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Sir Paul McCartney says photo of woman breastfeeding inspired him to write song

Sir Paul McCartney has spoken of his inspiration for the Beatles song Lady Madonna: a photograph of a woman breastfeeding her child in National Geographic.

McCartney said he was inspired to write the song, which reached the top of the charts in 1968, after seeing then image in the magazine in the 1960s.

National Geographics January 1965 issue included a photograph entitled Mountain Madonna, of a woman whose way of life was threatened, with one child at her breast and another laughing up at her.

She looked very proud and she had a baby … And I saw that as a kind of Madonna thing, mother and child, McCartney said.

Sometimes you see pictures of mothers and you go: shes a good mother. You could just tell theres a bond and it just affected me, that photo. So I was inspired to write Lady Madonna, my song, from that photo.

Sir Paul McCartney performs in in Tinley Park, Illinois, as part of his latest tour. Photograph: Kamil Krzaczynski/AFP/Getty Images

The musician also spoke of not getting tired after a long live performance, even at 75.

I think I feel very healthy and I do shows three hours long and I dont feel knackered at the end of it. I still feel strong, he said.

The singer, a vegetarian for decades, was speaking to National Geographics editor in chief, Susan Goldberg, about his Meat Free Monday campaign and new documentary short.

The film features daughters Mary and Stella McCartney, as well as actors Emma Stone and Woody Harrelson.

McCartney, discussing the effect of livestock agriculture on climate change, said: Were on this incredible planet and there doesnt appear to be another one within sight.

One Day A Week is released on Friday on YouTube.

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