What does The Fool on the Hill mean?

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Beatles: The Fool on the Hill Meaning

Tagged: Irony [suggest]

Song Released: 1967

The Fool on the Hill Lyrics

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


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    Feb 13th, 2014 2:03am report

    Read Ch. 20 of the Dao de Jing. The song is a musical version of this chapter, expressing the wisdom of the rustic who abjures civilization for a simple life.


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    Feb 9th, 2014 2:44pm report

    This song is a statement about nonconformity, prejudice, and true intelligence. The "fool" on the hill is wise, and unfairly judged by shallow minded conformists who are so indulged in hating, that they're unaware of the rhythms of observable life and truth all around them. The judgers hate the man on the hill because they don't understand him. They're confused due to their ignorance. The so called "fool" knows what they're doing, and chooses not to reply or correct their ignorant tendency to hate what they don't understand. Why should he argue with actual fools, when instead he can spend his time observing natural beauty.


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    May 14th, 2013 5:56pm report

    Paul McCartney wrote this. It's about a man who is considered a fool by others, but whose foolish demeanor is actually an indication of wisdom. An event which prompted this song happened when Paul was walking his dog Martha, on Primrose Hill one morning. As he watched the sun rise, he noticed that Martha was missing. Paul turned around to look for his dog, and there a man stood, who appeared on the hill without making a sound. The gentleman was dressed respectably, in a belted raincoat. Paul knew this man had not been there seconds earlier as he had looked in that direction for Martha. Paul and the stranger exchanged a greeting, and this man then spoke of what a beautiful view it was from the top of this hill that overlooked London. Within a few seconds, Paul looked around again, and the man was gone. He had vanished as he had appeared. A friend of McCartney's, Alistair Taylor, was present with Paul during this strange incident, and wrote of this event in his book, Yesterday.
    Both Paul and Alistair could not imagine what happened to this man. He had seemed to vanish in thin air. The nearest trees for cover were too far to reach by walking or running in a few seconds, and the crest of the hill was too far as well to reach in that short time. What made the experience even more mysterious, was that just before this man first appeared, Paul and Alistair were speaking to each other of the beauty they observed of the view towards London and the existence of God. Once back home, they spent the morning discussing what had happened, trying to make some sense of it. They both agreed that this was something others were infer occurred as a result of an "acid trip," but they both swore they had not taken or used any drugs. When Paul filmed the sequence for this song in the film, it shows him on a hilltop overlooking the town of Nice.


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    Apr 12th, 2013 4:27pm report

    What a load of utter rubbish given about the meaning of this song!

    The fool in the song refers to the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi an infinitely wise man, who people don't like because they don't understand him.

    He on the other hand sees the world for what it is - run by fools causing its destruction, by their own stupidity. Listen to the penultimate song verse for confirmation of this:

    And he never listens to them,
    He knows that they're the fools
    They don't like him.

    That's the songs irony.


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    Apr 7th, 2013 4:21am report

    Everyone is at one time or another. Anytime you do not have the best interest of everyone else in mind you are the "fool on the hill".


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    Dec 23rd, 2012 12:50am report

    He is Buckminster Fuller, famous philosopher at the time the song was written. I thought everyone knew that!


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    Aug 19th, 2012 8:52am report

    I think it has to be taken in the context of the times. The Vietnam War was becoming very unpopular. Drugs, sex and Rock 'n Rolls were the weapons of the opposition and the message was turn on, tune in and drop out. That was the fool on the hill letting life pass him by. Someone that probably just became a hippie and became unfit to serve in anything, in any compacity. See, that's the point. Agree or disagree, never miss a day of the gift of life.

    It could also be LBJ or the Speaker of the House being criticized for not stopping LBJ from escalating the war.


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    Apr 22nd, 2012 4:24pm report

    I think of Capitol Hill and Ron Paul. He is truly "alone" on the Hill. Nobody wants to hear him, esp. the media, because he tells the truth and that compromises the whole corrupt system. He sees the sun going down on our freedoms. The eyes in his head see the world spinning round and America's responsibility in this global melt down. Nobody seems to like him because they know what he will do, he'd end the Fed and bring our troops home to protect us at home. That doesn't seem to matter he just keeps whistling the same 'ol tune.He knows that they're the fools.


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    Apr 15th, 2012 4:46am report

    Thanks, all, for the encouragement!@Sol: I'm just using the sitatstics provided by a WordPress plugin, I haven't taken the time to register with Google Analytics or whatnot. Maybe I will at some point or maybe not meh. =)@Annie: No, I don't think it does count that!


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    Oct 13th, 2011 10:56pm report

    Everyone is afraid of a man that is quiet and keeps to himself. Perhaps that is why every time someone commits a terrible crime the people around him say; "He was very quiet and kept to himself."

    My 2 cents worth.


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    Sep 14th, 2011 9:49am report

    My interpretation..by reading this at my point in life I am a working class hero =] but yet without a job. Just graduated college. I relate to the lyrics perfectly. I think it means well..the fool on the hill he secludes himself. Maybe he is content with his normal way of life. Perhaps he cant afford to put a bunch of color into his world. He sees each day go by..each week..each month. He watchesas the sun goes down. He doesn't do much in true reality but inside he is a dreamer. He watches the world spin round and round means he has a world inside of himself.

    Hes a dreamer. His dreams are better than the world he sees go to sleep everynight.


    Keith Brummer
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    Aug 29th, 2011 8:00am report

    I think there are times in are lives that we need to get away by our self, and I mean away from everyone like on a hill top so you can look in all directions and see that no one is near (this really means something we do not find ourselves all alone like this often) and just sit and think. Let your mind relax. I would consider this to be very healthy and not at all foolish. I have heard a couple of saying that somewhat work well with this idea, here they are:
    Better to sit quietly and be thought of as a fool then to open your mouth and prove it.
    God gave us one mouth and two ears try to use them in the correct proportions.

    Have a great day and try not to be foolish or not.


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    Aug 21st, 2011 8:01am report

    I first heard this song, the radio announcer said the song was about adolf hitler. It struct me as weird that he would say that. Imust say, since then, I haven't heard any other meaning of the song to counter what the anouncer said.


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    Jun 18th, 2011 6:26am report

    No one likes people that seem like fools even though the fools may know more because they aren't going around trying to prove everything.


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    May 25th, 2011 5:46pm report

    Its pretty simple really, sometimes, someone who is considered a fool, sees reality more clearly then the wise man. A wise man may know many facts and truly know them, but he may also be wrong on a particular point, which a man who might not know very much knows the facts.
    Even if a very intelligent man makes a statement and a man considered not to know a lot contradicts him, don't assume the wise man is right, the fool might know only one truth and the wise man might only be wrong once, but you have to reason it out for yourself, to see who is correct, Don't judge a book by its cover. Fool are not always wrong, listen to all men

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