Come on, you knew it was coming. How much more McCartney can you get than this? None more McCartney, that’s how much. This is a terrible-quality video because I can’t find a better one but watch it anyway, because even when it’s this fuzzy, you can see how much fun everyone is having. EYE would like to have Christmas with the McCartneys and friends. There’s also a pleasing foreshadowing here, in the voices the choir of children singing their song, of the Frog Song, in which after extensive auditions for a child for the part of Rupert, Macca ended up doing it himself because – well, I’ll let him tell you:
We searched high and low for Rupert. We must’ve auditioned every kid in London. And they all came in and we said, ‘All you need to do is say ‘Hello, my name’s Rupert.‘ And nearly all of them came in with, ‘Hello, my name’s Wooper‘. We said, ‘Not ‘wooper’, ‘Rupert”…. In the end Geoff [Dunbar, the director] said, ‘would you do it?’
We’ve featured this song before, back in 2010 when the theme was UK Christmas number one singles since 1976 – which, like this year’s, left me very little leeway in terms of the quality of tunes selected. That’s slightly unfair to the song, though, which isn’t as bad as I think it is, even if it’s no Always On My Mind. We had the official video last time, so – in order not to repeat myself six years later – today here’s a live version from the Mike Yarwood Christmas special of 1977, hence added stars, sparkle and general seasonal appeal, and don’t say I never treat you to anything, although I am a bit worried for everyone’s health given the quantity of dry ice being pumped out onto the stage at regular intervals. It can’t be good for the bagpipes either, can it? But then, I can’t think of anything that would necessarily be good for bagpipes, except a very strict set of rules about who is allowed to play them. I digress. Here’s Paul.
This song is kind of dull, at least by Paul McCartney’s standards (no fireworks, no explosions), but the video is like something out of a dream. Not the David Lynch kind that makes some kind of glorious visual sense even if you’re not sure what it means; more the kind you start to tell someone about the next morning before realising as you’re describing it that none of it makes any sense even to you, and it was actually kind of dull.
I like the contrast between the choreographed pipers on the beach and the becardiganned Linda, who looks as though she doesn’t even know she’s on camera and is just out for a walk and a bit of a sing with her family. I assume some of the children in the later scenes are minor McCartneys, but it’s a bit too fuzzy for me to be able to be certain. This was UK Christmas number one in 1977, when those haircuts were considered acceptable.