Here Today (Paul McCartney song)
|Song by Paul McCartney|
|from the album Tug of War|
|Released||26 April 1982|
Columbia Records (US)
"Here Today" is a song by Paul McCartney from his 1982 album Tug of War. McCartney wrote the song about his relationship with and love for John Lennon, who had been murdered two years before. He stated the song was composed in the form of an imaginary conversation the pair might have had. The song was produced by the Beatles' producer George Martin. Although not released as a single, the song reached #46 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts.
Origins and meaning
When the song was written Lennon had not yet been dead for a year. In a 2004 interview with The Guardian, McCartney said that due to the honest and emotional nature of the song he was "kind of crying" when he wrote it. He even found it difficult to talk about with the other remaining members of the Beatles. The structure of the song itself is written like a dialogue between Lennon and McCartney. McCartney says that Lennon used to "lay into" McCartney, but often did not really mean it, and this is emulated in the hypothetical conversation where the two bicker over whether or not they really know each other. The song is about McCartney really trying to talk to John, but finding it futile now that Lennon has passed.
McCartney describes parts of the song as being quite honest. One verse in the song refers to an incident that occurred during the Beatles' first full American tour in 1964 when they were stranded in Key West, Florida during a hurricane. Said McCartney,
"It was during that night, when we'd all stayed up way too late, and we got so pissed that we ended up crying—about, you know, how wonderful we were, and how much we loved each other, even though we'd never said anything. It was a good one: you never say anything like that. Especially if you're a Northern Man."
Recording of the song began in the summer of 1981 in the loft of the mill at McCartney's Sussex home. McCartney and George Martin went back and forth about using a string quartet as they had famously included one in the Beatles' hit "Yesterday", but ultimately opted for it anyway.
While performing the song, McCartney is prone to becoming choked up over the emotional content of the song. He told the Guardian,
At least once a tour, that song just gets me. I'm singing it, and I think I'm OK, and I suddenly realise it's very emotional, and John was a great mate and a very important man in my life, and I miss him, you know?
- Paul McCartney – lead vocals, acoustic guitar
- Jack Rothstein – violin
- Bernard Partridge – violin
- Ian Jewel – viola
- Keith Harvey – cello
- "Here Today". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- "Tug of War charts and awards". Allmusic. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
- Harris, John (11 June 2004). "I'm still standing". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
- "Paul McCartney: Here Today | The Beatles Bible". www.beatlesbible.com. Retrieved 21 November 2016.