angeles • Staples Center

Nov 29, 2005 • Part of The US Tour




Phoenix • Glendale Arena

Nov 23, 2005 • Part of The US Tour



Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Guy Bearman 4 years ago

hi, if you search for 'Fixing a hole' it appears as unreleased! Is there a reason Mal Evans is not listed as co author? cheers from Guy


admin 4 years ago

Thanks Guy.

For the first comment, it's a bug I have to fix.

Mal Evans as co-author? I honestly didn't know that !!! Need to dig into it. Thanks !