My Brave Face

Album: Flowers In The Dirt (1989)
Charted: 18 25

Songfacts®:

  • McCartney co-wrote this song with Elvis Costello. Elvis urged Paul to play his famous Hofner violin bass on the song, so Paul got it out of storage. Paul said it even had the set list still taped on it from the Beatles' 1969 Apple "rooftop" concert. This inspired the music video of a Japanese collector stealing the now-priceless artifact. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Ken - Louisville, KY

Comments: 12

  • Manman from The ZooI have always thought this a very unusual justaposition of a driving, up-tempo, almost cheerful-sounding groove and melody, with lyrics that tell an incredibly sad story. We usually think of sad songs as being slow, or in minor keys, where the mood of the music matches the lyrics. But not so here. Just read the lyrics. Wow. So full of sadness, lonliness, almost despair. Truth be told, even though this song came out years before Linda died, I always think this song tells the story of the plight that Paul McCartney faced when he lost her.

    "Unaccustomed As I Am To The Time On My Hands.
    Now I Don't Have To Tell Anybody When I'm Gonna Get Back."

    "Ever Since You Went Away I've Had This Sentimental
    Inclination Not To Change A Single Thing.
    As I Pull The Sheets Back On The Bed I Want To Go Bury My Head
    In Your Pillow."

    "As I Clear Away Another
    Untouched Tv Dinner
    From The Table I Laid For Two."

    I know the words are probably more meant to imply that she "left" and didn't die, I always imagine Paul facing that lonliness and unfamiliarity when he lost Linda. Imagine living with somebody for 25-odd years, being together practically every day of your lives, and then suddenly, she's gone. All the ordinary everyday things like having dinner or going to bed become sad reminders.

    Anyway... enough rambling. It is a brilliantly constructed song. Terrific hooks, harmonies, and excellent groove.
  • George from Belleville, NjA very good hard rocking number.A great melody.Good lyrics.An all around solid song and a good way to start the album.
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThe lyrics are much more Elvis Costello's style than Paul's. They tell a whole story and do it with a sense of humor. That's Declan MacManus. But the melody is definitely McCartney!
  • Ken from Louisville, KyThat could be. I have since learned that Paul had several Hofner violin basses during his days with the Beatles, not just one. So the one he dug out of storage for the My Brave Face music video could have been a different than what he used in the 1969 rooftop show. He acknowledges that the Hofner he uses in his concerts today is not the same as he used in his Beatles day - it's a replica, with modern leads, so it sounds better and won't break down, as electric instruments of the 1960's occasionally did.
  • Sean from Chicago, IlHave to correct something here...I'm pretty sure the set list taped to the Hofner wasn't the rooftop set list -- I remember seeing a close-up picture of that and I remember seeing "I Feel Fine" and a few other '64-'65 songs on it, so it was probably from a tour in '65, actually...even older than the rooftop concert!
  • Chuck from Concord, NhLove this song and "Figure of Eight", also from Flowers in the Dirt album; one of Paul's best solo efforts.
  • Bender from East West Virginia, VaPaul and John had always compared their musical relationship as a marraige so I always thought this song was about them.
  • Eddie from Acton, MeI remember hearing it constantly on the radio the summer after I graduated high school.
  • Eric from Beaverton, OrI was 9 years old when this song came out. Flowers In The Dirt has always been one of my favorite albums. I've never heard the songs on the radio though. In fact, I don't remember ever hearing a Paul McCartney song on the radio more recent than something from the '70s.
  • Annabelle from Eugene, OrWhen I was little, that was the first time I heard this song. When I heard it on the radio, I could've sworn the lyrics of the chorus were, "Bob Ray, Bob Ray, Bob Ray's Place". Boy was I dead wrong!
  • N.i. from Baltimore, MdI don't think I've ever really paid attention to the lyrics before, and I was always distracted by the humorous video, which really has nothing to do with the song. Looking at it now, I think the song tells the story of a guy whose wife has left him, and he's hopelessly depressed even though his life has become easier financially.
  • Leyna from SpThis is a wonderful song. For some far- out reason, it reminds me of a song I heard on SpongeBob SquarePants.. I believe it was "Gary Come Home". Both great melodies.
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