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10 favorite McCartney songs on acoustic guitar

When asked what instrument he would like to have if he is stuck on a desert island, McCartney doesn’t hesitate: The acoustic guitar. It is the instrument he feels most comfortable with and with which he has written most of his songs. In 1965, with Yesterday, the world sees Paul McCartney performing on his own with an acoustic guitar for the first time. It is an image that regularly returns over the next decades. Therefore, ten favorite songs with McCartney on the acoustic:




Blackbird
After Yesterday, Blackbird was McCartney’s second solo performance on a Beatles record. The first four notes of the guitar accompaniment is inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach's Bourrée in E minor, a well-known piece, that Paul and George Harrison as teenagers tried to learn themselves as a ‘show off’ piece. 



Mother Nature’s Son
McCartney played the song live during his 2002 Driving USA Tour, where he had replaced the brass arrangement by accordion. Just Like Blackbird, the dreamy track appears on the White Album. McCartney recorded the song on his own, including percussion and overdubs, which wasn’t appreciated by John Lennon and Ringo Starr and led to tensions within the band.


Junk
Written in 1968 while the Beatles were in India, the song was originally considered for the White album. It got released on McCartney’s solo debut album, together with an instrumental version, Singalong Junk. An early 1968 demo later appeared on The Beatles Anthology 3.



Hey Diddle
Hey Diddle is just a fun, little tune, recorded in New York during the RAM sessions. McCartney never seems to be really satisfied with the song. In 1974 the track received overdubs with a fiddle, but both versions never made it to an album, until the 2001 compilation Wingsspan, Hits & History.

Bluebird
I’ve always been fond of the acoustic part of Wings over America and really dig the live version of Bluebird, especially the fabulous sax solo by Howie Casey. The song is probably written during a vacation in Jamaica in 1971 and released on Band on the Run, two years later.

I’m Carrying
This modest little tune is one of the many hidden gems of the 1978 album London Town. I always thought it was about Linda’s pregnancy, she was expecting son James at the time, but it seems to be a love song about a former girlfriend of Paul’s. 



Here Today
Paul’s moving tribute to John Lennon, written a year after his violent death. The song is written in the form of an imaginary conversation the two might have had. The song was produced by The Beatles' producer George Martin.

Footprints
The hidden gem of the 1986 album Press To Play and written together with 10CC-member Eric Stewart. In this song McCartney knows how to catch the mood of a cold winter day with a snow covered landscape.

Somedays
McCartney wrote this love song in just two hours. When he asked George Martin to give it a listen, the Beatles producer responded; “I see you haven’t lost your touch!”. Martin wrote the score for the orchestra. Someday appeared on the 1997 album Flaming Pie.



Great Day
Great Day originates from the early seventies and was a song Paul and Linda use to sing at home with their young kids. It took until 1992 before McCartney recorded the acoustic number for the first time. It finally appeared as closing track of the 1997 album Flaming Pie.

Related Posts:

Not Much Blues For McCartney
10 Songs McCartney Gave Away
10 Great McCartney Gems From The Seventies


André Homan

André Homan is a Dutch writer and journalist.

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