"Helter Skelter" is a song written by Paul McCartney, credited to Lennon/McCartney, and recorded by The Beatles on their eponymous LP The Beatles, better known as The White Album. A product of McCartney's deliberate effort to create a sound as loud and dirty as possible, the clangorous piece has been noted for both its "proto-metal roar" and "unique textures." The song was ranked #52 on the Rolling Stone Magazine's "The Beatles 100 Greatest songs" list.
McCartney was inspired to write the song after reading a 1967 Guitar Player magazine interview with The Who's Pete Townshend where he described their latest single, "I Can See for Miles," as the loudest, rawest, dirtiest song the Who had ever recorded. McCartney then "wrote 'Helter Skelter' to be the most raucous vocal, the loudest drums, et cetera" and said he was "using the symbol of a helter skelter as a ride from the top to the bottom—the rise and fall of the Roman Empire—and this was the fall, the demise." In British English, the term helter-skelter not only has its meaning of "in disorderly haste or confusion" but is the name of a spiralling amusement park slide. McCartney has used this song as a response to critics who accuse...