The Paul McCartney Project

Heaven On A Sunday

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Flaming Pie Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1997
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 1996 (Paul McCartney was 54 years old)

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


Home recordings

Circa 1996


Recording "Heaven On A Sunday"

Started Sep 16, 1996


Other songs James McCartney contributed to


Spinning On An Axis

Officially appears on Driving Rain


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Song facts

Heaven On A Sunday” is a song released on the 1997 album “Flaming Pie“. From Club Sandwich n°82, Summer 1997:

Paul was sailing his boat in America in August 1996 when ‘Heaven On A Sunday’ – the most recent composition on Flaming Pie – materialised. Enjoying the notion of the celestial city being busy in the week but peaceful on a Sunday, he developed the tune from there, its relaxed ambience reflecting his holiday mood. 

The song was recorded on the McCartneys’ return to England, and the middle section was endowed with a bluesy feel on the spur of the moment. The guitar solos are shared by Paul and his 19 year old son James, making his first disc appearance with the instrument. “I played the simpler stuff and left the Young Turk to play the hot electric stuff,” says Paul. James McCartney’s talent on the guitar is the result of some ten years’ practice and home-development while listening to the likes of Lynyrd Skynyrd, rather than formal lessons. When his father suggested these, James’s response, “Well you didn’t, Dad”, echoed down the decades from 1950s Liverpool. 

Like father, like son, indeed. Or, as Paul puts it, “The saga continues…”

Mark Lewisohn, in Club Sandwich n°82, Summer 1997

I was out sailing in a small boat; just me, the sail, the wind. Peaceful, like Heaven On A Sunday. That opening line led me through the song, I though it’d be nice to play with James, my son, so we traded phrases. Lovely to do.

Paul McCartney, from the liner notes of “Flaming Pie”
Paul McCartney, in Club Sandwich n°82, Summer 1997:

This is the most recent of all the songs on Flaming Pie, written shortly before I finished the album. I like to sail when I’m on holiday: just me, the wind and a little boat – a Sunfish. I was having a very relaxing time, and this is when I came up with the song. The opening line led me through. I like the idea of heaven being busy in the week and peaceful on a Sunday, and I like mentioning Devon – there are a few places called Devon in America, plus the original here in England. 

James is getting really good on guitar, and though we’ve not played together in a band for 20 years we are simpatico because we’ve lived together for almost 20 – he’s 19 now. It didn’t take long and he wasn’t too nervous: I played some, he answered it, I played some more, he answered some more, and he came up with some really good phrases. It was very satisfying. People have always asked me “Are any of your kids musical?” And yes, they all are. James got a guitar when he was 9 or 10. He loves it. He’s good enough to be on this album on merit.

James has been into guitar for the past 10 years. He’s getting very good at it. We did Heaven on a Sunday quickly, and the studio guys were quite impressed with his playing. I was very proud. We took the tape home, and we made his mum cry. A lovely moment, obviously.

Paul McCartney, interview by USA Today, May 1997

Last updated on September 25, 2020

Lyrics

Peaceful, like heaven on a Sunday
Wishful, not thinking what to do
We've been calling it love
But it's a dream we're going through

And if I only had one love
Yours would be the one I'd choose
If I only had one love
Yours would be the one I'd choose

Restful, like Devon on a Monday
Cooling, my finger in the bay
We've been learning a song
But it's a long and lonely blues

If I only had one love
Yours would be the one I'd choose
If I only had one love
Yours would be the one I'd choose
If I only had one love
Yours would be the one I'd choose

It's peaceful, like heaven on a Sunday
Wishful, not thinking what to do
We've been calling it love
But it's a dream we're going through

And if I only had one love
Yours would be the one I'd choose
If I only had one love
Yours would be the one I'd choose
If I only had one love
Yours would be the one I'd choose
If I only had one love
Yours would be the one I'd choose
If I only had one love
You'd be the one I'd choose
If I only had one love
Yours would be the one I'd choose
If I only had one love

You'd be the one I'd choose
If I only had one love

Variations


A Album version

A2020 2020 remaster

B Rude Cassette

C From "Flaming Pie" EPK #2

Officially appears on


Flaming Pie

Official album • Released in 1997

4.26 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Acoustic solo, Backing vocal, Bass guitar, Drums, Electric guitar, Fender rhodes, Harpsichord, Lead vocal, Percussion, Producer, Vibraphone
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
James McCartney :
Electric guitar solo
Jeff Lynne :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer
Michael Thompson :
French horn
Richard Bissill :
French horn
Richard Watkins :
French horn
John Pineguy :
French horn

Session Recording:
Started Sep 16, 1996
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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


Flaming Pies

Official album • Released in 1997

4.26 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Acoustic solo, Backing vocal, Bass guitar, Drums, Electric guitar, Fender rhodes, Harpsichord, Lead vocal, Percussion, Producer, Vibraphone
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
James McCartney :
Electric guitar solo
Jeff Lynne :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer
Michael Thompson :
French horn
Richard Bissill :
French horn
Richard Watkins :
French horn
John Pineguy :
French horn

Session Recording:
Started Sep 16, 1996
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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


Flaming Pie (White-Label Promo LP)

Official album • Released in 1997

4.26 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Acoustic solo, Backing vocal, Bass guitar, Drums, Electric guitar, Fender rhodes, Harpsichord, Lead vocal, Percussion, Producer, Vibraphone
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
James McCartney :
Electric guitar solo
Jeff Lynne :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer
Michael Thompson :
French horn
Richard Bissill :
French horn
Richard Watkins :
French horn
John Pineguy :
French horn

Session Recording:
Started Sep 16, 1996
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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


Flaming Pie - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2020

4:26 • Studio versionA2020 • 2020 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Acoustic guitar, Acoustic solo, Backing vocal, Bass guitar, Drums, Electric guitar, Fender rhodes, Harpsichord, Lead vocal, Percussion, Producer, Vibraphone
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals
James McCartney :
Electric guitar solo
Jeff Lynne :
Acoustic guitar, Backing vocal, Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Mixing engineer, Recording engineer
Jon Jacobs :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Assistant engineer
Alex Wharton :
Remastering
Michael Thompson :
French horn
Richard Bissill :
French horn
Richard Watkins :
French horn
John Pineguy :
French horn

Session Recording:
Started Sep 16, 1996
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

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


Flaming Pie - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2020

4:43 • Studio versionB • Rude Cassette

Paul McCartney :
Producer
Alex Wharton :
Mastering

Session Recording:
Circa 1996

Bootlegs


Where Footprints Never Go - Unofficial Rarities - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

0:52 • DemoC • From "Flaming Pie" EPK #2

Paul McCartney :
Electric piano, Vocals

Session Recording:
Spring 1997 ?
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.24

Unofficial album

0:14 • Outtake

Session Recording:
Started Sep 16, 1996
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.24

Unofficial album

0:42 • DemoC1 • From "Flaming Pie" EPK #2 - With voice over the track.

Paul McCartney :
Electric piano, Vocals

Session Recording:
Spring - summer 1997 ?
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Complete Flaming Pie - Sessions & Beyond (1997-1998)

Unofficial album

0:17 • Alternate take • Snippet


Complete Flaming Pie - Sessions & Beyond (1997-1998)

Unofficial album

0:43 • DemoC1 • From "Flaming Pie" EPK #2 - With voice over the track.

Paul McCartney :
Electric piano, Vocals

Session Recording:
Spring - summer 1997 ?
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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