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Music

Paul McCartney says John Lennon inspired "emotional" song 'Dear Friend'

@SamWKemp

Paul McCartney has confessed that he tends to get “very emotional” when he listens to ‘Dear Friend’, a song he wrote about his former Beatles bandmate John Lennon, which was released in 1971 by McCartney’s post-Beatles band Wings.

December 2021 marked 50 years since Wings released their debut album Wild Life. To celebrate the occasion, a 2018 Q&A about the album has been shared on Paul McCartney’s website. In that interview, McCartney spoke about the track ‘Dear Friend’, explaining that he finds it “very emotional when I listen to it now. I have to sort of choke it back”.

As McCartney went on to explain, the track is: “Me talking to John after we’d had all the disputes about The Beatles break up. That lyric: ‘Really truly, young and newly wed’. Listening to that was like, ‘Oh my God, it’s true!’ I’m trying to say to John, ‘Look, you know, it’s all cool. Have a glass of wine. Let’s be cool.’”

“And luckily we did get it back together,” McCartney continued, “Which was like a great source of joy because it would have been terrible if he’d been killed as things were at that point and I’d never got to straighten it out with him.” Paul then went on to say how ‘Dear Friend’ was a way of “reaching out” to John Lennon. “I think it’s very powerful in some very simple way. But it was certainly heartfelt,” he added.

According to McCartney, Wings was an attempt to “relearn what it is to be in the band” following the Beatles infamous split. “We followed what the early Beatles did which was form a band of people who couldn’t play very well, couldn’t write very well, and just do it a lot until it gets good,” he added.

Elsewhere, McCartney had said that Peter Jackson’s recent music documentary, The Beatles: Get Back, completely changed his perception of The Beatles’ split: “I’ll tell you what is really fabulous about it, it shows the four of us having a ball,” McCartney told The Sunday Times. “It was so reaffirming for me. That was one of the important things about The Beatles, we could make each other laugh.” However, McCartney was quick to add that he “definitely bought into the dark side of The Beatles breaking up and thought, ‘God, I’m to blame’. But at the back of my mind there was this idea that it wasn’t like that. I just needed to see proof.”

Stream ‘Dear Friend’ below.