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Mull Of Kintyre

by

Wings



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Paul McCartney wrote this with Denny Laine, his band mate in Wings. The song is a tribute an island in Scotland where Paul and his wife Linda had a farm. The Mull of Kintyre island is known for its beautiful scenery and tranquil atmosphere. After a difficult breakup with The Beatles, McCartney went there to avoid a nervous breakdown.
This was barely noticed in the US, but in Britain it was the best-selling single of the '70s, selling in excess of 2 million copies, which was more than any Beatles record. The US single was actually a bigger hit for its B-side, "Girls' School", than for this song. It peaked at #33 early in 1978.
In an amazing coincidence, the biggest hit singles of the 1970s in the UK and US - this song and Debby Boone's "You Light Up My Life," respectively - had virtually simultaneous chart runs. Even their reigns at #1 in their respective countries overlapped for 2 weeks in December 1977. (thanks, Joshua - La Crosse, WI, for above 2)
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Comments (33):

First heard/saw this song on a Celtic Thunder special on PBS. Loved it instantly! Never realized that it was Sir Paul's song! Very Cool!!!
- maggie, St Paul, MN
There is a verse missing from the lyrics page for this song. It reads as follows.
Smiles in the sunshine and tears in the rain
Still take me back where my memories remain
Flickering embers grow higher and higher
as they carry me back to the mull of kintyre
- Stephen, Melbourne, Australia
I never knew this was a McCartney song. I first heard it on a Public Radio station by a different singer. I was so captivated by it but could never seem to find it. I thought the name was Mull of Gintah. Needless to say google was useless. Recently, I came across the real name and author. I was quite surprised because I was under the impression that it was a Scottish folk tune. I'm born and bred in America but ancestry goes back to England, Ireland, and Scottland. I have to laugh at those who don't like the song. You see it's in the blood, If you don't have it, you can't get it. If you do, the sound of bagpipes grabs your throat and squeezes til tears stream down your cheeks. If it's not bred into you, you'll never get it. Thank You, Paul McCartney for touching the hearts of those with a love of the land that so many, lacking heart, want to pave over.
- Richard, Mechanicville, NY
I first heard this song on a radio in Leeds as I was leaving to travel to Glasgow by train to see my family. Whenever I hear the song I have mental images of the journey by train along the tracks running through from Motherwell up through south east Glasgow into Glasgow Central railway station and memories of the train pulling into Glasgow Central station and arriving in Glasgow. Home. Happy memories.
- Stella, London, United Kingdom
Once again Paul has written an instant classic that has already become a timeless anthem. It almost sounds like one of these anonymous medieval songs that carry on through the centuries. Paul's the best. And John and Paul are the best.
- chris, san francisco, CA
bought wings greatest around '79 or so. didn't particully care for this song (probably because I was young & it was the only song on the lp I wasn't familiar with). 30 years later I personally think it's a masterpeice!
- Lonnie, North Liberty, IN
I don't get it either....if you compare it to Yesterday, there is no comparison! This song sounds like his recent stuff....just "OK" but not classic McCartney-Lennon stuff.
- Scott, Kings Park, NY
This was the ear of disco. Paul later said that he wanted to write and perform the most NON disco-ish song he could. He thought disco was flooding the market and there would be an audience for something completely different.
- Ken, Louisville, KY
I recently purchsed the CD called "Wingspan".When I heard this song, it reminded me of my trip to Scotland and to the Scotish highlands. If ANYONE should get this opportunity, I highly recommend it.
- Jason, Denver, CO
Love it, my mum sang me to sleep with it when I was a baby.
Thomas, Forth, Tasmania
- Thomas, Forth, Australia
With all my respect, I think that Paul has much better songs, I really can't understand why this song was such a hit (I don't mean it is a bad song, but I don't find it so extraordinary) I bought the single in the 70's for "Girls school"
- Raul, Lima, Peru
I love this song it actually makes me cry when I hear it as I had two wonderful parents who were born and bread in Scotland and anytime I hear a song like this it reminds me of them. They were the salt of the earth and I am not the only one who thinks that. Hooray for Paul McCartney to record this song it shows me where his heart is and the love he has for the wonderful people who reside there. Alba go bragh!!!!!!!
- Helen, Boston, MA
I really love this song. It smacks of Celtic folk music. Its much different than most of the Wings' stuff.
- Dave, LaCrosse, WI
My husband gave this song to my family to use when we were seeing my Father off. You see he passed away early in December and we are of Scottish blood. This was the perfect song to sing him back to our ancestors.
The Thomson/Frasier Clan thank you Mylo
- carol, Kamuela, HI
I'm from Scotland and loved it. I spent 3 years in a town not far from the Mull of Kintyre growing up. This song still gives me chills. Great job!
- andrea, scotland now mobile , AL
The Bagpipes are so mad goosebumps are in order
- Daniel, Perth, Australia
If you've ever tried to write a song, you marvel at the compositional brilliance of this work. Anyone who thinks McCartney's just a freak genius who pours out whatever's in his head should listen to this to appreciate that he knows what he's doing. Listen to the carefully, unexpectedly extended phrases, the unbelievably tactful rhyming, the sheer, deliberate mastery of the folk ballad form. Richard Rodgers, Jerome Kern, Gershwin--you name them--could not do better with a similar "assignment." The fact that McCartney believes his own writing in this case (not always the case with the facile Macca), makes this very moving and memorable work.
- Jay, syracuse, NY
In my opinion, this is Paul McCartney's best post-Beatles work. How can you listen to it and not get goose bumps? Maybe it's just my Scottish blood, but I could listen to this song all day, every day.
- Jim, New Castle, PA
This song is not "horrible", it is "simplistic" and "heartfelt", and despite the fact that it was met with disdain by critics at the time, it has defied that disdain to become one of the biggest-sellers in history - over 2 million copies, so they must have done something right. You either love it, or you hate it...
- Dave, Cardiff, Wales
I saw a video of this song when I was very young and watching them on the cliff of the property,with the bagpipe band playing on the beach and 100s of people joining in as a singalong in the latter part of the song gave me goose bumps. I have never forgotten the song and own the Wings Greatest Hits CD. I love every song on that CD; but Mull of Kintyre is still my favorite on it. GREAT JOB PAUL !!! You are my hero.
- Eric, Port St Lucie, FL
You have to like the genre to like the song.
- Danny, Upstate, NY
Really wonderful song. The only song I like that actually has a bagpipe solo. From the responses, I guess you either love this song or hate it.
- James, Ronkonkoma, NY
This is a Horrible Song , He Has Done a Hell Of a Lot of better songs than this .
- jason, Dorset, England
This is the 4th top selling UK single of all time.
- Paul, Arlington, TX
This song is awful? I never been to Britian, even though I am part British, and this song is amazing. The lyrics are poet-like, the music was great, just a great song.
- John, Boston, MA
To be pedantic about it , the Mull of Kintyre is a peninsula rather than an island , altho' it can be referred to as a 'mainland island' as in:

The Kintyre peninsula , Scotland's only "mainland island" , was made famous by the Paul McCartney song Mull of Kintyre.

I'm Scottish/British , never owned a copy and never wanted to , even altho' my boyhood friend and band mate Johnny Thomson , played drums thereon(Rock 'n' Roll , it ain't - Rock 'n' Roll is American in origin and something which we Brits eagerly and lovingly embraced.....like a drowning man clutching a log.....now if only you could get rid of the current incumbent in the White House , things could get back to normal).
Thanks for all these rock 'n' roll memories , brothers and sisters!
- pete, aberdeen, Scotland
Paul McCartney was afraid that the single wouldn't sell in the U.S. beacuse of the nature of it - it's a Scottish folk song. So he put a raunchy, near-pornographic song called "Girls School" on the B-side, in hopes of getting some U.S. sales.
- Ken, Louisville, KY
thought he was singing about Mulligans Tyres
- pete, nowra, Australia
you must have to be British to get this song-- its absolutely horrible
- jordan, ontario, Canada
An acquaintance of mine who is a London native said that when this song came out it was so popular that you were very nearly considered un-British if you didn't have a copy of it.
- Shell, Riverdale, GA
9 weeks at #1 - 17 weeks on chart
- Ted, Loveland, CO
And one of the most awful singles of all time.
- Si, London, England
This was #1 for 9 weeks in the UK and is the 4th top selling UK single of all time.
- Tom, Trowbridge, England
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