The Paul McCartney Project

Goodbye

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Goodbye 7" Single.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1969
Timeline This song has been recorded in 1969
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Goodbye” is a song written by Paul McCartney (but credited to Lennon–McCartney) and performed by Mary Hopkin. It was released on 28 March 1969, and it reached No. 2 in the UK singles chart, prevented from reaching the top position by the Beatles’ single “Get Back“. In the US, released 7 April 1969, the song reached No. 13 on the singles chart. In the Netherlands the single peaked at No. 1.

The song was conceived as a follow-up to the success of Hopkin’s first single, produced by McCartney, titled “Those Were the Days“, which was highlighted on her debut album Postcard, one of the first records issued by the newly founded Apple Records. In later years, McCartney had little recollection of creating the song, which was written in a great hurry to capitalise on Hopkin’s popularity, but he did recall being told by a boat skipper from the Orkney Islands that it was the man’s favourite song, which seemed appropriate to McCartney since, “if you think of it from a sailor’s point of view, it’s very much a leaving-the-port song.” Allmusic critic Richie Unterberger described it as a “pleasant and catchy romp, rather like a Continental European folk love ballad in tone, with a dash of music hall.”

To assist Hopkin in learning the song, McCartney recorded a solo demo at his home, 7 Cavendish Road, London, in February 1969. The song was arranged by Richard Hewson, who had also orchestrated “Those Were the Days,” and produced, along with its flip side, “Sparrow”, by Paul McCartney on 1 March 1969 at Morgan Studios in Willesden. To better match Hopkin’s voice, the key was raised from C major to E major. The recording was Apple’s first official double-A-side, and the first Apple record to feature a full-fledged picture sleeve.

For the recording, Hopkin sang and performed acoustic guitar, while McCartney played bass guitar, an acoustic guitar introduction and solo, along with lap-slapping percussion and drums. Backing vocals, horns and strings, in Hewson’s arrangement, were overdubbed. The session was filmed by Apple’s Tony Bramwell for a promotional clip. In the footage, Hopkin can be seen miming to the song inside the studio, combined with shots of her and McCartney, smoking a cigarette and finger-popping, in the control room listening to a playback.

The flip side “Sparrow” was written by Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle, a songwriting duo signed to Apple Publishing. The recording took place on 2 March 1969; Hopkin sang and played guitar, McCartney added maracas, a session musician played upright bass, and Hewson arranged a choir part.

Mary Hopkin met her future husband, record producer Tony Visconti, while making foreign-language versions of the song.

The song was one of only two hits to be omitted from the compilation disc The Songs Lennon and McCartney Gave Away, issued originally in 1971 and re-released in 1979.

The song was never officially released by either the Beatles or Paul McCartney, although bootleg recordings exist of McCartney’s original demo of the song, recorded for Mary Hopkin. The international online magazine PopMatters has published McCartney’s demo along with critical commentary expressing a preference for the composer’s version over Hopkin’s rendition.

Last updated on September 14, 2015

Lyrics

Please don't wake me up too late
Tomorrow comes and I will not be late
Late, today when it becomes tomorrow
I will leave to go away

Goodbye
(Goodbye)
Goodbye
(Goodbye)
Goodbye, goodbye
My love, goodbye

Songs that lingered on my lips
Excite me now and linger on my mind
Leave your flowers at my door
I'll leave them for the one who waits behind

Goodbye
(Goodbye)
Goodbye
(Goodbye)
Goodbye, goodbye
My love, goodbye

Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo
Doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo, doo

Goodbye
(Goodbye)
Goodbye
(Goodbye)
Goodbye, goodbye
My love, goodbye

Far away my lover sings a lonely song
And calls me to his side
When a song of lonely love invites me on
I must go to his side

Goodbye
(Goodbye)
Goodbye
(Goodbye)
Goodbye, goodbye
My love, goodbye

Officially appears on


Goodbye

7" Single • Released in 1969

Studio version

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Drums, Producer, Thigh-slapping percussion, Ukulele
Richard Hewson:
Arrangements
Mary Hopkin:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals

Session Recording:
March 1st-2nd 1969
Studio:
Morgan Studios, London

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol. 1

Unofficial album

2:25 • Demo • Late'68


Complete Acetate Collection 1961-1970

Unofficial album

2:22 • Studio version


Complete Controlroom Monitor Mixes - Volume 1

Unofficial album

1:34 • Studio version • Hello,


Complete Controlroom Monitor Mixes - Volume 1

Unofficial album

1:29 • Studio version • Hello,


B-Sides Complete Vol. 6

Unofficial album • Released in 2000

2:22 • Studio version


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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