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Thursday, February 3, 1972

Mixing "Give Ireland Back To The Irish"

For Wings

Last updated on April 23, 2022

Wings had recorded “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” two days earlier, on February 1, 1972. It’s unclear if they work on the track or its instrumental version (released as the B-side of the single) on February 2.

On this day, February 3, they were at Island Records’ studio, along with engineer Glyn Johns, to mix the track.

Michael Watts, from Melody Maker, was in the studio as well, to write an article that would be published on February 12:

MACKA, as they used to call him at school, was sitting behind the mixing console in Island Records’ basement studio, listening to the vocal thundering from the four speakers.

Why don’t we compress it?” suggested someone from the gloom. “Yeah,” he said, turning to the engineer at his side. “If we compress it what happens?

It gets squashed.

Yeah, but not like squashed,” he persisted. “Can’t it be on another level?” Long moment of hesitation. “Oh, let’s hear it flat again, then. Okay?

… Give Ireland back to the Irish / Don’t make them have to take it away / Give Ireland back to the Irish / Make Ireland Irish today…

Meanwhile, the Missus is seated on a rumpled black leather chair in front of the control board, wearing a thin voluminous dress, patterned with huge red carnations, that stretches to mid-calf. They’ve hardly slept for the past two days.

Later, after this chorus, this state of the nation, has been played for the fiftieth time. Linda confides. The lyrics are really child-like, she says: “I think Paul feels embarrassed – or he feels he should be.“ […]

From Melody Maker, February 12, 1972

It’s not really me. At least, I think people will be surprised because I’ve never attempted anything like this. It was Bloody Sunday. I woke up a few days ago with the thought in my head and wondered, why don’t I do it? You read the papers and you don’t take it in. You don’t realise that that’s happening.

The song’s like, the Irish liked us before and now they hate us. What I’m saying is that in the beginning, it was the Protestants against the Catholics but now it’s the Irish against us. The Protestants are all like Heath. They’re English, the landowners. If you send the troops in there what can you expect but the people to be mad. You wouldn’t like it if some guy came into your home and started ordering you around. So I’m saying this to the Government, to Heath. And it’s also a bit like with Apple and me, being prevented from owning what is mine.

Paul McCartney – From Melody Maker, February 12, 1972

Wings would continue working on the track the next day, February 4.

Session activities

  1. Give Ireland Back To The Irish

    Written by Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney



Production staff

Going further

Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989

With 25 albums of pop music, 5 of classical – a total of around 500 songs – released over the course of more than half a century, Paul McCartney's career, on his own and with Wings, boasts an incredible catalogue that's always striving to free itself from the shadow of The Beatles. The stories behind the songs, demos and studio recordings, unreleased tracks, recording dates, musicians, live performances and tours, covers, events: Music Is Ideas Volume 1 traces McCartney's post-Beatles output from 1970 to 1989 in the form of 346 song sheets, filled with details of the recordings and stories behind the sessions. Accompanied by photos, and drawing on interviews and contemporary reviews, this reference book draws the portrait of a musical craftsman who has elevated popular song to an art-form.

Shop on Amazon

Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium

We owe a lot to Chip Madinger and Mark Easter for the creation of those session pages, but you really have to buy this book to get all the details!

Eight Arms To Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium is the ultimate look at the careers of John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr beyond the Beatles. Every aspect of their professional careers as solo artists is explored, from recording sessions, record releases and tours, to television, film and music videos, including everything in between. From their early film soundtrack work to the officially released retrospectives, all solo efforts by the four men are exhaustively examined.

As the paperback version is out of print, you can buy a PDF version on the authors' website

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Maccazine - Volume 47, Issue 1 - The birth of Wings

"Maccazine is a hard copy magazine (a bound paperback) about Paul McCartney. It is published twice a year. Due to the fact that the Internet has taken over the world and the fact that the latest Paul McCartney news is to be found on hundreds of websites, we have decided to focus on creating an informative paper magazine about Paul McCartney."

"In this issue we take you back to the early days of Paul McCartney’s solo career when he decided to form a new group. With Wings he proved there was life after The Beatles. This Maccazine features a detailed timeline of ‘the birth’ of the band with interesting entries including many new facts and unpublished photos. Follow-up timelines will be published in the upcoming years."

Paul McCartney writing

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