Song of the Day #1,988: ‘Early Days’ – Paul McCartney

mccartney_newBest Songs of 2013 – #6

On most of Paul McCartney’s latest album, New, he sounds more like a Beatle than a 71-year-old. Today’s track is the one powerful exception.

‘Early Days’ is about just that — the time when McCarney and John Lennon first met and embarked on their extraordinary careers together.

He sings, “Dressed in black from head to toe, two guitars across our backs, we would walk the city roads seeking someone who would listen to the music that we were writing down at home.” Little did they know the entire world would listen soon enough.

McCartney laid down this vocal track for a demo, but given the song’s subject matter and nostalgic tone, he and his producer decided to keep those shaky vocals in place, adding to the poignancy.

[Refrain]
They can’t take it from me, if they tried
I lived through those early days
So many times I had to change the pain to laughter
Just to keep from getting crazed

[Verse 1]
Dressed in black from head to toe
Two guitars across our backs, we would walk the city roads
Seeking someone who would listen to the music
That we were writing down at home

[Refrain]

[Verse 2]
Hair slicked back with vaseline
Like the pictures on the wall of the local record shop
Hearing noises we were destined to remember
We willed the thrill to never stop

[Bridge]
May sweet memories of friends from the past
Always come to you, when you look for them
And your inspiration, long may it last
May it come to you, time and time again

[Verse 3]
Now everybody seems to have their own opinion
Who did this and who did that
But as for me I don’t see how they can remember
When they weren’t where it was at

[Refrain]

[Outro]
I lived through those early days
I lived through those early days

4 thoughts on “Song of the Day #1,988: ‘Early Days’ – Paul McCartney

  1. Dana says:

    Well, on the morning in which we are heading to the land of the Beatles, this song seems particularly appropriate if not prescient.

    With some notable exceptions, I’ve never thought much of Paul’s lyrics. They rarely reflected the depth found in John’s words. Still, today’s song is so unabashedly literal, nostalgic and earnest, that it works fairly well.

  2. Andrea Katz says:

    I agree…it is pretty effective and moving. Bon voyage sweet little brother! Have a tea for me.

  3. pegclifton says:

    Lovely song; hope you all enjoy the “land of the Beatles”

  4. Amy says:

    Wow, this song is just wonderful. As we watched “Let it Be” yesterday, I started crying during “Blackbird,” as I watched the three artists – representing John, Paul, and George – sitting on the stage playing their guitars. The thought that John and George were no longer alive, and that Paul shoulders all those memories (along with Ringo, of course 😉 made me so sad. This song – and these lyrics – perfectly capture what I was feeling. Thank you for sharing such a special song; I can understand why it’s a favorite.

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