The Paul McCartney Project

A Certain Softness

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Chaos and Creation in the Backyard Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 2005
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 2004 (Paul McCartney was 62 years old)

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


Other songs Jason Falkner contributed to



Growing Up, Falling Down

Officially appears on Fine Line

Related interviews


Interview with Gary Crowley

July 2005 • From EMI

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Song facts

A Certain Softness” is a track from Paul McCartney’s 2005 album “Chaos And Creation In The Backyard“. From an interview of Paul McCartney by Gary Crowley:

A Certain Softness is just a straightforward love song, to me. I like things like Brazilian music, I like that sort of rhythmic, Latin y kind of thing. I think it’s sexy, very romantic, and I was actually on a holiday, where I do a lot of writing because it’s where I’ve got a lot of time. Here’s me, I go on holiday to work! I don’t think of it as work, it’s more, I just enjoy just sitting around. And I was in Greece, actually, on a boat trip, and this sort of Latin y moment came upon me. I just found some nice chords and this idea of a certain softness in her eyes and a certain sadness haunts me. It’s just sort of all the love songs that I’ve heard and the ones I love, cos I love a lot of old fashioned stuff, it’s just so well crated. I have a lot of influences from before my time, before my dad’s time even you know, people like Fred Astaire, people like that I listen to and love really. The craft behind it all. So sometimes all that just floods in and becomes a new song. If I’m lucky. And that was one of them and I like very much the way we recorded it, which was very simple. It was just me playing guitar, and we just decided to have a go at it. And this was in LA and the bongo player, Joey, was just sitting on the floor, and the guitar player was just sort of sitting there, and I had a guitar, so it was just 2 guitars and bongos, so it was very informal. But we just got a good little take on it, you know and so then we built it up from there, and its got a very intimate sound on the record. I like particularly the sound on that record.

Paul McCartney – from 2005 UK promotional-only interview CD, recorded July 2005 at Air Studios in London

Jason Falkner, who played classical guitar on this track, remembers the session:

I remember we were recording on the first day, and Paul and I were both on acoustic guitars. And I was like playing this very simple song, and I was looking around the studio and I forget every once in a while where I was, because I was just kind of lost in the song. And I look up at Paul and he’s trying to get my attention, and he mouths, “Where are we?”—meaning in the arrangement. Like, what’s coming up? Is it the second chorus or the third? What’s happening? And I knew exactly where I was until he asked me. And just because he was like “Where are we?” I was like “I-I don’t know! Fuck!” We just collapsed. Hilarious!

Jason Falkner, from Transatlantic Modern, March 11, 2013

Last updated on January 17, 2021

Lyrics

A certain softness in her eyes
Fascinates me
More than I ever thought it would a certain softness
A certain softness in her eyes
Got me hooked, got me hooked

A kind of sadness in her smile
Captivates me
Surer than anything that's sure a kind of sadness
Surer than anything before
A kind of sadness in her smile
Got me hooked, got me hooked, got me hooked

If I could even find the words to tell her
I wouldn't want to anyway
'Cos that would only break the spell
And you know very well
I couldn't betray her

A touch of wildness in her style
Haunts my memory
More than I ever thought it would a touch of wildness
More than I ever thought it could
A touch of wildness in her style
Got me hooked, got me hooked, got me hooked

A certain softness in her eyes
Fascinates me
More than I ever thought it would a certain softness
More than I ever thought it could
A certain softness in her eyes
Got me hooked, got me hooked, got me hooked

Officially appears on


Chaos And Creation In The Backyard (Special Edition)

Official album

2:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Crown upright piano, Cymbal, Harmonium, Hofner bass, Paiste gong, Petersen classical guitar, Triangle, Vocals
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Jason Falkner :
Classical guitar
Joey Waronker :
Bass drum, Bongos, Shaker
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
April 2004
Studio :
Ocean Way Recording Studios, Los Angeles, USA

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

Official album • Released in 2005

2:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Crown upright piano, Cymbal, Harmonium, Hofner bass, Paiste gong, Petersen classical guitar, Triangle, Vocals
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Jason Falkner :
Classical guitar
Joey Waronker :
Bass drum, Bongos, Shaker
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
April 2004
Studio :
Ocean Way Recording Studios, Los Angeles, USA

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (Japanese edition)

Official album • Released in 2005

2:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Crown upright piano, Cymbal, Harmonium, Hofner bass, Paiste gong, Petersen classical guitar, Triangle, Vocals
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Jason Falkner :
Classical guitar
Joey Waronker :
Bass drum, Bongos, Shaker
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
April 2004
Studio :
Ocean Way Recording Studios, Los Angeles, USA

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon


Chaos and Creation in the Backyard (Limited Edition - Gold LP)

Official album • Released in 2018

2:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Crown upright piano, Cymbal, Harmonium, Hofner bass, Paiste gong, Petersen classical guitar, Triangle, Vocals
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Jason Falkner :
Classical guitar
Joey Waronker :
Bass drum, Bongos, Shaker
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
April 2004
Studio :
Ocean Way Recording Studios, Los Angeles, USA

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon

Bootlegs


Chaos And Creation In The Backyard - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

2:42 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Crown upright piano, Cymbal, Harmonium, Hofner bass, Paiste gong, Petersen classical guitar, Triangle, Vocals
Nigel Godrich :
Producer
Jason Falkner :
Classical guitar
Joey Waronker :
Bass drum, Bongos, Shaker
Darrell Thorp :
Engineer
Dan Grech-Marguerat :
Production assistant

Session Recording:
April 2004
Studio :
Ocean Way Recording Studios, Los Angeles, USA

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Recording Sessions (1969-2013) on Amazon

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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