Secret Friend

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Temporary Secretary / Secret Friend 12" Single.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1980

Song facts

[…] This was the album where I felt like the nutty professor in his laboratory. Some of the tracks, there’s one in particular, ‘Secret Friend’, and another one, ‘ Blue Sway’, that go on for like 10 minutes. I just got into it. Now, that’s all very well when you’re doing your first take. But then you’ve got to put a cow-bell on it and I would sit there in real time and put a cow-bell on for 10 minutes, occasionally glancing at my watch, and I’ve got five more to go: dink-dink, dinka dink-dink… Your thoughts come swimming in: “Are you kidding me? You’re really gonna stand here and do this? Why don’t you just do the cow-bell on that bit? No, I’ll mix it out later,” which of course you never do. “Right! Now we’ll do maracas!” Ch-ch-ch-ch, looking at the watch again.

Paul McCartney, from McCartney II Archive Collection, 2011

It’s very dismissable: ‘A ten-minute track, called “Secret Friend”? Leave it out! It’s not “Hey Jude”. So shut up.’ Well, it isn’t ‘Hey Jude’ but I knew what I was doing. I wasn’t trying to write ‘Hey Jude’. It’s like Picasso – dare I compare myself? Ha! No, you daren’t! But whenever he got a groove going, his Blue Period or his Cubist Period, he kicked it over. He never did any more, and the people would go, ‘I loved your Blue Period.’ ‘Yeah, well, I’m fed up with that, I’m doing cubist now.’

That’s a bit how I feel. It’s difficult to admit, but some of those songs, I’ve written them purposefully avoiding writing hits. Which is very strange. People hear that and go, ‘Why did you do that?’ It’s because I think of myself a bit more as an artist. It’s a strange period I went through. I wanted to spew this idea on a tape.

Paul McCartney – From “Conversations with McCartney” by Paul du Noyer, 2016

Lyrics

Feel like you've never fit before
Here we are
Where are we
Cast adrift on some uncharted sea
I know we'll find our way
I know we'll reach the end
If you will say you'll be my secret friend

Night draws in, once again
As she turns her velvet collar up
A perfect day will end
If you will say you'll be my secret friend

Feel like you've never fell before, once more

Night draws in, once again
As she turns her velvet collar up
A perfect day will end
If you will say you'll be my secret friend

Feel like you've never felt before. once more

Here we are
Where are we
Cast adrift on some uncharted sea
I know we'll find our way
If you will say you'll be my secret friend

Feel like you've never felt before, once more

I need ya
I need ya
I need ya
I need ya

Night draws in, once again
As she turns her velvet collar up
A perfect day will end
If you will say you'll be my secret friend

Feel like you've never felt before, once more

Here we are
Where are we
Cast adrift on some uncharted sea
I know we'll find our way
I know we'll reach the end
If you will say you'll be my secret friend

I need ya
I need ya

Officially appears on


Temporary Secretary / Secret Friend

12" Single • Released in 1980

10:30 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Mixing engineer, Percussion, Producer, Shaker, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein :
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
Oct 04, 1979
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


McCartney II (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

10:31 • Studio versionA1993 • 1993 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Mixing engineer, Percussion, Producer, Shaker, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein :
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
Oct 04, 1979
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


McCartney II - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2011

10:32 • Studio versionA1.2011 • Full Length Version - 2011 remaster

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Mixing engineer, Percussion, Producer, Shaker, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein :
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
Oct 04, 1979
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


The 7” Singles Box

7" Single • Released in 2022

5:14 • Studio versionA1 • 7" Single Edit

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Mixing engineer, Percussion, Producer, Shaker, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein :
Mixing assistant
Mark Wharton :
Remastering

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
Oct 04, 1979
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon

Bootlegs


B-Sides Complete Vol. 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2000

10:28 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Mixing engineer, Percussion, Producer, Shaker, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein :
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
Oct 04, 1979
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


The Lost McCartney Album

Unofficial album • Released in 2000

10:06 • Rough mixA1

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Mixing engineer, Percussion, Producer, Shaker, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein :
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Recording:
Oct 04, 1979
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


UK Singles Collection - Volume 02

Unofficial album • Released in 2007

10:32 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Mixing engineer, Percussion, Producer, Shaker, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein :
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
Oct 04, 1979
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


McCartney II - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

10:32 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Mixing engineer, Percussion, Producer, Shaker, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein :
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Mixing:
Oct 04, 1979
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon


Studio Rarities - Volume 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2016

10:07 • Rough mixA1

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Drums, Electric guitar, Keyboards, Mixing engineer, Percussion, Producer, Shaker, Synthesizers, Vocals
Eddie Klein :
Mixing assistant

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Home Studio, Peasmarsh, Sussex, UK

Session Recording:
June - July 1979
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Session Recording:
Oct 04, 1979
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Credits & recording details courtesy of Luca Perasi • Buy Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989 on Amazon

Latest concerts where Secret Friend has been played

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

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