In an interview with America Online (AOL), McCartney said of this song: "I started off just remembering summers. 'Were we really there?' 'Was it real?' Sometimes for a lot of people your memories, particularly childhood memories, seem so golden and you think, 'Did it really never rain all summer or am I just imagining the sunny bits?' And then the phrase, 'You tell me,' began to be the theme of the song. I wrote it out in Long Island, during one of those summers. I was just looking at a red cardinal. For someone English it's magical, seeing a bright red bird coming out of a tree, so he appeared in the lyric. A lot of it was actually just there as I was writing. It became a tribute to golden summers."