The Paul McCartney Project

My Old Friend

Written by Carl Perkins

Album This song officially appears on the Go Cat Go! Official album.

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Song facts

From http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RywM8Xy98Ew:

In 1981, Paul and wife Linda invited Carl to stay with them in Montserrat. Paul wanted Carl’s help recording a song called Get It for his new album, Tug of War. Carl spent eight days with them, and the remaining ex-Beatles George Harrison and Ringo Starr had been there to help out as well. It was a great time between old friends who had shared such a legendary musical past.

The night before he left, a song came to Carl that summed up his warm feelings about the visit, and he couldn’t get it out of his mind. It was so strong that Carl didn’t even write it down, which he said was strange for him. He usually always wrote his songs down immediately.

In the morning, Carl Perkins sang the song, which he named My Old Friend, for Linda and Paul, saying it was his gift for having him as a guest. Half way through the song, after singing “if we never meet again this side of life, in a little while, over yonder, where there’s peace and quiet, my old friend, won’t you think about me every now and then?” tears streamed down Paul’s face and he stood up and stepped outside.

Not knowing what the matter was, Carl stopped, a bit shaken. Didn’t Paul like the song? Linda warmly put her arms around Carl, and thanked him. She said the song was getting Paul to finally connect with his grief over John Lennon’s death.

Linda explained that the last time Paul talked to John, he had said the same line to Paul: “think about me every now and then, my old friend.”

Carl and Linda were now convinced that the song had been channeled from John Lennon’s spirit, as a gift to Paul.

Last updated on March 10, 2014

Lyrics

On the Isle of Montserrat
Though I never shall forget
Just a country boy, a guitar and a song
You invited me in
And you treated me like king
And you’ve given me a reason to go on

My old friend,
Thanks for inviting me in
My old friend,
May this goodbye never mean the end
If we never meet again this side of life
In a little while, over yonder,
Where it’s peace and quiet
My old friend,
Won’t you think about me every now and then

If I told you how I feel
Oh, it wouldn’t sound so real
‘Cause emotions, they are just now settin’ in
But it sure is great to know
That wherever we may go
We can always be the best of friends

My old friend,
Thanks for inviting me in
My old friend,
May this goodbye never mean the end
And if we never meet again this side of life
In a little while, over yonder,
Where it’s peace and quiet
My old friend,
Won’t you think about me every now and then

And I’ll think about you,
My old friend

Officially appears on


Go Cat Go!

Official album • Released in 1996

3:21 • Studio version

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Drums, Guitar, Piano, Producer, Vocals
Carl Perkins:
Guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer, Strings arrangement
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer, Mixing engineer
Eddie Klein:
Mixing engineer
Keith Smith:
Mixing engineer
Jon Kelly:
String recording engineer
Mike Stavrou:
Engineer

The Legendary Songs Of Carl Perkins

Official album • Released in 2003

Studio version

Bootlegs


Old Friends From Montserrat

Unofficial album

3:23 • Studio version • Tug of War sessions

Recording:
Feb 24, 1981
Studio:
Air Studios, Montserrat


Old Friends From Montserrat

Unofficial album

3:50 • Studio version


Tug Of War Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

3:20 • Alternate take • Rough Mix


Tug Of War Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

3:23 • Alternate take • Final Mix


Tug Of War Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

3:33 • Alternate take • 1993 Jam


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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