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Author Topic: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?  (Read 5280 times)

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KEROUAC

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Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« on: December 04, 2014, 03:35:33 PM »

Anyone know the earliest mention by Paul that Blackbird was about the civil rights movement? The earliest mention I can find is ....2002. There seems  to be a lot of revisionism that goes on with Paul. Quite often "facts" which suddenly appear and are provided by Paul or one of Paul's sources (Hello Barry Miles) just so happen to be good for Paul's image.

We all know that Paul doesn't like John going down in history as the "right on" Beatle and this is why he works on the presentation of the facts. There is also this fairly recent suggestion that he co wrote Being For the Benefit of Mr Kite. I'm also a bit sceptical about Paul's involvement in Avante Garde. Most of us accept it now because Paul's friend Barry said so in his book. Next we'll find out She's a Woman was about the feminist movement.

Sorry I sound like I'm being really nasty to Paul here and I love Paul, he is a God to me. But i don't like the sneakiness. Particularly when it also affects the memory of John who can't speak up. You know what John said..."You better see right through that Mother's eyes".
« Last Edit: December 04, 2014, 03:53:24 PM by KEROUAC »
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Kevin

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2014, 07:20:21 PM »

I was certainly aware of the reference in the70's. I'm sure my 1975 edition of The Illustrated Record mentioned it, but whether Paul himself said this (which I very much doubt) or indeed the link was intentional I know not.
I thought Paul's hanging out with the alternatives in the mid sixties was reasonably well documented and not mere conjecture.
I accept Paul's revisionism can be irksome, but we need to remember the great contempt in which he was held by the "serious" music scene for so much of his solo career. And thanks in no small part by Lennon's own aggressive and public post-Beatle anti-Paul revisionism.



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Bobber

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2014, 07:23:05 PM »

Never heard of this civil rights thing.

I must say I feel that Johns image is that of the fighter for peace on Earth. Surely Yoko has had a manipulative hand in this, for Johns peace action lasted only three or four years or so. I can imagine Paul getting fed up with the image of John as the ultimate Beatle, the one who fought for peace and all that, and the Beatle who made excellent solo albums. The way Paul is reacting is, as always, somewhat clumsy.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2014, 08:05:26 PM »

I don't think there's any doubt Paul was right into all the trendy musical scenes during his single years in London. Including the avant garde movement. And Paul for instance did the tape loops for Tomorrow Never Knows. It's not just Paul attesting to this.

That said he doesn't half go on about it. But as Kevin says he was treated pretty roughly by music critics and fans particularly after John was shot.

I only relatively recently saw the blackbird/civil rights connection as well.  And I was a bit sceptical. But if references to it do go back to the 70s then I suppose it's legit

I do get sceptical as well that Paul is claiming all these authorships (or at least major contributions) to some of johns best songs. Who knows the truth but with John unable to confirm it does strike me as a little opportunistic of Paul.
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jfire

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #4 on: December 04, 2014, 08:17:14 PM »

I recall Macca joking to Donovan that the song was about Diana Ross on the "No. 3 Abbey Road NW8" bootleg...
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Bobber

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #5 on: December 04, 2014, 08:45:48 PM »


I do get sceptical as well that Paul is claiming all these authorships (or at least major contributions) to some of johns best songs. Who knows the truth but with John unable to confirm it does strike me as a little opportunistic of Paul.

As a matter of fact, Paul and John have agreed on their credits on most songs, who wrote what and how much. There are just one or two songs they haven't agreed on. In My Life is one of them.
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Moogmodule

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #6 on: December 04, 2014, 08:58:32 PM »

As a matter of fact, Paul and John have agreed on their credits on most songs, who wrote what and how much. There are just one or two songs they haven't agreed on. In My Life is one of them.

In My Life was one I had in mind. It's probably the main example.

And of course Paul might be being accurate. John was hardly the most reliable witness. Particularly when quoted in the 70s with Yoko in his ear.
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oldbrownshoe

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #7 on: December 04, 2014, 09:09:30 PM »

As it was recorded just a couple of months after Martin Luther King was shot, I'd be more surprised if The Beatles hadn't been alluding to the issue of civil rights!

While no one in the Top Ten might address such issues now (e.g. Iraq, Syria, civil rights for that matter) in a pop song, the 60s music scene was a very, very different, and infinitely more interesting, place.
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tkitna

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #8 on: December 05, 2014, 12:25:50 AM »

I've heard the civil rights claim a few different times through the years.  Who knows.

Paul did get flogged a good bit after Johns death for his music.  I wonder how it would have played out if Paul was the one that got murdered?

blmeanie

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2014, 02:51:01 AM »

Quote from: tkitna
I wonder how it would have played out if Paul was the one that got murdered?

Not a fun thought.  Having to reconcile never seeing Paul live would be tough, I know I wouldn't know the difference. 

John's legacy wouldn't be the same either.  He would have likely been ripped apart be the press and some of the public.  Kind of how Paul has been but for different reasons.
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KEROUAC

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2014, 12:04:01 PM »

Ok I''ll stand corrected if it was noted in the seventies. I'd be interested in the source though.

It's interesting regarding Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite that if you look at who allegedly wrote what on Sgt Pepper Paul already wrote the majority of it. I make it Paul 8, John 3, 1 50/50 and George 1. Is that right?
« Last Edit: December 05, 2014, 12:09:31 PM by KEROUAC »
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Hello Goodbye

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #11 on: December 07, 2014, 03:02:28 AM »

Anyone know the earliest mention by Paul that Blackbird was about the civil rights movement? The earliest mention I can find is ....2002.



Paul McCartney "Blackbird/We Can Work It Out/Here,There And Everywhere/Eleanor Rigby" Live-2002
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Normandie

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #12 on: May 02, 2016, 12:30:46 AM »

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In My Life

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #13 on: May 02, 2016, 12:46:00 AM »

I had heard the song was about race relations, but no idea the inspiration was this specific:

I didn't know that either Kathy. Thanks for sharing that.
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Kelley

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zipp

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #14 on: May 02, 2016, 10:23:53 AM »

Yeah, that's very interesting but I'm still not sure this song was originally about civil rights. I can't recall anything much about the Little Rock 9 in England in the fifties.
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Normandie

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #15 on: May 02, 2016, 09:38:33 PM »


I was listening to this in the car today. It certainly doesn't seem to be about the civil rights movement, although who am I to question Paul? Neither the melody nor the lyrics seem -- to me -- to be referencing civil rights. But I could be completely off target.
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In My Life

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul
« Reply #16 on: May 02, 2016, 10:34:51 PM »

I can see a definite allegorical connection to the civil rights movement. I can certainly see Paul making statements about the past that reflect a cloudy power of recollection, but I don't see why he would make this up. But people have puzzled me with untruths before so anything's possible.   
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Kelley

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zipp

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul
« Reply #17 on: May 03, 2016, 10:31:30 PM »

I can see a definite allegorical connection to the civil rights movement. I can certainly see Paul making statements about the past that reflect a cloudy power of recollection, but I don't see why he would make this up. But people have puzzled me with untruths before so anything's possible.

I think Paul himself may be confused and has maybe convinced himself that it was about civil rights.

If we look at the facts.... to begin with, at the time, as far as I know, Paul never mentioned civil rights.

The song was written in Rishikesh before Martin Luther king was killed.

And Taylor and Carr in their book say the song is "held by many to be a sympathetic gesture towards the then re emergent Black Power movement". Well just who are these "many" and how do they know these things?

The main symbol of black power for me was at the Mexico olympic games when two American black athletes gave black power salutes on the podium. But this was in October 1968 and  the song had already been recorded in June!

Feel free to disagree but if so please try and provide some quotes or dates to back up your viewpoint.
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In My Life

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2016, 01:09:40 AM »

Feel free to disagree but if so please try and provide some quotes or dates to back up your viewpoint.

There aren't any. I'm not arguing with anyone's opinion anyway, just stating that for me, the lyrics could fit his assertion. I haven't considered it much further than that!


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Kelley

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Hombre_de_ningun_lugar

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Re: Blackbird: The Civil Rights...Really Paul?
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2016, 01:32:12 AM »

Didn't Charles Manson interpret this song as a message to black people to arise against the white establishment?
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