Despite Repeated Warnings

Album: Egypt Station (2018)

Songfacts®:

  • 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

Be the first to comment...

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?

Ralph Casale  - Session Pro

Ralph Casale - Session ProSongwriter Interviews

A top New York studio musician, Ralph played guitar on many '60s hits, including "Lightnin' Strikes," "A Lover's Concerto" and "I Am A Rock."

Lori McKenna

Lori McKennaSongwriter Interviews

Lori's songs have been recorded by Faith Hill and Sara Evans. She's performed on the CMAs and on Oprah. She also has five kids.

Corey Hart

Corey HartSongwriter Interviews

The Canadian superstar talks about his sudden rise to fame, and tells the stories behind his hits "Sunglasses At Night," "Boy In The Box" and "Never Surrender."

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")Song Writing

Wes Edwards takes us behind the scenes of videos he shot for Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Chase Bryant. The train was real - the airplane was not.

Is That Song Public Domain?

Is That Song Public Domain?Fact or Fiction

Are classic songs like "Over The Rainbow" and "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" in the public domain?