Despite Repeated Warnings

Album: Egypt Station (2018)
Play Video


  • Paul McCartney was prompted to write this song about global warming denials when he was in Japan and picked up a newspaper. He told The Sun his attention was drawn to an article about people not doing anything about climate change. The gist of it was because the icebergs melting are far away and not in London, everything's going to be fine. Macca added that one phrase in the article particularly caught his attention: "Despite repeated warnings, they're not listening."

    McCartney came up with the idea of writing symbolically about a mad sea captain "steering us towards the icebergs" despite being warned it's dangerous. The captain is "symbolic of politicians who argue that climate change is a hoax."
  • When McCartney was asked by the BBC whether he's taking aim at anybody in particular on this song, he replied that "obviously" he had Donald Trump in mind after the President had announced plans for the US to withdraw from the Paris Agreement on climate change. McCartney added he's not singling out Trump. "There's plenty of them about. He's not the only one."
  • This is one of Paul McCartney's epic extended songs in a similar vein to "Band On The Run" and "Live And Let Die." Greg Kurstin, the man behind hits by Kelly Clarkson ("What Doesn't Kill You (Stronger)" and Adele ("Hello") produced the track. He told Rolling Stone that McCartney initially rehearsed the song with the band and worked out its structure of it before bringing it to him in L.A. He then worked with them and together they tweaked it and worked out the arrangement. Kurstin added:

    "It was a long evolution to get it to where it got in the end. A lot of orchestral musicians came in. We had brass players and the Muscle Shoals horn guys came in to do some brass stuff. It was quite the job of getting that together because it was like five or six songs in one. It's about seven minutes long."

Comments: 1

  • Joe Mccormac from Dublin-ireland One of Paul McCartney’s greatest songs and he wrote it when he was 76 years old. Legend
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Tom Waits Lyrics Quiz

Tom Waits Lyrics QuizMusic Quiz

Pool balls, magpies and thorns without roses - how well do you know your Tom Waits lyrics?

Angelo Moore of Fishbone

Angelo Moore of FishboneSongwriter Interviews

Fishbone has always enjoyed much more acclaim than popularity - Angelo might know why.

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)

Graham Bonnet (Alcatrazz, Rainbow)Songwriter Interviews

Yngwie Malmsteen and Steve Vai were two of Graham's co-writers for some '80s rock classics.

History Of Rock

History Of RockSong Writing

An interview with Dr. John Covach, music professor at the University of Rochester whose free online courses have become wildly popular.

Weird Al Yankovic

Weird Al YankovicFact or Fiction

Did Al play on a Beach Boys record? Did he have beef with George Lucas and Coolio? See if you can spot weird but true stories.

Real or Spinal Tap

Real or Spinal TapMusic Quiz

They sang about pink torpedoes and rocking you tonight tonight, but some real lyrics are just as ridiculous. See if you can tell which lyrics are real and which are Spinal Tap in this lyrics quiz.