The songs Paul McCartney wrote while escaping The Beatles

The end of The Beatles doesn’t sound like it was much fun for anybody involved. Amid the relentless business meetings regarding Apple Corps and each of the Fab Four drifting apart, it was hard to keep morale up in the face of everything that was going on. Even the optimistic Paul McCartney couldn’t keep it together all the time, so he found refuge in the only place he knew he could find peace: his songs.

When not working in town, McCartney would frequently be found at his cottage in Scotland, resting or getting acquainted with farming as escape from the world of fame and showbiz. Although McCartney might not have foreseen The Beatles breaking down at the time, one of his songs about fleeing the headaches of the group turned into his solo Wings hit ‘Junior’s Farm’.

Speaking about his farm years later, McCartney talked about finding some places to get out of his usual headspace, remarking in The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, “It was such a relief to get out of those business meetings with people in suits, who were so serious all the time, and to go off to Scotland and be able just to sit around in a T-shirt and corduroys.” McCartney went on to say that the mindset behind the song was to just get out of town for the day, finding some space to lay low in the face of all the stress coming his way.

Even at the time of The Beatles’ demise, that weary side of McCartney was coming out in his first solo material. In the film Get Back, McCartney’s song ‘Two of Us’ came about as a practice he and his wife Linda got up to, looking to go down long stretches of road and not worrying about the city streets.

In between takes of Beatles material, McCartney also toys with the beginnings of songs like ‘Back Seat of My Car’, which wouldn’t reach its final form until RAM and tells the story of two lovers running away from their troubles. It might have just been a pastiche on McCartney’s part, but two soulmates looking to escape the world might have been more autobiographical than he initially thought.

Though ‘Junior’s Farm’ might have commemorated the end of McCartney’s first band, the start of Wings brought even more challenges. Despite being one of the premiere stadium acts of the 1970s on the back of albums like Band on the Run, McCartney had an equal amount of stress putting the band together, not wanting to make something that sounded anything remotely close to his past.

By the time McCartney started to embrace the sounds of ’70s rock, though, ‘Junior’s Farm’ became one of the staples of his live set, with some blistering guitar work by Jimmy McCullough and some of Macca’s most infectious bass work. Beyond his celebrity status and the constant attention that comes with being an ex-Beatle, ‘Farm’ is a look at the only refuge that McCartney could decompress at the end of tours. Whether it was with The Beatles or becoming one of the biggest solo acts in the world, McCartney could always find a home in the hills of Scotland.

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