The Paul McCartney Project

Dear Boy

Album This song officially appears on the Ram Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1971
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 1971 (Paul McCartney was 29 years old)

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Song facts

Dear Boy” is a song from Paul and Linda McCartney’s 1971 album “Ram“. From Wikipedia:

[…] Credited to Paul and Linda McCartney, the song was written during the couple’s lengthy holiday on their farm in the Mull of Kintyre. The lyrics were written by Paul about how lucky he was to have Linda. […]

Dear Boy” was also written as a message to Linda McCartney’s ex-husband, Joseph Melville See, about how See missed out on Linda. In the 2012 RAM Special Edition Documentary, Paul describes the song as written about Linda’s former husband, Joseph Melville See Jr., and the things he hadn’t seen in her. […]

Paul’s former partner John Lennon, however, thought that the song was about him. Certain lines such as “She was just the cutest thing around” could have referred to Paul as being the cute Beatle. Paul may have changed the gender to conceal his identity and John mentioned in subsequent interviews that the Ram album had subtle allusions to himself and Yoko Ono. Since then, however, Paul has said that the song wasn’t about Lennon.

Dear Boy was my attempt at an autobiography about myself and how lucky I was to have Linda. I never realized how lucky I was to have her until I began writing the song.

Paul McCartney, 1971

Dear Boy wasn’t getting at John, Dear Boy was actually a song to Linda’s ex-husband: ‘I guess you never knew what you had missed.’ I never told him that, which was lucky, because he’s since committed suicide. And it was a comment about him, ’cause I did think, ‘Gosh, you know, she’s so amazing, I suppose you didn’t get it.’

Paul McCartney, in MOJO interview, 2001

From The Beatles Bible:

At the memorial service for Linda McCartney, held on 8 June 1998 at St Martin-in-the-Fields church in London, a number of songs were performed. The Brodsky Quartet played a series of songs written by Paul for his wife: they were Golden Earth Girl, Dear Boy, Calico Skies and My Love.

From mixing engineering Eirik Wangberg:

How did you achieve the sort of “4 dimensional” Paul and Linda angelical harmonies?

It was quite a challenge for me to do these things. But, when it works it’s really lots of fun – especially if the arranger (Paul) knows his job. As Paul really knew what he was doing (laughs), the harmonies and voice tracks (there were many ones) did not step on each other or kill each other in the mix. As you may already know, Paul is here inspired by the Beach Boys vocal arrangements, whom I also have recorded. Elton John calls these harmonies the best he’s ever heard!

Engineer Eirik Wangberg, interviewed by Claudio Dirani, 2005

Last updated on June 5, 2020

Lyrics

I guess you never knew Dear Boy
What you had found,
I guess you never knew Dear Boy
That she was just the cutest thing around,
I guess you never knew what you had found, Dear Boy.

I guess you never saw Dear Boy
That love was endless,
And leave you when you love too long, Dear Boy
And never give it all away
I guess you never give it all away Dear Boy

I stepped in, my heart was dumb
And now for my love came through, and brought me down,
Can't be on hang about.

Dear Boy, how much you missed,
Dear Boy.

I hope you never know, Dear Boy,
How much you missed;
And even when you fall in love, Dear Boy,
It won't be half as good as this.
Hope you never know how much you missed, Dear boy.
How much you missed Dear Boy.

Officially appears on


Ram

Official album • Released in 1971

2:17 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Percussion
Hugh McCracken :
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Paul Beaver :
Synthesizer
Jim Guercio :
Backing vocals, Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 01, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Mar 09, 10 and 12, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Apr 07, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Ram (Mono - promotional)

Official album • Released in 1971

2:17 • Studio versionB • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Percussion
Hugh McCracken :
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Paul Beaver :
Synthesizer
Jim Guercio :
Backing vocals, Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 01, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Mar 09, 10 and 12, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Apr 07, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Thrillington

Official album • Released in 1977

2:51 • Studio versionC • Instrumental version

Percy "Thrills" Thrillington :
Producer
Richard Hewson :
Arrangements, Orchestration
Tony Clark :
Mixing, Recording
Vic Flick :
Guitar
Clem Cattini :
Drums
Herbie Flowers :
Bass
Steve Gray :
Piano
Jim Lawless :
Congas, Percussion
Alan Parsons :
Second engineer
The Swingle Singers :
Vocals
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Vocals (?)

Session Recording:
Jun 15, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 16, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 17, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 18, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


Ram (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

2:17 • Studio versionA1993 • Stereo • 1993 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Percussion
Hugh McCracken :
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Paul Beaver :
Synthesizer
Jim Guercio :
Backing vocals, Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Peter Mew :
Remastering
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 01, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Mar 09, 10 and 12, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Apr 07, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


RAM (by DCC Compact Classics)

Official album • Released in 1993

2:17 • Studio versionA1993.1 • 1993 remaster by Steve Hoffman

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Percussion
Hugh McCracken :
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Paul Beaver :
Synthesizer
Jim Guercio :
Backing vocals, Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer
Steve Hoffman :
Remastering

Session Recording:
Mar 01, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Mar 09, 10 and 12, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Apr 07, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Ram - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2012

2:16 • Studio versionA2012 • Stereo • 2012 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Percussion
Hugh McCracken :
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Paul Beaver :
Synthesizer
Jim Guercio :
Backing vocals, Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 01, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Mar 09, 10 and 12, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Apr 07, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Ram - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2012

2:16 • Studio versionB2012 • Mono • 2012 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Percussion
Hugh McCracken :
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Paul Beaver :
Synthesizer
Jim Guercio :
Backing vocals, Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 01, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Mar 09, 10 and 12, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Apr 07, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Ram - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2012

2:51 • Studio versionC2012 • Thrillington: 2012 remaster

Percy "Thrills" Thrillington :
Producer
Richard Hewson :
Arrangements, Orchestration
Tony Clark :
Mixing, Recording
Vic Flick :
Guitar
Clem Cattini :
Drums
Herbie Flowers :
Bass
Steve Gray :
Piano
Jim Lawless :
Congas, Percussion
Alan Parsons :
Second engineer
The Swingle Singers :
Vocals
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Vocals (?)

Session Recording:
Jun 15, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 16, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 17, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 18, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


Pure McCartney

Official album • Released in 2016

2:15 • Studio versionA2012

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Percussion
Hugh McCracken :
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Paul Beaver :
Synthesizer
Jim Guercio :
Backing vocals, Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 01, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Mar 09, 10 and 12, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Apr 07, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Pure McCartney (Deluxe)

Official album • Released in 2016

2:15 • Studio versionA2012

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Percussion
Hugh McCracken :
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Paul Beaver :
Synthesizer
Jim Guercio :
Backing vocals, Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 01, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Mar 09, 10 and 12, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Apr 07, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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

Bootlegs


The Alternate Ram

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

2:12 • Studio versionB • Mono • Original mono promo LP, especially made for the American AM stations. All the songs have different mixes

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Percussion
Hugh McCracken :
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Paul Beaver :
Synthesizer
Jim Guercio :
Backing vocals, Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 01, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Mar 09, 10 and 12, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Apr 07, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Ram - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

2:16 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Percussion
Hugh McCracken :
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Paul Beaver :
Synthesizer
Jim Guercio :
Backing vocals, Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 01, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Mar 09, 10 and 12, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Apr 07, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Ram - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

2:16 • Studio versionB • Mono

Paul McCartney :
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Percussion, Piano, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
Denny Seiwell :
Drums, Percussion
Hugh McCracken :
Acoustic guitar, Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg :
Mix engineer
Phil Ramone :
Recording engineer
Paul Beaver :
Synthesizer
Jim Guercio :
Backing vocals, Recording engineer
Tim Geelan :
Recording engineer
Ted Brosnan :
Assistant recording engineer
Dixon Van Winkle :
Assistant recording engineer
Armin Steiner :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 01, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Mar 09, 10 and 12, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Overdubs:
Apr 07, 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

Session Mixing:
April 1971
Studio :
Sunset Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles, USA

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


Ram - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

2:51 • Studio versionC

Percy "Thrills" Thrillington :
Producer
Richard Hewson :
Arrangements, Orchestration
Tony Clark :
Mixing, Recording
Vic Flick :
Guitar
Clem Cattini :
Drums
Herbie Flowers :
Bass
Steve Gray :
Piano
Jim Lawless :
Congas, Percussion
Alan Parsons :
Second engineer
The Swingle Singers :
Vocals
The Mike Sammes Singers :
Vocals (?)

Session Recording:
Jun 15, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 16, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 17, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 18, 1971
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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