Three songs Paul McCartney wishes he’d written

Paul McCartney, a renowned legend among guitarists and bassists, is acclaimed for infusing his music with uncomplicated yet endearing guitar techniques and styles: skilfully integrating these elements into the fabric of his music, McCartney contributes resonant riffs and enthralling solo segments in both his solo work and, of course, The Beatles.

McCartney’s voyage commenced in Liverpool, England, where he, alongside fellow Beatles John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, orchestrated a seismic shift in the music industry and cultural paradigm. His contributions as the band’s bassist and primary songwriter left an unparalleled imprint. Timeless classics like ‘Hey Jude’, ‘Let It Be’, and ‘Yesterday’ solidified The Beatles’ stature as an unrivalled musical force.

McCartney’s stage presence, brimming with exceptional artistry, has become legendary, showcasing the ageless allure of his compositions. His live performances continue to captivate audiences spanning generations, often evolving into communal celebrations of his enduring musical legacy. Beyond his involvement with The Beatles, McCartney’s artistic footprint spans collaborations with diverse figures, including Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Kanye West, and others.

Despite being a significant inspiration in his own right, even McCartney finds the works of others above his reach. Famously inspired by various genres, including rock, pop, blues, jazz, and classical, McCartney often shares his love for the best of the best, even going so far as to admit how much he wished he had penned a number of hits.

Even though McCartney wasn’t alive at the time of its release, one particular song stands out as one of his all-time favourites. ‘Stardust’, a composition dating back to 1927, materialised from the creative genius of Hoagy Carmichael, with lyrics by Mitchell Parish. With over 1,500 renditions gracing the musical canvas, both instrumental and vocal, the song stands as an enduring hallmark embraced by countless artists.

This song, along with ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Billy Joel, make up two of the songs McCartney wishes he had written: “I don’t really want to have written anyone else’s songs, but, as a fantasy question, I love ‘Stardust’, by Hoagy Carmichael and Mitchell Parish,” he shared. “It’s a beautiful song. And I remember thinking that Billy Joel’s first hit, ‘Just The Way You Are’, was a nice song, I’d like to have written that one too. ‘Stardust’ first, though.”

Released in 1977 as part of Joel’s album The Stranger, ‘Just The Way You Are’ has become a timeless story of love and acceptance. It certainly struck a chord with McCartney, who enjoys it so much that he wishes it had been his first.

Another that the singer wishes he’d gotten to first is Sting’s ‘Fields Of Gold’: an ode to the English countryside and love’s eternal bond, ‘Fields Of Gold’ has become one of Sting’s most loved songs. “I liked Sting’s ‘Fields Of Gold’, and I thought, ‘Y’know what, I should have written that’,” McCartney said. “How dare he? ‘I told him: ‘You stole my song.’ I thought that was a nice one, y’know?”

While McCartney’s impact on the musical landscape remains unchallenged, only a select few artists possess the prowess to truly resonate with him, evoking a longing that their songs would instead be his own.

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