Mull of Kintyre (song)


Mull of Kintyre (song)
"Mull of Kintyre"
Single by Wings
B-side "Girls' School"
Released 11 November 1977
Format 7"
Recorded August 1977
Genre Scottish, waltz, rock, folk[1]
Length 4:45
Label Capitol
Writer(s) Paul McCartney, Denny Laine
Producer Paul McCartney
Wings singles chronology
"Maybe I'm Amazed"
(1977)
"Mull of Kintyre"
(1977)
"With a Little Luck"
(1978)

"Mull of Kintyre" is a song written by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine and performed by Wings. The song was written in tribute to the picturesque Kintyre peninsula in Scotland, where McCartney has owned High Park Farm since 1966, and its headland or Mull of Kintyre.

The song was Wings' biggest hit in the United Kingdom where it became Christmas number one, and was the first single to sell over two million copies in the UK.[2][3][4]

Contents

History

The lyrics of the first verse, also used as the repeating chorus, are an ode to the area's natural beauty and sense of home:

Mull of Kintyre
Oh mist rolling in from the sea,
My desire
Is always to be here
Oh Mull of Kintyre

McCartney explained how the song came into being:

I certainly loved Scotland enough, so I came up with a song about where we were living; an area called Mull of Kintyre. It was a love song really, about how I enjoyed being there and imagining I was travelling away and wanting to get back there.[5]

"Mull of Kintyre" was recorded in August 1977 in London, during a break in recording the London Town album caused by Linda McCartney's advanced pregnancy, which led to the departure of Jimmy McCulloch and Joe English from Wings. Bagpipes from Kintyre's local Campbeltown Pipe Band were included as a prominent part of the recording. "Mull of Kintyre" and "Girls' School" (a rocker that had been previously recorded for London Town) were released as a double A-sided single on 11 November 1977, independently of the album. It was also included on the Wings compilation Wings Greatest in 1978, and the UK/Canada version of McCartney's 1987 compilation album, All the Best!.

Success

The song's broad appeal was maximised by its pre-Christmas release and it became a Christmas number one single in the UK, spending 9 weeks at the top of the charts. It also became a massive international hit, dominating the charts in Australia and many other countries over the holiday period. It went on to become the first single to sell over two million copies in the UK and becoming the UK's best-selling single of all-time (eclipsing The Beatles' own "She Loves You") until overtaken by Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" in 1984 (which also featured McCartney on the B-Side). The song remains the UK's best-selling completely non-charity single. (Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" has sold more in its two releases, but the profits of the 1991 release went to charity.)[3]

The millionth copy of the disk sold in the UK included a special certificate. It was sold to David Ackroyd, who was presented with a gold disk of the single by Laine.[6]

However, one place where the song was not a hit was the United States, where the flipside "Girls' School" received more airplay and reached #33 on the Billboard Hot 100 while "Mull of Kintyre" only managed to reach #45 on the Easy Listening chart. As a consequence, McCartney has not played "Mull of Kintyre" during his subsequent concert tours of America, only adding it back on forays into Canada with performances on 11 July 2009 at a concert in Halifax, Nova Scotia, accompanied by the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) Pipe Band. He played the song during the second encore at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, on the 8 and 9 August 2010 with the Paris Port Dover Pipe Band.[7] He also played the song during the third encore of his show the O2 Arena in London on 22 December 2009, accompanied by the 18-piece Balmoral Highlanders Pipe Band.

In popular culture

The song was adopted soon after release by fans of several popular football clubs in the United Kingdom and is still played before and sung during games, most notably since the 1970s by fans of Nottingham Forest F.C.; the song's lyrics were adapted for the now firmly established crowd favourite 'City Ground'. The adapted lyrics read:

"City Ground, Oh mist rolling in from the Trent, my desire, is always to be here, oh City Ground"

Laine sang the song at the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986.

The song was also parodied as "Mull of Timperley" by comedian Frank Sidebottom.

The song was released for download for the Xbox 360 karaoke game Lips on 19 November 2010 and includes the music video.

Cover versions

Glen Campbell covered the song on his 1982 album Old Home Town. In concert Campbell would play the bagpipes himself.

Ashley MacIsaac covered the song on his self-titled 2003 album with vocals from Dallas Smith of the band Default.

Celtic Thunder covered the song on their Act Two album.

The tune was used in 1992 for the song "Valley Floyd Road" which was written for Charlton Athletic F.C. in celebration of their return to their home ground The Valley.[citation needed]

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards band covered the song on their Spirit of the Glen album.

Personnel

Chart positions

Chart (1977/1978) Peak
position
UK Singles Chart[8] 1
Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart 1
Austrian Singles Chart[9] 1
Dutch Singles Chart 1
German Media Control Singles Chart 1
Norwegian VG-lista Singles Chart[9] 2
Swedish Singles Chart[9] 14
Swiss Singles Chart[9] 1
Japanese Oricon Singles Chart[10] 69

See also

Notes

External links


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