In The Blink of An Eye

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Ethel & Ernest (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 2016
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 2016 (Paul McCartney was 74 years old)

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions



Other original film songs by Paul McCartney



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Officially appears on Music From Vanilla Sky


Live And Let Die

Officially appears on Live And Let Die


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Song facts

In The Blink of An Eye” is a song written by Paul McCartney and featured on the soundtrack of the animated film “Ethel & Ernest“, released in 2016. The film is based on the 1998 graphic memoir of the same name written by Raymond Briggs, and follows Briggs’ parents, Ethel and Ernest, through their period of marriage from the 1920s to their deaths in the 1970s. Paul McCartney’s song plays over the end credits of the film.

I knew that Paul McCartney was a big animation fan and I knew that Raymond Briggs’s book Fungus the Bogeyman had influenced Paul’s 1980s track Bogey Music. So I asked Raymond if he might write a letter to Paul to see if he was interested in composing a track for Ethel and Ernest,  which he did on Fungus the Bogeyman headed paper!

It obviously worked and we were thrilled when Paul said he was interested. We met up and he produced a CD which included a track called Mum and Dad theme.  This eventually became In the Blink of An Eye which we have used in the film.

Roger Mainwood, film director, interviewed for The Telegraph, October 15, 2016

Composer and conductor Carl Davis, who worked with Paul McCartney on his 1991 Liverpool Oratorio, provided an original score for the film, and also contributed to “In The Blink of An Eye“.

The song was recorded with Paul performing the lyrics and many of the instrument and string arrangements were conducted by Carl Davis and performed by the Chamber of Orchestra of London. It is an incredibly moving and fitting ending to our film and we were very honoured to have both Paul and Carl on board.

Roger Mainwood, film director, interviewed for The Telegraph, October 15, 2016

From the liner notes of the soundtrack album:

Raymond Briggs, Camilla Deakin, and myself met up with Paul McCartney in his Soho office on May 14th 2014. I had suggested to Raymond that he might write a letter to Paul to see if he was interested in composing a song for our Ethel and Ernest film. Raymond’s book ‘Fungus the Bogeyman’ had influenced Paul’s track Bogey Music on his 1980 album McCartney II. So that connection, and Paul’s well known love of animation, encouraged us to believe that he might be interested. We were thrilled when he said he was.

At the meeting he produced a CD of some music that he had been working on. On track was entitled Mum and Dad. This track eventually became In The Blink Of An Eye which we have used over the end credits.

Raymond and Paul found many connections as they chatted. They had both been grammar school boys, and their fathers were both auxiliary firemen in World War 2. We talked about Paul’s father being a band leader, and how he composed a piece of music that Paul later recorded. The track is called Walking In The Park With Eloise, and we suggested to him that it would be really nice to have it in the film.

We had a chat about the style of Ethel and Ernest. I said it would be hand drawn animation but there would be 3D elements in it for vehicles, plances, and the mangle that Ethel uses for washing. We showed him some of the artwork for the film. He stopped at a picture of the mangle in the scullery and recalled how he and his brother used to try and feed old 78rpm records through the rollers to see if they could get them through without breaking. He laughed and added, “we couldn’t!”.

Fast forward two years and as we neared completion of the film we made contact with Paul’s office again. By this time Carl Davis was on board and by coincidence rather than design this proved to be an excellent opportunity to revive a collaboration that had begun twenty five years previously. In 1991 the first performance of Paul McCartney’s Liverpool Oratorio was conducted by Carl Davis in Liverpool Cathedral. Carl and Paul had collaborated on the oratorio to celebrate the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra’s 150th anniversary. Now in 2016, Paul and Carl met up again to work on the string arrangement of the Mum and Dad theme. Paul was touring in 2016, playing to sold out stadiums in the US and Europe, but in July he had a small window in his busy schedule. He wrote and performed some lyrics, recording them at his Hog Hill Mill studio in Sussex. The string arrangement was conducted by Carl and performed by the Chamber Orchestra Of London. It was recorded at Angel studios under the music direction of Chris Egan. […]

The recordings took place in May 2016 at Angel Studios in north London. Carl conducted the Chamber Orchestra Of London in two sessions with Chris Egan as musical director. The first used a classical ensemble for the main theme, the mood setting passages, and the cinematic war time sequences. The second was a jazz ensemble who recreated the authentic sound of a 1920s jazz band.

Roger Mainwood, Director

Last updated on April 11, 2021

Lyrics

I can see your shadow
Underneath the moon
Maybe a winter cloudburst
Heading this way soon
Heading this way soon

In the blink of an eye
Many songs have been sung
Many lives have gone by
We will never give up
We will hold on to love
With no reason to cry

In the blink of an eye
Many songs have been sung
Many lives have gone by
We will never give up
We will hold on to love
With no reason to cry

I can see your shadow
Underneath the moon
Maybe a winter cloudburst
Heading this way soon
Heading this way soon

Officially appears on


Ethel & Ernest (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Official album • Released in 2016

3:20 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Drums, Guitar, Harpsichord, Piano, Synthesizer, Vocals
Eddie Klein :
Recording engineer
Keith Smith :
Recording engineer
Carl Davis :
String arranger
Steve Orchard :
Recording engineer
Jamie Kirkham :
Recording engineer
Mat Bartram :
Recording engineer
Trystan Francis :
Mixing engineer
Jeremy Murphy :
Assistant recording engineer
James Howe :
Programmer
Chris Egan :
Producer, Recording arranger
Chamber Orchestra Of London :
Strings

Session Recording:
July 2016
Studio :
Hog Hill Studio, Rye, UK

Session Strings recording:
May 2016
Studio :
Angel Studios, Islington, London, UK

Films


Ethel & Ernest

2016 • For Various Artists • Directed by Roger Mainwood

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

Contribute!

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Andrew Stewart 2 years ago

Hello, can I purchase this song anywhere?
Needless to say, I found the lyrics and music quite moving, and, without wanting to sound morbid. I would like to include the song in my choices of music at my own funeral.

Thanks in anticipation
Andrew Stewart


The PaulMcCartney Project 2 years ago

Hi Andrew,
Thanks for your message. You can for instance buy it from Amazon : https://www.amazon.com/Blink-Eye/dp/B01M3W493D/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=Ethel+%26+Ernest+Original+Motion+Picture+Soundtrack&qid=1553176759&s=gateway&sr=8-2
Cheers !


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