The Paul McCartney Project

The Pound Is Sinking

Written by Paul McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Tug Of War Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1982
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

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Song facts

From an interview with Club Sandwich, 1982:

Andy Mackay – “The Pound is Sinking”, that’s an interesting song, I am curious about this. Obviously there is sort of pleasure in the words and the rhythms and the idea of it all, the sort of irony.

Paul – For me, it’s just the funny thing about the pundits day to day giving us an update so that all the people who’ve got money can gauge it all, like the weather. There is something which sort of amuses me about this constant update of something that is always going to be different, you are never going to be able to put your finger on it, but it just might help, knowing if there is snow on the M6, but generally they make more mistakes than they make correct predictions, it seems to me. You know, the pound is sinking — panic — and then the pound’s all right now, and everyone gets back into it. It’s a funny idea; I like the idea of all the ants doing what the lead ant tells them, you know, the oracle.

Andy – There is someone whose father is a remarkable man. Anyone in particular?

Paul – It’s not about anyone, no. Sometimes I just get little jumbles of words that sound nice and I haven’t even really got a meaning to them, but I know that they’re words, and that they have a meaning so I don’t really attempt to resolve that…

In this, it’s mainly just the ridiculousness, apparent ridiculousness, of the money market — the ups and downs and then and the indexes and stuff — that little bit there that comes in the middle, it’s the funny little conversation: I always imagine it like a sort of film where there is one character doing this pound is sinking bit, and explaining all the rest, and there is this little inter-cut scene with this other little bit about “your father is an extraordinary man, but you haven’t inherited any of his mannerisms.” It’s just a bunch of words, it just kinda says something that people say all the time…

Last updated on May 7, 2019

Lyrics

The pound is sinking
The peso's falling
The lira's reeling
And feeling quite appalling

The mark is holding
The franc is fading
The drachma's very weak
But everyone's still trading

The market's bottom
Has fallen right out
And only the strong are survivors

Well I fear, my dear
That it's eminently clear
That you can't see the trees
For the forest
Your father was an
Extraordinary man
But you don't seem to have inherited
Many of his mannerisms

Oh, any of his mannerisms

The dollar's moving
The rouble's rising
The yen is keeping up
Which hardly seems surprising

The market's bottom
Has fallen right out
And only the stout are survivors

Hear me lover
I can't be held responsible now
For something that didn't happen
I knew you for a minute
Oh, it didn't happen
Only for a minute
Your heart just wasn't in it any more

The pound is sinking
The peso's failing
The lira's reeling,
And feeling quite appalling

Officially appears on


Tug Of War

Official album • Released in 1982

2:55 • Studio versionA

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Arrangement, Backing vocals, Electric guitar, Synthesizers, Vocal
Linda McCartney:
Backing vocals
Denny Laine:
Acoustic guitar
Stanley Clarke:
Bass
Eric Stewart:
Backing vocals
George Martin:
Arrangement, Producer
Geoff Emerick:
Engineer
Jon Jacobs:
Second engineer
Mike Stavrou:
Second engineer

Session Recording:
Feb 3rd-4th, 1981
Studio:
AIR Studios, Montserrat

Session Recording:
Feb 10, 1981
Studio:
AIR Studios, Montserrat

Session Overdubs:
Mar 12, 1981
Studio:
AIR Studios, London

Session Mixing:
Sep 01, 1981
Studio:
AIR Studios, London


Tug Of War - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2015

2:55 • Studio version • 2015 remix


Tug Of War - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2015

Demo


Tug Of War - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2015

Studio version

Bootlegs


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.10

Unofficial album

2:31 • Studio version


Unsurpassed Rudeness

Unofficial album

2:35 • Outtake


Tug Of Peace

Unofficial album

2:28 • Outtake


Rude Studio Demos

Unofficial album • Released in 1989

2:30 • Demo

Session Recording:
August 1980
Studio:
Parkgate Studio, Sussex, UK


Tug Of War Demos

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

2:30 • Alternate take

Session Recording:
August 1980
Studio:
Parkgate Studio, Sussex, UK


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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In Praise of Fabcast, The Best Beatles Podcast Ever | Podcast Review 3 months ago

[…] for the music extends all the way to deep cuts like “The Pound is Sinking,” a song Paul has never played live and in which, Howie and Bard suggest, Paul reaches the apex of his vocal prowess while […]