The Paul McCartney Project

The Mess

Album This song officially appears on the My Love / The Mess 7" Single.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1973

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions

ICA rehearsals

February 1972

"James Paul McCartney" sessions

February - March 1973

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Song facts

From The Beatles Rarity:

By March [1972] the tour was finished and the band went to Los Angeles to begin sessions for the follow-up album to the Wings debut LP Wild Life. Paul intended for this to be a double album with the title Red Rose Speedway. The material would include some new songs they had recently tried out live such as “My Love,” “Henry’s Blues” and “The Mess,” along with a few leftovers from the ‘pre-Wings’ Ram album such as “Big Barn Bed,” “Get On The Right Thing” and “Little Lamb Dragonfly.” After a long string of sessions throughout the spring and early summer of 1972 however, the album was not ready, and they decided to hit the road again for a tour of Europe through July and August before finishing it up. The final sessions for the record took place after this tour, at Olympic Studios, London. Between the end of the sessions and the actual April 1973 release, Paul decided to cut it down to a single album omitting many of the tracks originally slated for the set. [The Mess was one of those out-takes]

The original working title of “The Mess” was “The Mess I’m In” and it was to appear as the last song on side 4 of the double Red Rose Speedway album.

The live at the Hague version of “The Mess” is released as a bonus track on the Red Rose Speedway CD but was not included on the original LP.

Last updated on August 29, 2016


You sailed away one night in june
I heard you say you would be back soon
But since that day it's been on long loon

Oh - sweet darling the mess i'm in

I spoke to jimmy with the big tattoo
Said had he seen any sign of you
He looked at me and then laughed at you
See just wait a minute, oh darling what a mess i'm in
When i want ya do i get ya
All i needed your number
Will you give me your number

Oh sweet darling
Oh sweet darling
Oh - sweet darling what a mess i'm in
What a mess i'm in, since you left me
What a mess i'm in, oh yeah
Oh oh - oh oh wo - wo
Oh oh - oh wo,wo wo

When you're near me
Can you hear me
I can't see ya
I can feel ya
When you're near me
Can ya hear me

Officially appears on

My Love / The Mess

7" Single • Released in 1973


Paul McCartney :
Bass, Vocals
Linda McCartney :
Backing vocals, Keyboards
Denny Laine :
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Henry McCullough :
Backing vocals, Electric guitar
Denny Seiwell :

Concert From the concert in The Hague, Netherlands on Aug 21, 1972

Red Rose Speedway (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

4:59 • Studio version • 1993 remaster

Red Rose Speedway - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2018

Studio version • Live At The Hague

Red Rose Speedway - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2018

Studio version

Wings Over Europe

Official album • Released in 2018

4:14 • LiveL2

Performed by :
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartneyDenny LaineHenry McCulloughDenny Seiwell
Paul McCartney :
Alan Parsons :
Recording engineer
Alex Wharton :
Steve Orchard :
Jeremy Gee :
Recording engineer assistant
Graham Fleming :
Recording engineer assistant

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


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol. 3

Unofficial album

2:12 • Studio version

MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol. 5

Unofficial album

4:02 • Studio version

Now Hear This

Unofficial album

6:57 • Studio version

First Live Show

Unofficial live

6:27 • Live

Live performances

“The Mess” has been played in 42 concerts and 1 soundchecks.

Latest concerts where has been played


Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Michael Olsen 4 years ago

I am confident that a live version of "The Mess" was released as the B-side to "My Love" -- in Canada, at least.

admin 4 years ago

Hi Michael, you're perfectly right ! And it demonstrates how much work is still needed ! :) Thanks for your comment, I have implemented changes accordingly.

David Byrne 1 years ago

Hi there, was there a studio recording of The Mess, and if so, what record was it released on, as opposed to the live at the Hague version which appears on the archive collection.

The PaulMcCartney Project 1 years ago

Hi David,
There was indeed a studio recording of The Mess, available on various bootlegs, but made available officially on the Archive Collection released in 2018 (along with the live at La Hague). Recorded at Olympic Sound Studios, March 8, 1972