Give Ireland Back To The Irish

By Wings7" Single • Part of the collection “Paul McCartney • Singles

Timeline More from year 1972
UK release date:
Feb 25, 1972
US release date:
Feb 28, 1972
Apple Records

Related sessions

This album has been recorded during the following studio sessions

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Track list

Side 1


Give Ireland Back To The Irish

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

3:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Electric guitar (?), Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Keyboards, Producer
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Henry McCullough :
Electric guitar
Denny Seiwell :
Tony Clark :
Recording engineer
Mark Vigars :
Assistant engineer
Glyn Johns :

Session Recording:
Feb 01, 1972
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Feb 03, 1972
Studio :
Island Studios, London, UK


Give Ireland Back To The Irish (version)

Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney

Studio versionB • Instrumental version


From Wikipedia:

[…] The “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” single was released by Apple Records on 25 February 1972 in the United Kingdom (as Apple R 5936) and 28 February in the United States (as Apple 1847). It was Wings’ debut single release, after the cancellation of their scheduled single from Wild Life, a reggae-style cover of “Love Is Strange“. Further to McCartney’s refusal to include the Apple logo on the LP face labels for Wild Life, five green Irish shamrocks appeared on the single’s customised labels. In the US, the song lyrics were reproduced on the yellow paper sleeve enclosing the disc.

On 7 March, Wings were filmed rehearsing “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” at the McCartneys’ St John’s Wood home in London for a segment on ABC News in the United States. McCartney told the ABC reporter that he did not plan to focus on politics in his work, but that “on this one occasion I think the British government overstepped the mark and showed themselves to be more of a sort of oppressive regime than I ever believed them to be.” A 30-second television advertisement for the single was produced by Apple but never broadcast by the ITA, who cited the stipulation regarding “political controversy” in the Television Act, by which the organisation was legally bound.

“Give Ireland Back to the Irish” peaked at number 16 on the UK Singles Chart, and number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 in the United States. According to author Bruce Spizer, listeners there felt alienated by McCartney’s political stance and “Airplay was so marginal that the song, for all practical purposes, was also banned by American radio.” On the other US singles charts, published by Cash Box and Record World, the single peaked at number 38 and number 36, respectively.

The single reached number 1 in Ireland and in Spain. McCartney attributed the song’s success in Spain to its popularity among Basque separatists. The A-side was included as a bonus track on the 1993 Paul McCartney Collection CD reissue of Wild Life. […]

From Facebook – February 1972, Paul McCartney and his band were on the road for the first time, their first single – ‘Give Ireland Back To The Irish’ – banned by every major broadcaster.
No radio play, no problem – McCartney just took out full-page ads in the national press to spread his message instead.

Last updated on July 27, 2019


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