The Paul McCartney Project

Lonesome Town

Written by Baker Knight

Album This song officially appears on the Run Devil Run Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1999
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Lonesome Town” is a song written by Baker Knight. A version sung by Ricky Nelson became a hit single in the United States, reaching #7 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #15 on the R&B chart in 1958 […].

Paul McCartney recorded it for his album Run Devil Run (1999). From the liner notes of “Run Devil Run“:

A 1958 American hit for Ricky Nelson. “I like Ricky Nelson…Stood Up, Believe What You Say…but I loved Lonesome Town. It’s like Heartbreak Hotel, it’s a place we all know.”

From an interview with Laura Gross (promotional interview for “Run Devil Run” in 1999):

Laura Gross: Lonesome Town is so sad.

Paul McCartney: Well, it’s, it’s got to be a bit sad Lonesome Town because of my kind of circumstances now, you know. When I first heard it, it was just a nice ballad, you know. It was just a ballad for lonesome people, you know. And that was ok. Ricky Nelson did it. So I always liked the song and I always thought, one of these days I might do that. Might get, try to get round to doing that. Actually it’s funny, what happened was, got into the studio fully intending to do it like Ricky Nelson. But then I thought, you know, his version is so good. And if I do, There’s a place where lovers go, which is how he did it, I thought, well, it’s just gonna be a complete remake. In certain cases I don’t mind a remake. But in this one, I thought, no. So I thought, what I’ll do is I, I’ll take it higher. There’s a place where lo, more my kind of, you know, higher voice. So I thought, well, I use that. Everything was going great. I said, anyone know this one. Couple of guys, yeah, couple of guys, no. So I said, here’s how it goes. But it all worked out. And we got to the middle, ’cause I was taking it so high, I was going, And they call it lonesome town. And then it goes, Take me down to, ridiculous. It was like, you know, Micky Mouse something, Take me down, or then, if I, said, no I can’t go up, I’ll go down. It was like Take me down and it suddenly goes, in an ordinary voice. So I didn’t know which way to go. I said, uh, I’m going, like, spoil the mood. So then, in two seconds flat, it was like, ah, I know. Dave, will you sing the tune Take me down to lonesome. And I’ll stay above it. Take me down to lonesome town. I’ll sing a harmony above it. So it’s good, you know. And that’s exactly how we used to work with the Beatles. An idea would come up. Someone would go, that’s good. And it, you know, it didn’t take weeks to go through the bureaucracy of, is it a good idea, will we use it. No time, you go, we better ?…?, we’re running out of time. So we did, and I think that worked out great. The fact that, you know, just a little idea like that.

Last updated on September 21, 2016

Lyrics

There's a place where lovers go
To cry their troubles away
And we call it Lonesome Town
Where the broken hearts stay

You can buy a dream or two
To last you all through the years
And the only price you pay
Is heart full of tears

Going down to Lonesome Town
Where the broken hearts stay
I'm going down to Lonesome Town
To cry my troubles away

And in the town of broken dreams
The streets are filled with regret
Maybe down in Lonesome Town
Well, I can learn to forget

Going down to Lonesome Town
Where the lonely hearts stay
I'm going down to Lonesome Town
To cry, to cry my troubles away

And in the town of broken dreams
The streets are filled with regret
Maybe down in Lonesome Town
I can learn to forget

Maybe down in Lonesome Town
I can learn to forget

Officially appears on


Run Devil Run

Official album • Released in 1999

3:30 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass guitar, Producer, Vocal
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Mick Green:
Electric guitar
David Gilmour:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Ian Paice:
Drums
Pete Wingfield:
Piano
Dave Mattacks:
Percussion
Geraint Watkins:
Piano
Chris Thomas:
Producer
Paul Hicks:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 03, 1999
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


Rock Devil Rock

Unofficial album • Released in 2000

0:33 • Live • False start

Concert From "The Apocalypse Tube" in Newcastle, United Kingdom on Nov 20, 1999


Rock Devil Rock

Unofficial album • Released in 2000

1:53 • Live • Incomplete ending, fade out

Concert From "The Apocalypse Tube" in Newcastle, United Kingdom on Nov 20, 1999


Run Devil Run - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

3:30 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Bass guitar, Producer, Vocal
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Mick Green:
Electric guitar
David Gilmour:
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Ian Paice:
Drums
Pete Wingfield:
Piano
Dave Mattacks:
Percussion
Geraint Watkins:
Piano
Chris Thomas:
Producer
Paul Hicks:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 03, 1999
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road




Live performances

“Lonesome Town” has been played in 4 concerts and 1 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where “Lonesome Town” has been played


Live At The Cavern

Dec 14, 1999 • United Kingdom • Liverpool • The Cavern Club


The Apocalypse Tube

Nov 20, 1999 • United Kingdom • Newcastle • Tyne Tees Studios • TV show


PETA Party Of The Century

Sep 18, 1999 • USA • Hollywood • Paramount Studios


Here, There And Everywhere: A Concert For Linda

Apr 10, 1999 • United Kingdom • London • Royal Albert Hall


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