Paul McCartney offers his opinion on Beyoncé's cover of The Beatles' Blackbird

5 April 2024, 11:04

Paul McCartney has given his verdict on Beyoncé's new cover of The Beatles 'Blackbird'.
Paul McCartney has given his verdict on Beyoncé's new cover of The Beatles 'Blackbird'. Picture: Getty/Columbia

By Thomas Edward

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Many artists have covered The Beatles throughout the years.

You can understand why, given their music infiltrated almost every facet of popular culture. The world would be a very different place without The Beatles.

Their influence is far-reaching, having inspired numerous generations of musicians and artists who followed in their footsteps.

One particular artist who has drawn inspiration from the Fab Four is none other than R&B icon Beyoncé, who covered 'Blackbird' for her recent album, Cowboy Carter.

In what is her first foray into country music and Americana, Beyoncé has been on the end of scepticism from the country music community, despite topping the Billboard US Hot Country Songs.

She may have won around country fans eventually, covering Dolly Parton's heart-wrencher 'Jolene' and bringing in outlaw Willie Nelson for a duet. But The Beatles and their fans are a different matter altogether.

Now Paul McCartney, the man behind one of the band's most beautiful songs, has offered his verdict on Beyoncé's version.

He was effusive in his praise of her effort, calling it "fabulous" and "it reinforces the civil rights message" that inspired him to write it in the first place.

BLACKBIIRD (Official Lyric Video)

Taking to Instagram to congratulate Beyoncé, Macca wrote: "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!"

Whether or not that's the case, it's a stamp of approval that Beyoncé herself would've no doubt loved to receive.

Paul continued to reveal his rationale for sanctioning the cover version in his post, writing: "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."

After reading about the race riots in the US, Paul penned 'Blackbird' in his kitchen in Scotland.

"I was sitting around with my acoustic guitar and I'd heard about the civil rights troubles that were happening in the '60s in Alabama, Mississippi, Little Rock in particular," he told GQ.

"I just thought it would be really good if I could write something that if it ever reached any of the people going through those problems, it might give them a little bit of hope. So, I wrote 'Blackbird.'"

The Beatles - Blackbird (Official Music Video)

'Blackbird' originally featured on The Beatles' 1968 self-titled album, which is commonly referred to as 'The White Album'

It's also been revealed that Beyoncé's cover version was built up from instrumental elements from the song's original master recording.

Paul's acoustic guitar playing and foot-tapping were included in the recording, with McCartney being officially listed as a guitarist and co-producer on the track.

One of The Beatles' most covered compositions, the structure of 'Blackbird' can be traced back to Bach's classical piece 'Bouree in E minor', which both McCartney and George Harrison learned when they started playing guitar.