The Meaning of Paul McCartney and Wings’ “Silly Love Songs”

Post-Beatles, McCartney’s solo and Wings catalog began to fill with more affectionate hits like “Maybe I’m Amazed” and Circuit of the Red Rose single “My love”. Eventually, Macca began to receive criticism for its more sordid writing. “Over the years people have said, ‘Aw, he sings love songs,'” Paul McCartney said. “’He writes love songs. He’s so ugly at times… Well, I know what they mean, but people have been making love songs forever. I love them. Other people like them, and there are a lot of people I like. I’m lucky to have that in my life. So the idea was that ‘you’ can call them idiots, but what’s wrong with that? »

As a rebuttal to all love song “haters” – even John Lennon – McCartney wrote “Silly Love Songs” and released it as the lead single from Wings’ fifth album. Wings at the speed of sound.

You’d think people would get tired of silly love songs
But I look around me
And I see that’s not the case
Some people want to fill the world
With silly love songs
And what’s wrong with that?
I would like to know
‘Cause I’m still going

In defense of “love songs”

Lennon was very outspoken about McCartney’s music, and when he fired Paul for writing mostly “silly love songs”, McCartney responded by writing more.

“The thing is, deep down, people are very sentimental,” McCartney added. “If they watch a sentimental movie at home, they cry, but in public they won’t. We don’t like to show our emotions; we tend to make fun of it. And similarly, people may not admit that they like love songs, but that’s what they crave.

Photo: Linda McCartney

“God Only Knows” by The Beach Boys

“God Only Knows,” the Beach Boys hit written by Brian Wilson in 1966, is McCartney’s favorite song, and “Silly Love Songs” makes subtle sonic references to it, with the multi-vocal parts and a section of brass.

For Linda

Like many of McCartney’s more love-filled tracks, “Silly Love Songs” had a deeper meaning and the lyrics ultimately reveal a love song from Paul to his wife Linda, which also appears in the video.

“I look at love not from a ‘boring old love’ perspective,” McCartney said, explaining the meaning behind his love songs. “I see it like when you get married and have a baby. It’s pretty strong: it’s something deeper. For me, it’s what always makes me write the next love song – that I love it. I don’t mind being sentimental, I love old movies. I’ve never been too ashamed of it all.

Ah, I can’t explain
The feeling is clear to me
Can’t you see?
Ah, she gave me more
She gave me everything
Can’t you see?
What’s wrong with that?
I need to know
‘Cause I’m still going

Singer-songwriter

“Silly Love Songs” marked McCartney’s 27th number one hit as a songwriter, a record for the most No. 1 hits by a songwriter. The song peaked at No. 1 on the Hot 100, where it remained for five weeks, and also made McCartney the first artist with year-end No. 1 hits with two separate acts – the Beatles and the Wings. .

Latest “Silly Love Songs”

Wings recorded “Silly Love Songs” live for their triple live album, Wings over Americaand in 1984 Paul McCartney re-recorded “Silly Love Songs” for the soundtrack to the British drama directed by Peter Webb Send my regards to Broad Street, also featuring the McCartneys and Ringo Starr. Despite the song’s popularity, McCartney has never performed it live since Wings ended in 1981.

Love doesn’t come in a minute
Sometimes it doesn’t come at all
I only know that when I’m inside
It’s not silly, no, it’s not silly
Love is not stupid at all

Not so “soppy” now

“The song was, in a way, to respond to people accusing me of being soft,” McCartney said. “The nice reward now is that a lot of people I meet who are at the age where they’ve just had two kids and grown a little bit, have settled down, they’ll say to me, ‘I thought you were really cutesy for years, but I get it now. I see what you were doing.'”

Photo: Barry Lategan/Nasty Little Man PR


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Grace D. Erickson