Throughout this season of Drama After Dark, WGBH's live drama aftershow on Sunday nights, I have the honor of being the resident 1960s correspondent, reporting on all of the fun cultural moments from the iconic era during which Call The Midwife is set. The second episode of Call The Midwifefeatures an expectant mother telling Dr. Turner that she thinks he has eyes just like Paul McCartney — so, naturally, I started digging into some pop culture history about The Beatles. It was a sweet and lighthearted moment, but I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a deeper reason Sir Paul got the shoutout.
Well, I might have an answer. I stumbled upon a heartwarming nugget of information during my research: Paul McCartney himself is a fan of Call The Midwife, and for a very sweet reason: his mother Mary was a cycling midwife during his childhood in Liverpool.
“She was very hardworking, my mum,” McCartney has said in an interview about his mother, who was the breadwinner of the family. “She wanted the best for us... At night when mum came home she would cook so we didn’t have a lot of time with each other but she was just a very comforting presence in my life.”
Like the midwives on the show, McCarthy’s mom traveled by bicycle and was on call day and night. Some of his earliest memories of his mother are of her leaving on her bike to attend to a patient when the streets were “thick with snow.”
Sadly, Mary died when McCartney was just 14, and inspired one of The Beatles’ most iconic songs, “Let It Be,” and these memorable lyrics: “When I find myself in times of trouble / Mother Mary comes to me / Speaking words of wisdom, let it be.”
Now we know why McCartney loves the show as much as we do. So the next time you’re smiling, laughing, and crying along with Call The Midwife, know that Sir Paul McCartney is right there with you.