Legendary Beatle found writing 'Everybody's Fine' tune daunting
Once a burgeoning moptop who ironically penned “When I’m Sixty Four” at age 16 and who doted on “Silly Love Songs” with Wings in his ’30s, the Paul McCartney of today is feeling a tad nostalgic.
“It’s human development,” says McCartney, now a youthful 67. “The Beatles’ early songs had lyrics like ‘Thank You Girl’ and ‘From Me to You’ and were consciously written to our fans. I’ve moved out of that era into the second phase, and I guess I’m in the most recent.”
A widower and the father of five, it’s no coincidence that McCartney’s latest song, “(I Want to) Come Home,” was penned for the Miramax family drama “Everybody’s Fine” about another widower played by Robert De Niro. McCartney confesses he accepted the job off the name “De Niro,” whom he affectionately calls “just a dude.”
“It’s not necessary for me to relate to a project that I’m writing about, but if I do, it’s more interesting,” says McCartney. “The De Niro character lost his wife, has grown-up children and wants to get them together for Christmas. I know that syndrome.”
“Come Home” marks McCartney’s first film song since 2001’s “Vanilla Sky,” which earned him an Oscar nom. McCartney’s Oscar track record also includes the nominated song “Live and Let Die” (1973) and a 1970 “original score song” trophy for “Let It Be,” which he shared with the Beatles.
Ripe with piano and whispers of French horns and reeling strings, “Come Home” tells about a person who’s been out in the cold and longs to be where the heart is. It’s a soulful tune in the spirit of McCartney’s reflective 2007 LP “Memory Almost Full.”
However, legends are human, too and the responsibility to create a song for a film’s end-credits that “summed the story up” proved “intimidating.” Ultimately, the tune came to McCartney in waves after banging it out on his father’s piano.
“Now I’m past 64 and I’ve written this seminal song that marks this date. Like George Orwell’s ‘1984,’ the year has come and gone like it was like nothing,” quips McCartney. “I was and still am that kid from Liverpool.”