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It might sound like a strange name for a flu, but it’s actually a pretty remarkable sensory occurrence that as few as 1 in 2,000 people experience. Synaesthesia is when someone experiences things through their senses in an unusual way – for example, by experiencing a sound as a colour, or smell as a shape.
Believe it or not, many musicians have said to experienced synaesthesia from Stevie Wonder to Lorde, Kanye West and Billy Joel – to name a few! Synaesthesia stimuli could be anything as varied as a word, a number, or music. So, with a creative mind like Paul’s, we’ve wondered if he’s ever experienced the sensation with his music.
PaulMcCartney.com: Have you ever experienced synaesthesia with any of your songs?
Paul: I don’t think so with music… In fact, I’ve never thought about that before. Ever since I was a kid though, I’ve seen the days of the week as different colours. I don’t know if that’s the same thing, as it’s just a little mind game I play?
I think when I was a kid, the days of the week corresponded to things that happened in my life. Monday was going back to school after the weekend, so that was black! Friday was the weekend arriving so that was red and getting jollier… Saturday was orange. Tuesday was the day my Auntie Jin and Auntie Milly used to come around and help in the house. After my mum died, there was just three boys in a house, and we were pretty hopeless at keeping it clean. So, it was very joyful to have the Aunties come over, and so in my mind that’s why Tuesday’s yellow. I don’t think it happens with songs so much, I’m usually thinking different stuff.
PaulMcCartney.com: I’ve never fully experienced it myself, but I do see ‘Yesterday’ as sort of a yellow song.
Paul: I wonder if that links back to an experience in your life? Like when you first heard it – maybe it makes you feel sunny or it was sunny then? It’s an interesting phenomenon. I mean, we love songs and we love colours.
PaulMcCartney.com: Have you ever been inspired by a colour to write a song?
Paul: No, but we all know Chris Martin was with Coldplay’s ‘Yellow’. But, I don’t think I have ever had that in mind, although colours have turned up in some of my songs, like ‘Yellow Submarine’!
PaulMcCartney.com: We’ve received quite a few questions from fans wanting to hear what you thought of The Beatles: Get Back, but particularly liked this one (from someone who is also called Paul!) on Twitter:
“I just wanted to say thank you. Just like lockdown re-ignited my love of football, Get Back has re-ignited my love of The Beatles. Can I ask what part of the documentary bought the biggest smile to your face? Mine was you and Ringo playing piano together.”
Paul: There were quite a few smiles: me and John goofing around on ‘Two of Us’ acting like ventriloquists and singing through our teeth; me and John goofing around on ‘Bathroom Window’ where we start ringing Tuesday – “Hello Tuesday!” – that was nice. But the one that immediately comes to mind is John dancing – just seeing him dancing. It’s very cute, and he was actually a really good mover!
PM.com: We think a lot of people would agree with that. We’ve also seen a lot of online chat about the fashion in Get Back – I think you wore a tank-top in some of the footage which is something people loved!
Paul: Well yeah, the fashion was amazing back then. In Get Back, George was stunning, some of his suits and things were great, you know. But we were all into fashion. We’d come down from Liverpool and were earning decent money for the first time, and there was Kings Road and Fulham Road in Chelsea where we’d go shopping. And everyone we knew was very into fashion – I was thinking about Charlie Watts just the other day, and Charlie was quite the dandy! He would go to Savile Row and get his suits… We all loved it.
Last updated on October 20, 2022