Only Mama Knows

Album: Memory Almost Full (2007)


  • McCartney told the Mail on Sunday May 12, 2008 about this song: "This really is like a short story. I've done that in the past, not always writing from a personal perspective. It's good, because you use your imagination more, and that's something I enjoy. I wrote about Eleanor Rigby, but I don't know a woman who picks up rice in a church, and nor do I know anyone stranded in the transit lounge of an airport, as in 'Only Mama Knows.' But I like to get into those imaginary stories, then follow them through and become that character. The lead character in this song is someone who was left by his mother, doesn't know why she left him and doesn't know if he'll ever see his father's face. It's interesting because it takes you out of yourself. You can become an alter ego. It doesn't have to be Paul McCartney singing it - it can be this other guy singing. It's good to do; it lets you have another vocal approach, another emotional approach."

Comments: 1

  • Joe from Hoboken, NjI wonder if Paul consciously or subconsciously wrote this song thinking of John Lennon.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Oliver LeiberSongwriter Interviews

Long before she was judging contestants on American Idol, Oliver was producing Paula Abdul. Here's how he helped turn this unknown choreographer into a star.

Alice CooperFact or Fiction

How well do you know this shock-rock harbinger who's been publicly executed hundreds of times?

00s Music Quiz 1Music Quiz

Do you know the girl singer on Eminem's "Stan"? If so, this quiz is for you.

Martin PageSongwriter Interviews

With Bernie Taupin, Martin co-wrote the #1 hits "We Built This City" and "These Dreams." After writing the Pretty Woman song for Go West, he had his own hit with "In the House of Stone and Light."

Tim Butler of The Psychedelic FursSongwriter Interviews

Tim and his brother Richard are the Furs' foundation; Tim explains how they write and tells the story of "Pretty In Pink."

Stand By Me: The Perfect Song-Movie CombinationSong Writing

In 1986, a Stephen King novella was made into a movie, with a classic song serving as title, soundtrack and tone.