The Paul McCartney Project

How Many People

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Flowers In The Dirt Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1989
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Song facts

How Many People” appears on the album “Flowers In The Dirt“. Written in Jamaica while on holiday – hence the reggae feel to it -, first recorded in the studio in January 1988, it was “dedicated to the memory of Chico Mendez, Brazillian Rain Forest Campainer” in the booklet of “Flowers In The Dirt” released in June 1989.

From Wikipedia:

Francisco Alves Mendes Filho, better known as Chico Mendes (December 15, 1944 – December 22, 1988), was a Brazilian rubber tapper, trade union leader and environmentalist. He fought to preserve the Amazon rainforest, and advocated for the human rights of Brazilian peasants and indigenous peoples. He was assassinated by a rancher on December 22, 1988. The Chico Mendes Institute for Conservation of Biodiversity (Instituto Chico Mendes de Conservação da Biodiversidade), a body under the jurisdiction of the Brazilian Ministry of the Environment, is named in his honor. […] Paul McCartney dedicated the song “How Many People” from his 1989 album Flowers In The Dirt to the memory of Mendes. Moreover, composer Clare Fischer, who had himself supplied orchestral arrangements for McCartney’s album (“Distractions” and the unreleased “The Lovers That Never Were”), dedicated a composition from his own 1989 album to Mendes, namely “Xapurí” (after the so-called ‘City of Chico Mendes’), from Lembranças (Remembrances).

Paul McCartney in “Club Sandwich 52, Summer 1989“:

Me in Jamaica, on holiday…you can’t help going reggae, everybody is, the climate is. I’ve been a reggae fan since the early Tighten Up albums… this very simple song called ‘How Many People’ came out. I thought it was too simple.

Last updated on April 2, 2017

Lyrics

How many people
Stand in a line?
How many people
Never get a chance to shine?
If you can tell me
I'll gladly listen
How many people have died?

One too many right now for me
I want to be happy,
I want to be free,
One too many right now for me
I want to see ordinary people living peacefully.

How many people
Go for a ride
How many people
Never make it through to the other side?
If you can tell me
I'll gladly listen,
How many people have cried?

One too many right now for me
I want to be happy,
I want to be free,
One too many right now for me
I want to see ordinary people living peacefully

How many people
Will it take?
How many people
For goodness sake?
How many people?
How many people?

One too many…

Officially appears on


Flowers In The Dirt

Official album • Released in 1989

4:15 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Flugelhorn, Mellotron, Piano, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Hamish Stuart:
Vocals
Chris Whitten:
Backing vocals, Cymbals, Drums synth
Neil Dorfsman:
Additional production
Steve Lipson:
Drum programming, Electric guitar, Engineer, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Backing vocals, Keyboards, Producer
Heff Moraes:
Assistant engineer
Jab Bunny:
Percussion

Session Recording:
January 2nd-21st, 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Sept - Oct 1988 or Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

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


Flowers In The Dirt - Special Package

Official album • Released in 1990

4:15 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Flugelhorn, Mellotron, Piano, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Hamish Stuart:
Vocals
Chris Whitten:
Backing vocals, Cymbals, Drums synth
Neil Dorfsman:
Additional production
Steve Lipson:
Drum programming, Electric guitar, Engineer, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Backing vocals, Keyboards, Producer
Heff Moraes:
Assistant engineer
Jab Bunny:
Percussion

Session Recording:
January 2nd-21st, 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Sept - Oct 1988 or Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

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


Flowers In The Dirt (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

4:15 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Flugelhorn, Mellotron, Piano, Producer, Tambourine, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Hamish Stuart:
Vocals
Chris Whitten:
Backing vocals, Cymbals, Drums synth
Neil Dorfsman:
Additional production
Steve Lipson:
Drum programming, Electric guitar, Engineer, Producer
Trevor Horn:
Backing vocals, Keyboards, Producer
Heff Moraes:
Assistant engineer
Jab Bunny:
Percussion

Session Recording:
January 2nd-21st, 1988
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Mixing:
Sept - Oct 1988 or Jan 30th - Feb 4th 1989
Studio:
Hog Hill Studio, or AIR Studios, or Metropolis Studios, UK

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


Flowers In The Dirt (2017)

Official album • Released in 2017

4:16 • Studio versionA • 2017 remaster

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.22

Unofficial album

2:42 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.23

Unofficial album

2:20 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.23

Unofficial album

0:28 • Studio version


Lumpy Trousers

Unofficial live

2:41 • Soundcheck • Partial


Oobu Joobu Part 6

Unofficial album • Released in 1995

5:18 • Radio show


Live performances

“How Many People” has been played in 1 concerts.

Latest concerts where “How Many People” has been played


Interview for Brazilian TV

May 03, 1989 • United Kingdom • The Barn at the Mill • TV show


Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.