Mr. Bellamy

Album: Memory Almost Full (2007)

Songfacts®:

  • Paul McCartney asked Radiohead's Thom Yorke to collaborate on this song but Yorke turned the ex-Beatle down. Yorke explained why to the Observer Music Monthly December 2007: "Uhh, 'cause I can't play piano. Not like that. I had to explain to him that, I listened to the tune - 'Mr. Bellamy' - and I really liked the song, but the piano playing involved two hands doing things separately. I don't have that skill available. I said to him, 'I strum piano, that's it.'"
  • The song's title 'Mister Bellamy' is an anagram of "Mills betray me." Such lines as "No-one to tell me what to do, no-one to hold my hand" have led fans to speculate as to whether lyrics in the song refer to Macca's ex-wife Heather Mills. Speaking on a website video in 2007, McCartney said: "Who is Mister Bellamy? Well, I never know who these people are. Who are Chuck and Dave from 'When I'm 64'? Who is Eleanor Rigby? Who are Desmond and Molly from 'Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da'? I don't know, I just make them up. I like giving characters names and just making them up and trying to make them fit."
  • Paul McCartney added in the Mail on Sunday May 12, 2008 on why he titled the subject of this song Mr Bellamy: "I had a little piano riff that's behind the Mr Bellamy verse. I wanted some lyrics that would poke in and out of the riff, so I began with, 'I'm not coming down, no matter what you say, I like it up here.' Sometimes I don't actually know where I'm going, so then I look at just what that verse is, and in this case I got a picture of a guy sitting on top of a skyscraper and all the people in the street - the rescue team, the psychiatrist, the man with the megaphone shouting: 'Don't jump' and the people shouting: 'Jump.' So I fished around for a name and came up with Bellamy, which sounded like someone who might want to jump. And I just followed the story through. The end is like a pull back with a camera - there he is, little Bellamy sitting on the ledge, enjoying it up in the clouds. And that's how we recorded it, as a sort of film."

Comments: 6

  • John from Stroud, UkGreat to hear the practical explanation, which I don't doubt. But typical Paul, he downplays it.

    There's another layer here. Bellamys situation as a metaphor for emotional states. He's high, having a great time, feels free, he likes where he is in his own world. The medics and helpers promise to "get him down soon" they don't see life the way he does. They want him to conform.

    Now I'm not advocating Bellamy to jump. I just envisage him wistfully dreaming in a tree. He doesn't need people telling him what to do. He's not planning to jump. Never was. They assumed that in error.

    Stay high on life Mr B
  • Olivia from Philadelphia, PaThis song is great and it sounds like a play, or something. Also, at first, the person saying "I'm not coming down. I like it up here" it sounds like a little boy on a tree and his dad is trying to make him come down
  • John from Hattiesburg, MsWhat if this song is referring to Matthew Bellamy from the band Muse? If you know the lyrics to Muse's songs which are written by Bellamy you will understand how McCartney's song could possibly be speaking about Matthew Bellamy. It's like a lyrical shout-out and Bellamy certainly deserves it.
  • Kevin from Reading , PaI agree that this is a pretty good song, probably the third best on the album. Unfortunately, some of Paul's vocals on the more dramatic and demanding vocal parts point to some deterioration in his vocal capabilities as he reaches his mid 60s. It was bound to happen, eventually. Still, the voice is remarkable for any age, especially at sixtysomething.
  • Kristina from Albuquerque, NmIt sounds really theatrical, but in a good way, which is definitely a tendency of Paul's. Love that piano part, whoever played it!
  • Ethan from Franklin, TnBest song on the album, in my humble opinion.
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