The Paul McCartney Project

Ballroom Dancing

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Tug Of War Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1982
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

Ballroom Dancing” is a song from 1982 album “Tug Of War“.

I wrote the song about my own childhood memories of sailing down the Nile in a china cup, or any other similar game we might play. “I’ll be Rommel and you can play Tom Mix, the cowboy”. It could be anything. I chose going down the Nile in a china cup because it sums it all up. China and Nile are fantasy words to kids. It could have been Alexandria, Cairo or Singapore – they were magic exotic places.

The first verse is very young childish games, the second verse is slightly growing up and on to the flying carpet stage and Davy Crockett hats and stuff, and it keeps coming back to “We used to fight like cats and dogs”, and that’s just the idea that childhood wasn’t all glorious wonderful summer days.

Basically it’s all my childhood memories distilled into one song, which develops into memories of being a teenager going to dance halls and ballrooms – only they’re called discos now.

Paul McCartney – From the “Give My Regards To Broad Street” book, Pavilion Books, 1984

Last updated on December 26, 2019

Lyrics

Well I used to smile when I was a pup
Sailing down the Nile in a china cup
With the recipe for a lovely day
Sticking out of my back pocket

But it wasn't always such a pretty sight
'cos we used to fight like cats and dogs
Till we made it up in the ballroom

Ballroom dancing, made a man of me
One, two, three, four
I just plain adore your
Ballroom dancing, seen it on TV
I got what I got from ballroom dancing
Big B.D.

Well I used to fly when I was a kid
And I didn't cry if it hurt a bit
On a carpet ride to a foreign land
At the time of Davy Crockett

But it wasn't always such a pretty sight
'cos we used to fight like cats and dogs
Till we made it up in the ballroom

Ballroom dancing, made a man of me
One, two, three, four
I just plain adore
Your ballroom dancing, seen it on TV
I got quite a lot from ballroom dancing
Big B.D

Well it went so fast and we all grew up,
Now the days that passed in the china cup
Are the memories of another day
And I wouldn't want to knock it

But it wasn't always such a pretty sight,
'cos we used to fight like cats and dogs
Till we made it up in the ballroom

Ballroom dancing made a man of me
One, two, three, four
I just plain adore
Your ballroom dancing, seen it on TV
I got quite a lot from ballroom dancing
Big B.D.

Oh!

Officially appears on


Tug Of War

Official album • Released in 1982

4:08 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Arrangement, Backing vocals, Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocal
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Piano
Denny Laine:
Electric guitar
Ringo Starr:
Drums
Eric Stewart:
Backing vocals
George Martin:
Arrangement, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Jon Jacobs:
Second engineer
John Barclay:
Horn
Jack Brymer:
Clarinet gliss
Peter Marshall:
Narration
Chris Spedding:
Guitar
David Ogden:
Violin
David Willis:
Saxophone
Raymond Swinfield:
Saxophone
Thomas Whittle:
Horn

Session Recording:
Dec 07, 1980
Studio:
AIR Studios, London

Session Recording:
Dec 14, 1980
Studio:
AIR Studios, London

Session Overdubs:
Mar 17, 1981
Studio:
AIR Studios, London

Session Mixing:
Oct 01, 1981
Studio:
AIR Studios, London, UK


Give My Regards To Broad Street

Official album • Released in 1984

4:51 • Studio version

Paul McCartney:
Piano, Vocal, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Piano, Vocals
Ringo Starr:
Drums
George Martin:
Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer (?)
Jon Jacobs:
Assistant engineer (?)
John Barclay:
Horn
Dave Edmunds:
Electric guitar, Guitar
John Paul Jones:
Bass
Ray Swinfield:
Horn
Henry MacKenzie:
Horn
Stuart Breed:
Assistant engineer (?)
Chris Spedding:
Electric guitar, Guitar
David Willis:
Horn
Jack Armstrong:
Horn
Jonh Barclay:
Horn
Alan Donney:
Horn
Dougie Robinson:
Horn
Tommy Whittle:
Horn
John Kelly:
Engineer (?)

Give My Regards To Broad Street (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

4:51 • Studio version


Tug Of War - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2015

4:08 • Studio version • 2015 remix


Tug Of War - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2015

Demo


Tug Of War - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2015

Studio version

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.15

Unofficial album

4:15 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.15

Unofficial album

1:59 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.16

Unofficial album

7:50 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.30

Unofficial album

4:28 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.30

Unofficial album

6:14 • Studio version


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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