Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Paul McCartney & Wings: Mull of Kintyre

I always liked this traditional sounding tune by Paul McCartney and Wings about the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland. Paul and Linda McCartney owned a home and a recording studio there. By the time Paul and company released this single, Wings was a three-piece featuring Paul and Linda McCartney and Denny Laine. They are accompanied by the Campbelltown Pipe Band.

Although poorly received in the US (charting at #78), it was a number one hit in the UK, Australia, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, and Switzerland. Additionally, “Mull of Kintyre” charted at #2 in Norway and #14 in Sweden. When released, this cut was available only as a 45 rpm single. It was the first single to sell in excess of two million copies in the UK.


I've been partial to the bagpipes ever since attending a meeting of the Scottish clans with my cousins at Idlewild Park in Ligonier, PA in 1963. I even owned a set for a number of years. Part of the problem was the pipes, as they were a cheaply made set from Pakistan. I never could get the chanter to sound.

I never had any problems getting the three drones to make sound. Getting them to stay in tune; well, that was another story. I eventually sold them at a yard sale for $80. In advertising the sale in the paper and the local Trading Times, I mentioned the pipes and surprisingly, we had more people ask about the bagpipes than anything else that entire day. Our second customer bought them. Maybe with a better set – I might be a little more attuned to my Scottish roots. Either that or I can scare away small animals and little children.

Live Version

From the Mike Yarwood’s 1977 Christmas Special

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