Album This song officially appears on the Red Rose Speedway - Archive Collection Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 2018

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions

Recording "Tragedy"

Mar 13, 1972

Mixing "Tragedy"

Jan 28, 1973

Overdubs for Cold Cuts project

September / October 1986

Other unreleased songs from the double-album Red Rose Speedway project

Related interviews

RAM, Wings, and Beyond: An Interview with Denny Seiwell

May 22, 2012 • From The Morton Report

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 Wikipedia:

Tragedy” is a song by Gerald H. Nelson and Fred B. Burch. A recording of the song by Thomas Wayne and the DeLons rose to #5 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1959. A 1961 cover version by The Fleetwoods rose to #10 on the charts. Brian Hyland also recorded it in 1969, but it only made it to #56.

Wayne’s hit version was released on Memphis, Tennessee-based Fernwood Records, which was owned by Ronald “Slim” Wallace (1957–1965). The single was made with a trio of girls recruited from the local high school. Wayne was a one hit wonder who cut around 20 songs including a remake of his hit for the reactivated Sun label which sounds similar to the original. Some of his other songs were hits for others such as “This Time” (Troy Shondell) and “Girl Next Door Went a Walkin’” (Elvis Presley). Despite all of his recordings for 3 different labels before his death in a car crash on August 15, 1971, he never cut an album and there has never been any CD been issued of his songs.

Paul McCartney and Wings also recorded a version of the song for the planned 2 LP set Red Rose Speedway. The idea for the 2 LP set was later abandoned and instead they released a single LP with the same title, but without “Tragedy”. […]

Tragedy” covered by Wings has been available on many bootlegs over the years. It has been officially released in 2018 as part of the “Red Rose Speedway (Archive Collection)“. It’s worth noting that a snippet of this cover was included on a promotional 7″, released in 1977 by MPL, to advertise the move of their corporate offices.

Last updated on July 2, 2020


Wind and storm (ooh-ooh)
Gone's the sun (the sun, ooh)
From the stars my dark has come
You've gone from me, oh, oh, tragedy (ah, ah, ah, ah, ah)

Oh, come back
Have me here
Hold me, love
Be sincere
You've gone from me, oh, oh, tragedy (ee-ee, ee-ee, ee-ee, ee-ee)

(ah, ah, ah)
Like smoke from a fire
Of love oh, oh, oh, ooh
Our dreams have all gone
Above oh, oh, oh, ooh

Blown by wind
Kissed by snow
All that's left is the dark be-ee-ee-low
You've gone from me, oh, oh, tragedy
(Oh, oh, oh)

Officially appears on

Red Rose Speedway - Archive Collection

Official album • Released in 2018

3:21 • Studio versionA

Performed by :
Paul McCartneyLinda McCartneyDenny LaineHenry McCulloughDenny Seiwell
Paul McCartney :
Mark Vigars :
Mixing assistant engineer
Glyn Johns :
Recording engineer
Richard Lush :
Mixing engineer
Alex Wharton :
Steve Orchard :
Phil Ault :
Recording assistant engineer

Session Recording:
Mar 13, 1972
Studio :
Olympic Sound Studios, London

Session Mixing:
Jan 28, 1973
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


The Alternate Red Rose Speedway Volume 1: The Original Acetate

Unofficial album

3:23 • Studio version

Complete Cold Cuts

Unofficial album

3:17 • Alternate take • Basic Track

Complete Cold Cuts

Unofficial album

3:21 • Alternate take • Rough Mix

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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!

Katie 5 years ago

Ah, my favorite McCartney quote; "Find more lyrics at ?"

The PaulMcCartney Project 5 years ago

oooops :D Thanks for noticing Katie

Andrew Lynch 4 years ago

This song also appeared on this promo in 1976:

The PaulMcCartney Project 4 years ago

Thanks @andrew, this MPL promo is a great find !!

Andrew Lynch 4 years ago

Pegboy's Cold Cuts says it's a portion of the song but there's nothing to indicate that in the artwork shown on discogs. I can't say I know but I figured you'd want this for sure in your listings. Looks like there were a couple other Wings entries on there too.

The PaulMcCartney Project 4 years ago

@andrew, I've added an entry for - "The Paul McCartney & Wings related songs on the sampler are Let Em In, Silly Love Songs, My Love, Live and Let Die, Tragedy, Jet, Band On The Run and Uncle Albert." Thanks a lot again !

Roger Lee 4 years ago

This is the first time I have heard sitar on a Paul McCartney track. Is there any record of who is playing it?

Roger Rajah

John 3 years ago

Is there any evidence suggesting which version inspired McCartney--the original by Thomas Wayne or the sweeter one by The Fleetwoods?

Stephen 3 years ago

One of the best previously unreleased songs to be included in the Archive Collection. Rivals Love is Strange for the best cover song McCartney has ever done post Beatles.

John D. Mackintosh 2 years ago

I first heard this wonderful version in the late 1980s when I got a vinyl copy of Cold Cuts. Strange how I never realized a sitar was part of the song until I had on the CD of the expanded Red Rose Speedway earlier today. It blends so effortlessly with the overall instrumentation, much as it did on the Beatles “You’ve Got toHide Your Love Away”. Surely, this plus the 1993 live version of “Good Rockin’ Tonight” from Paul is Live are the two best covers he has done since the demise of the Fabs. A pity that many had to wait so long after the 1970s to hear Tragedy. Should have been a single back in his hot selling days of the seventies.

Sylvain Chuzeville 1 year ago

According to The McCartney Legacy, Paul played the sitar part himself

The PaulMcCartney Project 1 year ago

Thanks Sylvain. I have yet to finish reading The McCartney Legacy - plenty to update on the site based on this amazing work, I suspect !

Dan 1 month ago

I own an acetate of Paul's version of Tragedy on a 10" Emidisc. Does anyone know how many versions were recorded?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *