Pipes of Peace (song)
|"Pipes of Peace"|
|Single by Paul McCartney|
|from the album Pipes of Peace|
|Released||5 December 1983|
|Paul McCartney singles chronology|
"Pipes of Peace" is a song written by Paul McCartney, which was first released on his album of the same name on 31 October 1983. It was also released as a single on 5 December 1983 and reached number one on many singles charts for two weeks.
In the United States, "Pipes of Peace" was issued as the B-side, and its British B-side, "So Bad", was issued as the A-side. "So Bad" climbed the US charts and became another hit on the Billboard Hot 100.
McCartney had previously had seventeen UK number one singles as a member of The Beatles, one as a member of Wings ("Mull of Kintyre"), and one with Stevie Wonder ("Ebony and Ivory"), but this was his first and only UK number one as a solo artist. He later appeared on five charity singles that reached number one: Band Aid (1984), Ferry Aid (1987), Ferry Cross the Mersey (1989), Band Aid 20 (2004) and The Justice Collective (2012).
At Chobham Common, Surrey, a video was shot for "Pipes of Peace", depicting the famous 1914 Christmas truce between British and German troops. It portrays a British and a German soldier, both played by McCartney, who meet up in No Man's Land and exchange photos of their loved ones while other soldiers fraternise and play football. When a shell blast forces the two armies to retreat to their own trenches both men realise that they still have each other's pictures. The video was produced by Hugh Symonds, featured more than 100 extras, and for added realism McCartney had his hair cut short especially for the shoot.
In November 2014 the British supermarket chain Sainsbury's, in partnership with the Royal British Legion, produced a Christmas advert  whose look and narrative were widely recognized  as being based on McCartney's "Pipes of Peace" video. As in "Pipes of Peace" the British and German soldier return to their trenches to discover that they have inadvertently swapped their gifts from home. It has been suggested that both productions borrowed the plot device from the award-winning 1969 Richard Attenborough film "Oh What A Lovely War", or from the Oscar-nominated French film "Joyeux Noel", both depicting the Christmas Truce. But the former does not contain a similar plot device, and the latter - in which a French soldier's lost wallet, containing a photo of his wife, is returned to him by a German soldier - was not released until 2005.
The McCartney recording appeared again on his 1987 compilation, All the Best! (UK/Canada version, but not the US version).
- "Official Charts: Paul McCartney". The Official UK Charts Company. Retrieved 2011-10-13.
- "Paul McCartney– So Bad / Pipes Of Peace (Vinyl) at Discogs". discogs.com. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- "Pipes of Peace > Charts & Awards > Billboard Singles". allmusic. Retrieved 30 August 2009.
- "When peace broke out". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 November 2014
- Daphne Lee (12 July 2009). "Monsters in our minds". Malaysia Star. Retrieved 39 March 2010. Check date values in:
- Claudio Dirani (5 December 2005). "The Stunning Percussion On Pipes Of Peace". Retrieved 10 January 2013.
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8 January 1984
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