Paul McCartney speaks out on Beyoncé’s “fabulous” cover of ‘Blackbird’ for fighting “racial tension”

Paul McCartney speaks out on Beyoncé’s “fabulous” cover of ‘Blackbird’ for fighting “racial tension”

Paul McCartney has commented on Beyoncé’s cover of his song ‘Blackbird’, commending her for using it to “ease racial tension”.

READ MORE: Beyoncé – ‘Cowboy Carter’ review: country reinvention strikes gold

Queen Bey included her version of the track on her new record ‘Cowboy Carter’, which was released last week (March 29). The song was originally released on The Beatles’ self-titled 1968 album, commonly referred to as ‘The White Album’.

And now, McCartney has spoken publicly about the cover, saying: “I am so happy with @beyonce’s version of my song ‘Blackbird’. I think she does a magnificent version of it and it reinforces the civil rights message that inspired me to write the song in the first place.”

“I think Beyoncé has done a fab version and would urge anyone who has not heard it yet to check it out. You are going to love it!”

“I spoke to her on FaceTime and she thanked me for writing it and letting her do it. I told her the pleasure was all mine and I thought she had done a killer version of the song. When I saw the footage on the television in the early 60s of the black girls being turned away from school, I found it shocking and I can’t believe that still in these days there are places where this kind of thing is happening right now. Anything my song and Beyoncé’s fabulous version can do to ease racial tension would be a great thing and makes me very proud.”

Earlier today (April 4), it was confirmed that Beyoncé used The Beatles’ original ‘Blackbird’ backing track in her cover of the song.

The credits for the album have been gradually shared since the album’s release last week (March 29), and Paul McCartney is listed as playing guitar on the song, as well as one of the producers.

Paul McCartney wrote ‘Blackbird’ during the civil rights struggle of the 1960s, just weeks after the assassination of Dr Martin Luther King Jr. As he is quoted in the 1997 book Many Years From Now: “Those were the days of the civil rights movement, which all of us cared passionately about, so this was really a song from me to a Black woman, experiencing these problems in the States: ‘Let me encourage you to keep trying, to keep your faith, there is hope.’”

McCartney was also inspired in part to write the song by the Little Rock Nine, a group of Black teenagers who tried to enroll at an all-white high school in Arkansas in 1957.

Bey’s own spin on the song sees it renamed as ‘Blackbiird’ – making a nod to the album’s ‘Act II’ theme. It is just one of many tracks on the album to feature spelling altercations to reference the sequel to ‘Renaissance’.

The original track was written solely by McCartney in 1968 for the band’s self-titled double-LP, aka ‘The White Album’. The finished product is also credited to John Lennon, although was written and recorded entirely by McCartney.

Beyoncé’s version sees her introduce additional harmony vocals from four Black women in the country music world— Tanner Adell, Tiera Kennedy, Reyna Roberts and Brittney Spencer – as well as add strings and a violin and bass part, all credited to Khirye Tyler. She has also removed the bird noises from the original track in her version.

As well as the rendition of ‘Blackbird’, ‘Cowboy Carter’ also features a re-working of Dolly Parton’s classic hit ‘Jolene’, alongside collaborations with the likes of Miley Cyrus and Post Malone.

Beyoncé recently revealed that Stevie Wonder played harmonica on ‘Jolene’, with RAYE also credited as a co-writer on one ‘Cowboy Carter’ song. Today (April 4) Bey also shared a new remix of the single ‘Texas Hold ‘Em’.

In a five-star review of ‘Cowboy Carter’, NME wrote: “It’s an undeniable thrill to see [Beyoncé] swing so big on a project that dares her to be so intimate and vocal-focused.”

The post Paul McCartney speaks out on Beyoncé’s “fabulous” cover of ‘Blackbird’ for fighting “racial tension” appeared first on NME.

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