Paul McCartneys fears over Beatles break-up song

Glastonbury: Paul McCartney virtually duets with John Lennon

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The Beatles split up in 1970 after just over ten years of being together. Once each of the Fab Four went their own separate ways, they all began working on solo music. But almost 50 years later, one of Paul McCartney’s songs left fans thinking he had written a brutal track about the end of the band’s journey.

The end of The Beatles was a turbulent time for the Fab Four. Their bitter arguments had exploded to the point where arguments ruled their relationships. Eventually, they all made up and became friends again, but at that time, there was a lot of resentment between the best friends.

So when McCartney wrote his track Confidante, he knew people would get the wrong end of the stick. Confidante was included in McCartney’s 18th solo album, Egypt Station, which hit store shelves on September 17, 2018. He defended that his track was actually written about his longest-kept friend: his guitar.

McCartney knew that, despite this metaphor, however, his listeners would think he was actually making a wisecrack about The Beatles and their disgruntled end.

“The song begins with: ‘You used to be my confidante’,” Macca wrote in his book, The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present. “But by the time you get to the end, it’s: ‘But I fell out of love with you / And brought our romance to an end.'”

He continued: “What I like is that you write a lyric, and it suggests different things to different people. I don’t think I was thinking about ending my relationship with the object of the song – the guitar – but I like using language that can be interpreted in different ways and allows people to attach their own meaning to a lyric.”

Because of this, however, McCartney was acutely aware of what his lyrics could be misconstrued as.

McCartney admitted: “To many listeners this line in the song could naturally echo the end of a relationship. At the time I thought: ‘Oh, people are going to think this is about the breakup of The Beatles. About my guitar standing beside me when my band-mates didn’t.'” (sic)

He added: “And I suppose at the back of my mind that was true, and sort of what I was thinking.”

Going on to explain his metaphor more fully, he added: “At that moment, when you’re alone, the guitar is your confidante. You cradle it. It also looks like a woman. There’s lots of stuff going on there… ‘My underneath the staircase friend.'” He explained that his song’s lyrics added that he was very appreciative of having the guitar as a friend during the hard times.

McCartney said: “I just liked the idea that with this guitar I could tell them how grateful I was for having a confidante who could come with me on far-off journeys. That’s how I feel about a guitar.”

Although The Beatles eventually made up after their split, McCartney was allegedly furious when the news broke. He apparently went “completely out of control” and began shaking his finger at Ringo Starr while shouting: “I’ll finish you all! You’ll pay!”


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