Don’t Forget the Songs-365: Mach Tres: Day 152
Sun. June 30, 2013

“Heaven on Sunday”
Paul McCartney


“♫ Nothing’s

Continuing with the Paul McCartney and Flaming Pie theme of yesterday’s post, today we’re not only showcasing one of my favorite Sunday songs but “Heaven on Sunday” is the debut of Macca’s song James on vinyl. What better way to spend the last day of the weekend experiencing the glorious beauty of this Paul McCartney gem.

While recording Flaming Pie, Paul talked about how “Heaven on Sunday” came to be one of the most memorable songs on his 1997 album, when he said, “I wrote this on holiday and when I’m on holiday it’s great relaxation for me. That’s often when I come up with that kind of song, relaxed and peaceful. I wrote [“Heaven on Sunday”] and was playing it at home. Linda was singing along with the chorus and it was getting nice.”

I wouldn’t describe “Sunday” as nice, more tranquil greatness. Most importantly, Macca explained James involvement with “Sunday” when he said, “I thought it would a nice idea to play with [James], as he’s getting real good on guitar. I’ve heard him play and he’s heard me play. We’ve got so much in common and I bet we could do it.”

And they did, James and Paul, play dueling guitars in the more respectful way having a conversation with riffs. My favorite part of “Sunday” is when Paul and James began trading guitar licks, “Heaven” quickly turned into the sounds of celestial sweetness. Paul plays the acoustic licks and James, must have been a Pink Floyd fan growing up, because the younger McCartney answers back in his best David Gilmore tribute. A real treat to hear all three McCartney’s Paul, Linda and James on Flaming Pie’s most glorious touching track—“Heaven on Sunday.”

I believe Mark Lewisohn and Geoff Baker said it best, in the liner notes of Flaming Pie when they collectively wrote, “Paul’s son, 19 year old James makes his first guitar appearance on disc. Paul said, “I played the acoustic stuff and left the Young Turk to play the hot electric stuff.” When proud Dad suggested formal lesson, James’s response “Well, you didn’t, Dad.” echoed down the decades from 1950’s Liverpool. Like father, like son. Or, as Paul puts it, “The saga continues…””

The saga is continuing, James is recording and playing his solo music around the world making Paul and Linda proud parents. [Editor’s Note: Linda McCartney R.I.P] When asked by Rolling Stone magazine if he felt like continuing the Macca tradition of music making, James replied, “Mainly it’s a tradition, but it’s a part of my Dharma, which I go on a lot about because it’s interested in self-realization and one’s soul. It’s a tradition but it’s also me doing my own thing. Its part of what I do, what I enjoy. Picking up a guitar – I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.” On one of the hottest days of the year, why do anything else but enjoy James McCartney’s debut guitar licks on the very soothing “Heaven on Sunday.”