Popular among men and women, young and old, of varying races, beliefs and lifestyles, the “Let It Be” tattoo is a common universal message of inspiration and strength. The phrase holds a good deal of significance to people of all kinds in persevering through life’s ups and downs. Though some may be drawn to the phrase for the simple meaning of leaving problems in the past and moving forward in life, the phrase and its popularity is largely attributed to the Beatles’ song titled of the same phrase, “Let It Be.”
The Beatles are widely considered to be one of the most influential bands of the 20th century, changing rock & roll as the world knew it and creating a significant and lasting impact on pop culture since they burst into the music scene in the early 1960s. For many, The Beatles became an obsession, an inspiration, and/or a connection for people across the globe with their catchy and meaningful songs written about the band members’ personal experiences in love, loss, and drug-induced visions, there was something every single person could relate to.
The impact of The Beatles has continued on for the past five decades, with all continuing generations experiencing their music on TV ads and soundtracks, through former Beatlemania fans turned parents, as significant sources of inspiration to younger bands and others, as the basis of film plots, etc. With catchy and meaningful songs written about the band members’ personal experiences in love, loss, setbacks, and drug-induced visions, there was something every single person could relate to.
In May of 1970, after a decade of dominating the world’s music scene, the band released their twelfth and final album, Let It Be. Though the album was stacked with popular singles, as all of their previous albums were, the standout hit that resonated with fans was the titular track, “Let It Be.” Written by Paul McCartney, the song is in reference to a dream McCartney had about his deceased mother telling him “It will be all right, just let it be” during a tumultuous time for the band while recording the “The Beatles (The White Album)” in 1968, building up ultimately to the announcement of the band’s split just before the U.S. release of the Let It Be album.
With a strong message of calm and perseverance through hard times – to leave the past behind and continue forward in life – many found the phrase as a source of comfort and inspiration in dealing with personal issues of all kinds in their own lives. Popular among men and women alike, the tattoo is generally inscribed on the wrist or forearm, though, in its expansive popularity, is inked on all parts of the body such as the ankle, lower back, and shoulder.
Typically in black ink, though not exclusively, the tattoo is often done in script, from simple, basic script to elaborate calligraphic styles, but, due to its popularity and interest from varying types of people, it can also be seen in all different sorts of typefaces. In addition, the design has such a vast array of arrangements and styles. A significant amount of people choose to just have the phrase tattooed alone as a line of text but many others choose to also pair the phrase with specific, meaningful images and insignia. A popular style that makes clear the reference to the popular Beatles song is to show the lyrics as seen in musical notation, or the written music bar style – as if, and most likely, taken straight out of a Beatles music book – written on top of the lines of the bars themselves, without any note marks, or simply accompanied by free floating music notes.
It also tends to be paired with images that specify more clearly what the phrase means to everyone. Birds tend to be the most common symbols to convey peace and harmony that the phrase brings. It has been paired with a dove, sometimes between a dove and hands opened upward with the very clear and blatant message of peace, which could potentially also reference the time period in which the song was popular and the hippy movement’s influence held a strong message of peace and love. It can also be seen with varying birds, of which are very commonly flying to signify freedom and independence, in addition to peace. In the same vein, feathers, dandelions with its seeds blowing in the wind, waves, flowing lines of movement, butterflies, phoenixes, or balloons, all conveying lifting or forward motion and weightless freedom.
The phrase can also be seen accompanied with other lyrics from the Beatles’ song, such as “And when the night is cloudy, there is still a light that shines on me. Shine until tomorrow. Let it be.” which is often paired with the clouds and stars of a night sky, “There will be an answer. Let it be.”, or “Whisper words of wisdom, let it be.”, all of which are often paired with the common written bar music style.
To some, it holds more of a religious meaning and has been paired with a cross, sometimes paired with a peace dove.
Some of the most vibrant and interesting displays that have been done have the phrase intricately displayed in or woven into the details of a larger image, again commonly on a large, colorful bird image.
No matter how you choose to display the phrase, this tattoo has an infinite amount of meanings to different people, interpretations, and possibilities to be creatively and meaningfully expressed in every individual’s personal significance. Though the meaning of the phrase varies from person to person, it is often drawn from darker areas of life such as death, depression, the tattoo ultimately has a positive and powerful message of overcoming obstacles, beating challenges, displays of hope and happiness and serve as reminders to not let hard times and issues defeat you and drag you down. Such a symbol of positivity and strength signifies the strength each and every individual proudly possesses.
Take a look at the pictures below to get an idea on your let it be tattoo. If you’re still having trouble deciding on an artist or shop, please reach out. We would love to help you meet an artist that you’ll love.