The Strange Case Of...
Paul McCartney's Dream Song
By Richard Luck, 1 Feburary 2012
It happened on Wimpole Street, an attractive little avenue just north of Oxford Street. That's where Paul McCartney had the strangest of dreams at the very height of his Beatles fame. As rock writer Roy Coleman explained in his book McCartney: Yesterday & Today, the bass player and songwriter woke up with a tune running through his head that felt incredibly familiar. After rushing to the piano to ensure that he didn't forget it, McCartney asked his then girlfriend Jane Asher whether it rang a bell with her, which it didn't.
Shaken by the tune's familiarity, he then asked his closest collaborators whether it was a piece they knew. 'No' came the reply from John, Ringo and Georges Harrison and Martin. When further investigations failed to prove whether the melody was original or a half-remembered traditional air, Paul decided to dedicate time to developing the number which he'd given the working title of Scrambled Eggs (opening lines; 'Scrambled eggs/Oh my baby, how I love your legs...').
The process of transforming this little ditty into one of the most played songs in human history continued on the set of the Beatles' second movie Help. There, McCartney would spend hours tinkering with the tune on the piano that had been brought in for a particular scene, a practice that greatly annoyed director Richard Lester. Further amendments were made while the group worked on tracks for the LPs A Hard Day's Night and Beatles For Sale.
It wasn't until a holiday in Portugal in the May of 1965 that the song would be finished. Recorded at Abbey Road in the June of that year, the number formed part of a four-song EP that topped the UK charts in the spring 1966 and also reached number one in America. It would subsequently be covered by some 1600 artists including Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley, Liberace, Marvin Gaye, Boyz II Men and Marianne Faithfull.
The song is, of course, Yesterday.
Continues at top of right column...
Paul McCartney - what'll he dream up next?
Dreaming epic songs into existence wasn't McCartney's only brush with the bizarre, mind. While dating Heather Mills, 'Macca' became convinced that an owl was the returning spirit of his late wife Linda, the call of 'twit, woo-her' being proof that she approved of his new relationship. Which should hopefully dissuade anyone - other than Harry Potter - from putting their faith in owls.