Monkberry Moon Delight

In which Paul McCartney shows yet again his gift for spinning gold from the ridiculous. What’s it all about? Don’t know, but if I had to guess, I would say it’s a drinking song. But it doesn’t matter. Exuberant silliness and melodicism for its own sake were two of the defining charms Paul brought to the Beatles’ table, and those things remained in full flower for a long time afterwards. (And after all those highs, you really can’t blame him for eventually declining into dullness.) The criticisms lobbed Ram’s way in 1971 – too cutesy, too lightweight, too weird – have long been forgotten. That album deserves to be celebrated for what it is; the happy height of Paul McCartney just being the essence ofhimself. If you aren’t charmed by the McCartney-ness of Paul McCartney, then obviously this isn’t for you. If you adore everything Macca, then this is everything Macca that you adore; his famous sentimentality, his penchant for combining the most voluptuous melodies with the most goofball lyrics, his endless little personal jokes that are only between him and Linda, his kill-’em-with-kindness passive-aggressiveness towards h8ters (up to and including John Lennon,) and oh so many odes to the joys of pet ownership and animal husbandry. Many critics (up to and including John Lennon) were bitterly frustrated that post-Beatle Paul was content to write songs about drinking and farm life, instead of devoting his formidable talents to hefty great big serious deep important things. Well, John Lennon had plenty to say about the political situation, and spent plenty of time protesting against war in his underwear, and well-intentioned though it was, it was ineffective, grandiose and naive in hindsight, and his time would have been more productively spent making better music. He too, eventually, had to cede the high moral ground and not coincidentally, made some of his best music while extolling the joy of babies and homemade bread. So it was that McCartney had the right idea all along, which was to settle the hell down with a horse and some sheep and enjoy a really nice life in the heart of the country, nevermind if cooler people think those things are too trivial to sing about.


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