You Gave Me The Answer - How Have Your Travels Influenced Your Songwriting?


Here, there and everywhere: with multiple world tours under his belt and a thirst for exploring new places, Paul has ticked off an impressive list of international destinations throughout his career. From playing to a record-breaking 184,000 fans in Brazil, to writing and recording new music in Jamaica, it’s clear that – like the rest of us – Paul has a touch of 'Wanderlust’.

While travel is sadly limited between many countries at the moment, we can’t help thinking about those places far away from home, and the Paul McCartney fans that live there. It’s been on our mind so much that we even gave this month’s ‘Sticking Out Of My Back Pocket’ playlist a ‘travel’ theme! And all this got us wondering: just how much has travel directly influenced Paul’s songwriting over the years?

So when we saw two questions for Paul on social media on this exact topic, it felt like the perfect time to get some answers…

Adrian on Facebook: Throughout your career you’ve ventured around the world. Can you recall a time when a specific location inspired you to write a particular song?

Paul: I suppose the most specific and obvious location that inspired me was the Mull of Kintyre, which is a very beautiful part of the world. It inspired me to write a Scottish song for the first time in my life. Other locations have inspired me in more subtle ways, of course, but that’s the first one I remember wanting to reference in a song title.

Mario on Twitter: You’ve already written a song which includes a bit of French with ‘Michelle’, but have you ever thought to write an entire song in a different language?

Paul: Yeah! I’ve often attempted to write a song in Spanish, because I did Spanish at school, and I always liked the language. I did ‘Tres Conejos’ in Liverpool Oratorio which is a nonsense rhyme I learned in school. And I have had a stab at writing a sort of Spanish love song – I didn’t quite finish it, but you never know, one of these days I might get round to it.

Writing lyrics in a different language is a completely different challenge to anything else I’ve done. I seem to like challenges, you know! The joke is that I really don’t have to do any of this – it’s like doing puzzles, where you don’t have to do them for any practical reason, but there’s something fascinating about solving them and getting a great sense of achievement.

So, there you have it! We've heard lots of stories about fans learning to speak English with the help of Paul's music and would love to know if you're one of them, or if you've learned to sing songs in another language. Now, if you'll excuse us, we're off to practise our Spanish...'Tres conejos... En un arbol... Tocando... El tambor..."

For next month’s ‘Sticking Out Of My Back Pocket’ playlist, we’re inviting you to take over the controls. What’s a Paul McCartney song that not many people know, but everyone should hear? Comment below with your suggestions, or head to Paul’s Twitter or Facebook pages. We’ll add the best of the bunch to next month’s mix!