Winter Rose

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

Master release

Related sessions

This song has been recorded during the following studio sessions

"Back To The Egg" sessions #1

June 29 - July 27, 1978

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Song facts

The folk acoustic side of the band was front and center for the ballad “Winter Rose.” This flowing minor key song fragment eventually became the intro to “Love Awake,” a lovely ballad that we started in Scotland, but would re-record a few months later at Lympne Castle. I played a picking pattern on an Ovation classical with a special pickup that directed alternate strings to either side of the stereo mix, with strings 6, 4 and 2 on the left and 5, 3, 1 on the right. This added a spatial atmosphere to Paul’s piano part that was supported by Steve’s muted drum pulse. The vocal is a little husky (I think Paul had a cold when it was recorded)’ but it fits the wintery mood of the piece.

Laurence Juber, in Guitar With Wings, 2014

Winter Rose. l played an Ovation classical wired in stereo. If you listen carefully you can hear the guitar jump from one speaker to the other. Paul played some harpsichord and Denny some double speed guitar.

Laurence Juber, from Club Sandwich N°14, April / May 1979

Last updated on March 7, 2020


All through the summer I have followed you around
Bringing a rose for the Winter that's coming
Now the snow is on the ground

Winter rose, Winter rose
Shine your light in the air
Winter rose, Winter rose
Shine your light everywhere

Officially appears on

Back To The Egg

Official album • Released in 1979

4:59 • Studio versionA

Session Recording:
June 29 - July 27, 1978
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland

Back To The Egg (1993)

Official album • Released in 1993

4:59 • Studio versionA

Session Recording:
June 29 - July 27, 1978
Studio :
Spirit Of Ranachan Studio, Campbeltown, Scotland


MoMac's Hidden Tracks Vol.12

Unofficial album

2:20 • Studio version

Oh, Mistake (Back To The Egg Outtakes)

Unofficial album • Released in 1997

5:08 • Studio version

Japan Rehearsals

Unofficial live • Released in 1998

5:03 • Studio version

Back To The Egg Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2013

5:06 • Studio version • Love Awake

Back To The Egg Sessions

Unofficial album • Released in 2013

1:17 • Studio version


Winter Rose / Love Awake

1979 • Directed by Keith McMillan

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

Going further

Paul McCartney: Music Is Ideas. The Stories Behind the Songs (Vol. 1) 1970-1989

With 25 albums of pop music, 5 of classical – a total of around 500 songs – released over the course of more than half a century, Paul McCartney's career, on his own and with Wings, boasts an incredible catalogue that's always striving to free itself from the shadow of The Beatles. The stories behind the songs, demos and studio recordings, unreleased tracks, recording dates, musicians, live performances and tours, covers, events: Music Is Ideas Volume 1 traces McCartney's post-Beatles output from 1970 to 1989 in the form of 346 song sheets, filled with details of the recordings and stories behind the sessions. Accompanied by photos, and drawing on interviews and contemporary reviews, this reference book draws the portrait of a musical craftsman who has elevated popular song to an art-form.

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Julie Singh 4 years ago

I just heard my daughter playing To the Garden by Alexandre Tansman on the piano and it sounds just like Winter Rose, at least in the beginning. Did Paul use his music or was this just coincidence?

The PaulMcCartney Project 4 years ago

Hi Julie, thanks for your message. I've read various books and none mentions this similitude... I guess it's coincidence !?

David Harvey 2 years ago

I can hear a fretless bass being used on the recording, so it's most likely Paul using his left-handed Rickenbacker fretless. Laurence said in 1979 that Denny played some double-speed guitar, but he didn't clarify if he meant Denny played an electric guitar or an acoustic guitar, considering that Laurence himself played an Ovation classical.

The PaulMcCartney Project 2 years ago

Thanks David. In an interview he gave to Luca Perasi, Laurence Juber said (in 2011) : "I played the picked arpeggio parts on an Ovation nylon-strung classical redorded direct in stereo. Paul played bass - it sounds like the Rickenbacker. I don't remember doing any overdubs, but it's possible I played some electric too"

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