The Paul McCartney Project

The Broadcast

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
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From Classics Rocks! blog:

In The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years, Vincent Benitez writes:  “The Broadcast is the most experimental track in Wings’ entire output.”  David Bowie was reportedly so impressed by the track, which appears on the 1979 album Back to the Egg, that he thought it should be released as the first single.  Technically, the track isn’t a song at all, but a spoken word piece heard over a fragment of melody–and the words aren’t spoken by Paul McCartney or anybody else in the band.

The track was recorded at Lympne Castle in Kent, England, which dates from the 12th century.  The castle was owned by a gentleman named Harold Margary and his wife Deirdre.  Benitez quotes Wings guitarist Laurence Juber:

It’s a bit hazy but the guy that owns the castle where we were recording, both he and his wife had these very plummy kind of voices… I think it was like, “Oh, wouldn’t it be fun to have them read some classic English literature material and use the orchestral background to be just this kind of weird interlude.”  And they were game for it.

McCartney selected books at random from the castle library and recorded the Margarys reading selections.  Harold Margary read from The Sport of Kings by Ian Hay and The Little Man by John Galsworthy, which is what you hear on the final track.  Deirdre Margary read lyrics from a song called “The Poodle and the Pug,” from a 1946 light opera called Big Ben.  “Her reading didn’t make the final version,” reports Ian Peel in The Unknown Paul McCartney, “but a few lines (‘…with tufts of hair stuck here and there which one would like to tug…’) were spliced into Reception,” another track on the album.

Paul McCartney in "Conversations With McCartney", by Paul Du Noyer:

The two people who owned the castle we were recording at [Harold and Deirdre Margary, at Lympne]… We set up a little mobile unit and they used to invite us in for a drink every evening. Me and Linda would sit in their sitting room and they were [gently upper-class accent] ‘very lovely people, very far back’. We got a great relationship with them. Even though we were different generations and classes, we just had a lot in common. And I hit on this idea, I asked them would you select some favourite prose or poetry, just read it for me and I’ll use it in a collage. So that became ‘The Broadcast’.

Last updated on March 25, 2018

Lyrics

We've got a chance and we'll take it
We may win or we may lose
We may even have to cut and run for it

Well it won't be the first time I've run
And it won't be the first time I've been caught
It's the game that matters

Brother I'm proud to know you
This is one of the greatest moments
I have ever experienced

I think I sense the situation
When I say that we all esteem it an honour
To breathe the rather inferior atmosphere
Of the station
Here along with our little friend

I guess we shall all go home and treasure
The memory of his face
As the whitest thing in our museum of recollections

And perhaps this good woman will also go home
And wash the face of our little brother here
And inspire the new faith in mankind

Ladies and gentlemen
I wish to present to you a sure enough saint
Only wants a halo to be transfixed
Stand right up

Officially appears on


Back To The Egg

Official album • Released in 1979

1:30 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Electric guitar (with gizmo), Mellotron, Piano, Producer
Mark Vigars:
Assistant engineer
Phil McDonald:
Engineer
Chris Thomas:
Producer
Diedre Margary:
Narration

Session Recording:
September 11 to 29, 1978
Studio:
Lympne Castle, Kent

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


Back To The Egg (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

1:30 • Studio versionA

Session Recording:
September 11 to 29, 1978
Studio:
Lympne Castle, Kent

Bootlegs


Eggs Up

Unofficial album

1:29 • Outtake


Oh, Mistake (Back To The Egg Outtakes)

Unofficial album • Released in 1997

1:29 • Studio version


Let'Em Out Vol. 5 - Rehearsals & Outtakes

Unofficial album • Released in 2010

1:32 • Alternate take


Back To The Egg Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2013

1:23 • Studio version


Back To The Egg - Ultimate Archive Collection

Unofficial album • Released in 2015

1:30 • Studio versionA

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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Johnny j Rivera 1 years ago

Isn't Deidre a Female? The narration was done by a male Voice or have I had it wrong all these years...


The PaulMcCartney Project 1 years ago

Hi Johnny, that's a very good question. Luca Perasi, in "Paul McCartney (recording sessions - 1969-2013)" says: "McCartney added the voice of the castle's owner, Mr. Margary", and credits Diedre Margary for the narration. So I'm as confused as you are ...


The PaulMcCartney Project 1 years ago

By the way, right spelling seems to be Deirdre - http://www.companydirectorcheck.com/deirdre-margary