The Paul McCartney Project

Smile Away

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Ram Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1971
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Beatles Bible:

The final song on side one of Paul and Linda McCartney’s 1971 album Ram was an up-tempo rocker with nonsense lyrics.

The words have been interpreted by some as a commentary on the other Beatles and Allen Klein. And while it is tempting to dismiss Smile Away as meaningless nonsense, there could indeed be a degree of autobiography in the words.

McCartney was known to be depressed following the break-up of The Beatles, and found solace in music and the love of Linda. The chorus – a repetition of the title – was McCartney with his head held high, finding positivity in spite of the insults of his various friends.

Musically, Smile Away harked back to the rock ‘n’ roll years of the late 1950s and early 60s, featuring a swing beat, overdriven guitars and harmony vocals. Ram was intended to be a step away from the underproduced homemade sound of 1970’s McCartney, yet Smile Away was a live-sounding ensemble performance, a step away from the intricate production elsewhere on the album.

In some European countries and in Japan the Ram song Eat At Home was issued as a single, with Smile Away as its b-side. The introduction was slightly edited to remove the crossfade from Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.

Last updated on December 30, 2013

Lyrics

Smile away, smile away, yeah smile away,
Smile away, smile away, smile away, yeah smile away.

I was walking down the street the other day,
‘Ah, who did you meet?'
‘I met a friend of mine and he did say'
‘Man I can smell your feet a mile away!'

Smile away, smile away,
‘Man I can smell your breath a mile away'
Smile away, smile away, smile away, yeah smile away,
Smile away

‘Oh smile away sweetly now'
‘Come on now – ooh, sweetly, smile away.'
‘Yes sir – smile away'
‘Now smile away quietly now'
‘Smile away, horribly now'

Smile away,
‘Man I can smell your teeth a mile away'
Smile away

Officially appears on


Ram

Official album • Released in 1971

3:57 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell:
Drums
Hugh McCracken:
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg:
Mix engineer

Session Recording:
Nov 16, 1970
Studio:
CBS Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
Jan 29, 1971
Studio:
A&R Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
March-April, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

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


Thrillington

Official album • Released in 1977

4:41 • Studio versionC • Instrumental version

Percy "Thrills" Thrillington:
Producer
Richard Hewson:
Arrangements, Orchestration
Tony Clark:
Mixing, Recording
Vic Flick:
Guitar
Clem Cattini:
Drums
Herbie Flowers:
Bass
Steve Gray:
Piano
Roger Coulan:
Organ
Jim Lawless:
Percussion
Alan Parsons:
Second engineer
?:
Saxophone
Chris Karen:
Guica

Session Recording:
Jun 15, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 16, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 17, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 18, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


Ram (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

3:57 • Studio versionA

Recording:
Nov 16, 1970
Studio:
CBS Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
Jan 29, 1971
Studio:
A&R Studios, New York City

Overdubs:
March-April, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles

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


Ram - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2012

3:53 • Studio versionA • Stereo version

Paul McCartney:
Backing vocals, Bass, Electric guitar, Producer, Vocals
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals, Producer
Denny Seiwell:
Drums
Hugh McCracken:
Electric guitar
Eirik Wangberg:
Mix engineer

Recording:
Nov 16, 1970
Studio:
CBS Studios, New York City

Recording:
Jan 29, 1971
Studio:
A&R Studios, New York City

Recording:
March-April, 1971
Studio:
Sound Recorders Studio, Los Angeles


Ram - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2012

3:56 • Studio versionB • Mono • Mono album: 2012 remaster


Ram - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2012

4:41 • Studio versionC2012 • Thrillington: 2012 remaster

Percy "Thrills" Thrillington:
Producer
Richard Hewson:
Arrangements, Orchestration
Tony Clark:
Mixing, Recording
Vic Flick:
Guitar
Clem Cattini:
Drums
Herbie Flowers:
Bass
Steve Gray:
Piano
Roger Coulan:
Organ
Jim Lawless:
Percussion
Alan Parsons:
Second engineer
?:
Saxophone
Chris Karen:
Guica

Session Recording:
Jun 15, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 16, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jun 17, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio One, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jun 18, 1971
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


2012 exclusive downloads

Official album • Released in 2012

3:47 • LiveL1

Concert From the concert in Groningen, Netherlands on Aug 19, 1972


Wings Over Europe

Official album • Released in 2018

Live

Concert From the concert in Berlin, Germany on Aug 24, 1972

Bootlegs




First Live Show

Unofficial live

3:44 • Live



Arles'72

Unofficial live • Released in 2001

4:04 • Live

Concert From the concert in Arles, France on Jul 13, 1972


Live performances

“Smile Away” has been played in 28 concerts.

Latest concerts where “Smile Away” has been played








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