Mull of Kintyre (song)
|"Mull of Kintyre"|
|Single by Wings|
|Released||11 November 1977|
|Genre||Scottish, waltz, folk|
|Writer(s)||Paul McCartney, Denny Laine|
|Certification||BPI (UK) 2xPlatinum 1 November 1986|
|Wings singles chronology|
"Mull of Kintyre" is a song written by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine and performed by Wings. The song was written in tribute to the picturesque Kintyre peninsula in Scotland, where McCartney has owned High Park Farm since 1966, and its headland, the Mull of Kintyre.
The lyrics of the first verse, also used as the repeating chorus, are an ode to the area's natural beauty and sense of home:
- Mull of Kintyre
Oh mist rolling in from the sea,
Is always to be here
Oh Mull of Kintyre
McCartney explained how the song came into being:
|“||I certainly loved Scotland enough, so I came up with a song about where we were living; an area called Mull of Kintyre. It was a love song really, about how I enjoyed being there and imagining I was travelling away and wanting to get back there.||”|
"Mull of Kintyre" was recorded in August 1977 in London, during a break in recording the London Town album caused by Linda McCartney's advanced pregnancy, which led to the departure of Jimmy McCulloch and Joe English from Wings. Bagpipes from Kintyre's local Campbeltown Pipe Band were included as a prominent part of the recording. "Mull of Kintyre" and "Girls' School" (a rocker that had been previously recorded for London Town) were released as a double A-sided single on 11 November 1977, independently of the album. It was also included on the Wings compilation Wings Greatest in 1978, and the UK/Canada version of McCartney's 1987 compilation album, All the Best!.
The song's broad appeal was maximised by its pre-Christmas release and it became a Christmas number one single in the UK, spending nine weeks at the top of the charts. It also became a massive international hit, dominating the charts in Australia and many other countries over the holiday period. It went on to become the first single to sell over two million copies in the UK and becoming the UK's best-selling single of all-time (eclipsing The Beatles' own "She Loves You") until overtaken by Band Aid's "Do They Know It's Christmas?" in 1984 (which also featured McCartney on the B-Side). The song remains the UK's best-selling completely non-charity single. (Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody" has sold more in its two releases, but the profits of the 1991 release went to charity.)
The millionth copy of the disc sold in the UK included a special certificate. It was sold to David Ackroyd, who was presented with a gold disc of the single by Laine.
However, one place where the song was not a major hit was the United States, where the flipside "Girls' School" received more airplay and reached No. 33 on the Billboard Hot 100 while "Mull of Kintyre" only managed to reach No. 45 on the Easy Listening chart. "Girls' School"/"Mull of Kintyre" also only reached No. 34 in Canada, while "Mull of Kintyre" reached No. 30 on Canada's Adult Contemporary chart.
Live performances 
McCartney has only played "Mull of Kintyre" occasionally in concert since Wings' 1979 British tour. Performances include 23 June 1990 in Glasgow, Scotland. He played it in Australia and New Zealand and also Canada in 1993, 2010 and 2012.
He began playing the song again in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. On 11 July 2009, at a concert at the Halifax Common, he played the song accompanied by the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) Pipe Band. He also played the song at the O2 Arena in London on 22 December 2009, accompanied by the 18-piece Balmoral Highlanders Pipe Band.
The following year, on 20 June 2010 McCartney performed "Mull of Kintyre" at Hampden Park in Glasgow accompanied by the Pipes and Drums of Loretto School. He played the song at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, Ontario, on the 8 and 9 August 2010 with the Paris Port Dover Pipe Band. On 20 December 2011, Loretto School played with him again in the final concert of his On The Run tour at the Echo Arena in Liverpool. On November 25, 2012 performed "Mull of Kintyre" at the On The Run Tour in Vancouver, BC, Canada with the Delta Police Pipe Band, and in Edmonton, Alberta with the Edmonton Police Service Pipes and Drums on November 28 and 29.
In popular culture 
The song was adopted soon after release by fans of several popular football clubs in the United Kingdom and is still played before and sung during games, most notably since the 1970s by fans of Nottingham Forest F.C.; the song's lyrics were adapted for the now firmly established crowd favourite 'City Ground'. The adapted lyrics read:
- "City Ground, Oh mist rolling in from the Trent, my desire, is always to be here, oh City Ground"
Laine sang the song at the Birmingham Heart Beat Charity Concert 1986.
The song was also parodied as "Mull of Timperley" by comedian Frank Sidebottom.
Cover versions 
Celtic Thunder covered the song on their Act Two album.
The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards band covered the song on their Spirit of the Glen album.
Cheyenne Kimball covered the song on the album "Let Us In" Nashville – A Tribute to Linda McCartney, consisting of country-themed covers of Sir Paul McCartney songs by various artists, released on 21 November 2011, a benefit album for The Women and Cancer Fund.
Charlie Gracie and the group Clutch Cargo covered the song as a benefit single in 2012 to help raise funds for the Philadelphia Police and Fire, Pipes & Drums Band. Their version of the single also featured the R&B vocal group, The Orlons on backing vocals.
- Paul McCartney – lead vocal, acoustic bass guitar, acoustic guitar
- Linda McCartney – backing vocal, percussion
- Denny Laine – backing vocal, acoustic and electric guitars
- Campbeltown Pipe Band – bagpipes
Chart positions 
|UK Singles Chart||1|
|Australian Kent Music Report Singles Chart||1|
|Austrian Singles Chart||1|
|Belgian Singles Chart||1|
|Dutch Singles Chart||1|
|German Media Control Singles Chart||1|
|Irish Singles Chart||1|
|Norwegian VG-lista Singles Chart||2|
|Swedish Singles Chart||14|
|Swiss Singles Chart||1|
|Japanese Oricon Singles Chart||69|
See also 
- List of best-selling singles by year (UK)
- List of Christmas number one singles (UK)
- List of Dutch Top 40 number-one singles of 1977
- List of number-one singles in Australia during the 1970s
- List of number-one singles from the 1970s (UK)
- List of number-one hits of 1978 (Germany)
- List of number-one hits of 1978 (Switzerland)
- Mull of Kintyre test
- The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years. ABC-CLIO. 2010. p. 208. ISBN 0-313-34969-X, 9780313349690 Check
|isbn=value (help). Retrieved 25 May 2010.
- "Certified Awards Search". BPI. Retrieved 2012-10-12.
- "Paul McCartney Biography". NME. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
- "UK Top 10 Best Selling Singles". UK Charts. Retrieved 23 December 2009.
- "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- Wingspan. p. 129.
- "Mull of Kintyre" article, RockAndPopShop.com. Retrieved 28 June 2007.
- "Billboard Hot 100". Billboard Magazine. January 14, 1978. p. 96. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- "Billboard Top 50 Easy Listening". Billboard Magazine. February 4, 1978. p. 34. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- "RPM 100 Singles". Library and Archives Canada. January 28, 1978. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- "RPM Adult Oriented Playlist". Library and Archives Canada. March 18, 1978. Retrieved 2012-09-27.
- Paris-Port Dover Pipe Band plays in concert with Paul McCartney at ACC - Paris Star - Ontario, CA
- "“Let Us In” Nashville – A Tribute To Linda McCartney Now Available - Country Music Tattle Tale". Retrieved 5 December 2011.
- "Performs the Hits of Wings". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 December 2011.
- UK Singles Chart Chartstats.com . Retrieved 10 April 2008.
- "Wings - Mull Of Kintyre". austriancharts.at. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- Mull of Kintyre page at the Belgian Beatles Society
- "Paul McCartney Japanese Singles Chart listings". Original Confidence. Retrieved 16 July 2008.
- MPL Communications - Song Archive
- Paul McCartney - Mull of Kintyre at Graham Calkin's Beatles Pages.
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