In an interview with Word magazine January 2008, McCartney was asked about this song, and if he's thinking more about mortality. The 65-year-old former Beatle replied; "I heard someone - I think it was James Taylor - say in a lyric "the day I die," and it prompted me to think of my death as a subject. So I got into that and found that I was interested in the Irish Wake idea, and jokes being told and stories of old, rather than the solemn, Anglican, doom-laden event. But it's not a subject that anyone visits that much. It's not too jolly, I suppose. It doesn't make a great song to dance to."
Paul McCartney (from the Mail on Sunday May 12, 2008): "I'd read something somebody had written about dying and I thought, 'That's brave.' It seemed courageous to deal with the subject rather than just shy away from it. So I fancied looking at it as a subject myself. I like the Irish approach of a wake, where it's celebratory. I remember once an Irish woman wished me well by saying, 'I wish you a good death,' and I said, 'ay what?'
I thought about it later and actually it's a great thing to wish someone. I thought, 'Well, what would I like?' Jokes, a wake, music, rather than everyone sitting around looking glum, saying, 'He was a great guy' - though they can do a bit of that, too. So that led into the verse, 'On the day that I die I'd like jokes to be told and stories of old to be rolled out like carpets.' I have played it to my family and they find it very moving because, you know, it's Dad. It's a strange combination, because you're talking about a serious subject. But I'm dealing with it lightly."