1882

Written by Paul McCartneyUnreleased song
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1972
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other unreleased songs from the double-album Red Rose Speedway project

Previous • 12-Bar Original

222• Next

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Another way to show your love is to make a small donation using Paypal. It will help us with server costs and research material.

Donate via Paypal

Song facts

This song dates back to 1970 when it was first recorded as demos around the time of the McCartney album. Two demos have been made available – and are described in the following way on “chained and perfumed” blog:

The first “1882” demo is predictably the less complete of the two. It’s a simple Paul-on-piano track and some of the eventual lyrics aren’t yet present but the vocals are very strong. […] If the first version is only a Macca warm up, he’s absolutely on fire in the second. He’s brought Linda in for some backing vocals and she, too, vocalizes the guitar bits. The results are amazing. This may be the among the last gasps of Paul’s knack for marrying his extreme pop sensibilities and his more oddball tendencies—not to mention the last gasp of the hippie dippy style of songs that he’d been writing since he was in India in 68—before reinventing himself as the stadium-rock monster that he and Wings would become within a few years time.

It is supposed that a studio version was recorded in January 1972, but this one hasn’t surfaced yet. The song was then covered during the “Wings Over Europe” tour, and presented as “from our next LP“. Indeed, “Red Rose Speedway” was initially planned as a double album, on which 1882 would have been available in live rendition, recorded during the concert in The Hague; some studio overdubs had been added on this live recording. However, the song has been removed from the final Red Rose Speedway album, and has remained unreleased.

Regarding the lyrics of the song, here is how the blog IAMAPHONEY describes them:

[…] The lyrical content of the song is quite unusual. Some would fault McCartney’s lyrics because of the way he separates common expressions in order to fit the melody, but there is every reason to believe that this was intentional. Saying “You’ll be tarred, you’ll be feathered” and “You’ll be drawn, you’ll be quartered” is like saying, “You’ll be fine, you’ll be dandy.”

Unlike many McCartney songs, this one does have a cohesive story. McCartney sings about an impoverished boy and the consequences he faced for stealing a loaf of bread from the big house upstairs. Many impoverished boys flooded into London in 1882. […]

First demo + live Rotterdam 1972

Live La Hague 1972

Lyrics

Demo version

good morning, young master, it’s 1882
your mother is hungry, what will you do?
there is bread in the kitchen of the big house upstairs
but I warn you, don’t take it from them
your mother is calling, she wants you by the bed
so get up, young master, shake your sleepy head
“darling son, I am dying, and I leave it to you
I’m leaving, tell me, what did I do?”
you’ll be tarred, you’ll be feathered, you’ll be hung like a ham
and I warn you, don’t do it, young man
i own a sheepfarm.
i own a sheepfarm.
i’m dying, tell me, what did I do?

Live version

Good morning, young master, it’s 1882
And your mother is hungry, what will you do?
There is bread in the kitchen of the big house upstairs
But I warn you, don’t take it from them
You’ll be tarred, you’ll be feathered, you’ll be hung like a ham
And I warn you, don’t do it, young man

Your mother is calling, she wants you by the bed
So get ready, young master, well, go shake your sleepy head
“Darling son, I am dying and I leave it to you
As I’m leaving, tell me what did I do?”

“I’m dying, tell me what did I do?”

Well, boy steals the bread, now that’s enough, heads for the door
Man sees you coming, said “Boy, you won’t be running no more”
Boy gets arrested and the case it gets tested that day
Judge finds him guilty and the jailer takes him away
Yeah, whoa

Good morning, young master, it’s twenty-five to nine
They’ll be coming to get you, well, in twenty minutes time
You’ll be drawn, you’ll be quartered, you’ll be hung like a ham
But I warn you, get ready, young man
Said the boy, “I am dying and I leave it to you
As I’m leaving, tell me what did I do?
As I’m dying, tell me what did I do?”

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.28

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

3:31 • Demo • Piano demo 1


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.28

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

4:27 • Demo • Piano demo 2


Get On The Live Things

Unofficial live • Released in 2003

6:26 • Live

Concert From the concert in The Hague, Netherlands on Aug 21, 1972



The Alternate Red Rose Speedway Volume 1: The Original Acetate

Unofficial album

6:09 • Live • Live with studio overdubs

Concert From the concert in The Hague, Netherlands on Aug 21, 1972


Live performances

“1882” has been played in 10 concerts.

Latest concerts where “1882” has been played





Lund • Olympean

Aug 11, 1972 • Part of Wings Over Europe Tour



Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

Brian K

Feb 14, 2017 / 4am

On the home demo of 1882, I dont believe Linda is on there. Possibly for 2 or 3 seconds at the 2:52 mark, but doubtful. Earlier, even the high parts, are Paul.


The PaulMcCartney Project

Feb 16, 2017 / 5pm

Thanks Brian for the comment. Need to listen to it again (it's been a long time!) and then fix the text !