The Paul McCartney Project

Old Siam, Sir

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Back To The Egg Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1979

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions


Home recordings

July 1976


"Back To The Egg" sessions #1

June 29 - July 27, 1978


"Back To The Egg" sessions #3

October - December 1978

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Old Siam, Sir” is a hard rock single from Wings’ 1979 album, Back to the Egg. It was the A-side of the UK version of the single, reaching No. 35. The B-side in the UK was also a track from the album, “Spin it On”. “Old Siam, Sir” was also the B-side of the US single “Arrow Through Me“.

Recording

Wings drummer Steve Holley, while playing keyboards during a studio session, developed a chord sequence that was eventually used in the instrumental section of the song. Paul McCartney and guitarist Denny Laine later recorded an instrumental demo for the song called “Super Big Heatwave”.

The exact recording sequence is a bit of a blur, but over the month between June 29 and July 27 we recorded a core group of songs for the album. “Old Siam, Sir” was an early one, and Paul and I doubled up on the guitar riff. It was not unusual to find him wielding his Epiphone Casino, as he did here, with a dark growling tone. I played a Les Paul custom, adding a brighter harmony part.

Laurence Juber, in Guitar With Wings, 2014

In the case of “Old Siam, Sir,” we were jamming one day and Steve Holly was playing keyboards and had this chord sequence. I’m not sure if Paul was playing drums or if it was Linda because we’d trade off in a jamming situation, but what ended up happening was that ended up in the instrumental section of the song. I always felt that Steve should have received some sort of nod for that. Unfortunately, that’s the nature of the process in that you don’t always get full credit for what you contribute as a musician, especially as the song-writing is traditionally words and melody, not chords, licks and grooves.

Laurence Juber, interview with DAYTRIPPIN’ BEATLES MAGAZINE, 2010

Last updated on February 9, 2020

Lyrics

In a village in
Old Siam Sir
Lived a lady
Who lost her way
In an effort
To find a man, sir
She found herself
In the old U.K.

*She waited round
In Walthamstow
She scouted round
In Scarborough
Repeat*

In a village
In old East Ham sir
She met a fellow
Who made her reel
Took her rushes
To show his mam Sir
Met his dad
At the wedding meal

In a letter from
Old Siam Sir
Came a terrible
Tale of woe
She decided
The only answer
Was to get up
A pile of dough

Repeat*

When a relative
Told her man sir
He directed her
Not to stay
In a village in
Old Siam Sir
Lives a lady
Who lost her way

**In a village in
Old Siam Sir
Lived a lady
Who lost her way
In an effort to
Find her man sir
She found herself in
The old U.K.

Repeat *
Repeat **
Walthamstow
Scarborough

Officially appears on


Back To The Egg

Official album • Released in 1979

4:11 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Keyboards
Denny Laine :
Electric guitar
Laurence Juber :
Electric guitar
Steve Holley :
Drums
Mark Vigars :
Assistant engineer
Phil McDonald :
Recording engineer
Chris Thomas :
Producer

Session Recording:
June 29 - July 27, 1978
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

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


Old Siam, Sir / Spin It On

7" Single • Released in 1979

Studio version


Arrow Through Me / Old Siam, Sir

7" Single • Released in 1979

4:11 • Studio version


Back To The Egg (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

4:11 • Studio versionA

Session Recording:
June 29 - July 27, 1978
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

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

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.9

Unofficial album

3:38 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.12

Unofficial album

4:39 • Studio version


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.14

Unofficial album

4:27 • Studio version


Eggs Up

Unofficial album

4:11 • Outtake


Eggs Up

Unofficial album

4:39 • Outtake


Videos

Album • Back To The Egg

Live performances

“Old Siam, Sir” has been played in 18 concerts.

Latest concerts where has been played


Concert For The People of Kampuchea

Dec 29, 1979 • United Kingdom • London • Hammersmith Odeon







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