The Paul McCartney Project

She's Given Up Talking

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Driving Rain Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 2001
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From a November 2001 interview:

‘She’s Given Up Talking’ was about someone I know whose kid had gone to school and wouldn’t talk all day that she was in school. For a year she wouldn’t talk at school and his idea of her giving up talking seemed like a good title to me. I wrote the song a couple of years ago; when I was on holiday in Jamaica and remembered this story of this girl who wouldn’t talk to the teachers or anything – which I ended up thinking that was a pretty good strategy for school, I wish I’d have thought of that. Of course I would have just got caned, they were wise to that kind of shit, my school. Then I hastily put together the middle of ‘She’s Given Up Talking’ here in LA. One of the fun things about working here was because I hadn’t told anyone what we were going to do and hadn’t played them any demos, and instead came in and just said ‘right, we’re going to do this song,’ doing that gave me a little freedom and I didn’t have to finish the songs before ten minutes before the session. I’d run upstairs to the lounge above the studio and finish it quickly. I knew what I wanted for the middle – that when she gets home she talks a lot – so I just finished it fast.

Last updated on April 30, 2018

Lyrics

She's given up talking
Don't say a word
Even in the classroom
Not a dickie bird
Unlike other children
She's seen and never heard
She's given up talking
Don't say a word

You see her in the playground
Standing on her own
Everybody wonders
Why she's all alone
Someone made her angry
Someone's got her scared
She's given up talking
Don't say a word

Ah but when she comes home
It's yap-a-yap-yap
Words are running freely
Like the water from a tap
Her brothers and her sisters
Can't get a word in edgeways
But when she's back at school again
She goes into a daze

Ah but when she comes home
It's yap-a-yap-yap
Words are running freely
Like the water from a tap
Her brothers and her sisters
Can't get a word in edgeways
But when she's back at school again
She goes into a daze

She's given up talking
Don't say a word
Even in the classroom
Not a dickie bird
Unlike other children
She's seen and never heard
She's given up talking
Don't say a word

She's given up talking
She don't say a word

Don't say a word

Officially appears on


Driving Rain

Official album • Released in 2001

4:57 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Drums, Executive producer, Vocals
Rusty Anderson:
Electric guitar, Leslie pedal
Abe Laboriel Jr.:
Electronic percussion
Gabe Dixon:
Hammond organ
David Kahne:
Electric guitar, Mixing, Producer
Mark Dearnley:
Engineer, Mixing
Jaime Sickora:
Assistant engineer
Kevin Mills:
Second assistant engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 17, 2001
Studio:
Henson Recording Studio, Los Angeles

Bootlegs


Driving Rain - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

4:57 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Bass, Drums, Executive producer, Vocals
Rusty Anderson:
Electric guitar, Leslie pedal
Abe Laboriel Jr.:
Electronic percussion
Gabe Dixon:
Hammond organ
David Kahne:
Electric guitar, Mixing, Producer
Mark Dearnley:
Engineer, Mixing
Jaime Sickora:
Assistant engineer
Kevin Mills:
Second assistant engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 17, 2001
Studio:
Henson Recording Studio, Los Angeles

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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Corey Spaulding 1 years ago

it is called selective mutism - my child suffers from it and it was pure hell with the schools.


Mark Adams 1 years ago

Thank you for this, probably not a great idea to listen to this while at work as I am now in bits. It is like you have written a song specifically about my little girl. Thank you, I have forward this to my family members. I should say there are many out there with Selective Mutism and this no doubt speaks to the other parents as well. We can all shed a collective tear.


The PaulMcCartney Project 1 years ago

@corey, @mark, thanks you for sharing your personal experiences - great if Paul's song can put words on this, and share awareness / potentially bring some kind of relief as well.


sandyneedsmusic 5 months ago

Thank you for that song. As child i was suffering selektive mutism, too. By the way, it was music that helped me overcome!!