The legendary Sir Paul McCartney is coming to Arlington on June 14 to play a once-in-a-lifetime concert at Globe Life Park. In honor of the occasion, I decided to take a stroll down memory lane and examine the “why” behind my list of favorite McCartney tunes:
Hey Jude: “And anytime you feel the pain/Hey Jude, refrain/Don't carry the world upon your shoulders…”
Have you ever noticed that songs with “Na na na na” in the chorus are always awesome? If I’m feeling sad, this classic Beatles anthem makes me feel better; if I’m happy, “Hey Jude” makes me crank up the volume and sing along. Years ago, my longtime friend Jennifer mentioned that she always thought of me when she heard “Hey Jude”. When I asked her why, she said “I don’t know, I guess I just always remember you singing along whenever you hear it.” I’ll take it…
Let It Be: “And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree/There will be an answer, let it be…”
“Let it be” is a life philosophy I (often unsuccessfully) try to live by, which is one of the reasons I’ve loved this beautiful song for as long as I can remember. But when I sat down to hammer out this article, I realized that I didn’t know (or had forgotten) the story of the song’s origins. So I did a bit of research and found out that McCartney was inspired to write “Let It Be” following a dream he had during a troubled period in 1968, in which his mother (who had died when McCartney was a teen) appeared to him and reassured him that everything would be okay. Hence the song’s reference to “Mother Mary”, although many Beatles fans interpret the reference as an allusion to the Virgin Mary. (Watch this clip of The Late Show’s “Carpool Karaoke” with McCartney, where he talks more about the story behind the famous song.)
Yesterday: “Yesterday/Love was such an easy game to play/Now I need a place to hide away/Oh, I believe in yesterday…”
You might think I’m about to regale you with a sad tale of romance dashed upon the rocks—but actually, I like this song because it reminds me of one of my childhood best friends, Kristy. As kids growing up in the ‘80s, she had one of those super-cool digital watches you could set to play electronic versions of popular songs, either as an alarm tone or on command. (For those who grew up in the ‘90s: these watches sounded kind of like the earliest versions of customized cell phone rings.) In elementary school Kristy had her watch set to play “Yesterday”, and one Sunday morning she leaned over in church and accidentally made it go off during a quiet moment, which we thought was hilarious.
Just about anything from Wings:
My name is Rhonda and I’m a Wings fan—and no, I’m not talking about Arlington’s WNBA franchise (although they are very cool, too). Some Beatles purists like to hate on the band Wings, McCartney’s ‘70s project, but I’m not one of them. I dig so many tunes from the Wings discography, including “Live and Let Die”, “My Love”, “Band on the Run”—and yes, even like “Silly Little Love Songs”. I mean dang it, it’s just so schmaltzy and campy fun. In fact, I love the whole ‘70s “yacht rock” genre, and if you don’t know what I’m referring to, here’s a great way to get started on some classic smooth rock greatness.
My Brave Face: “I've been living in style/Unaccustomed as I am/To the luxury life/I've been hitting the town/And it didn't hit back…”
Although Sir Paul is heavily associated with the ‘60s and ‘70s, he actually had a Top 40 success in 1989 with “My Brave Face”, the last Top 40 hit to have a former Beatle credited as one of the leads. The song’s a favorite because it’s in that personal category we all possess of songs we just liked from the get go, no particular reason. But I think I also love “My Brave Face” because it charted during one of the all-time great summers I had as a teen, and I have a distinct recollection of sitting with my boyfriend in the bar at TGI Friday’s, listening to it over dinner one night. Ah, memories…