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Beatles Rarity of the Week – “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” (live in Montreux)

Posted by on June 17, 2016 at 5:00 am.

Welcome to the Beatles Rarity of the Week. The focus is on Paul McCartney this week who will be turning 74 years old on Saturday June 18th (2016). I’m sure many reading have already gotten a copy of his newest hits and key album tracks compilation Pure McCartney. Despite the 4-CD deluxe edition containing 67 tracks, there are several singles that were not included and even a few albums that were not represented such as Driving Rain, Run Devil Run or Flowers In The Dirt. Paul’s career is so vast that I suppose some omissions are inevitable, even for a collection of that size.


Paul McCartney & Wings in 1972

Paul McCartney & Wings in 1972 (L-R): Denny Laine, Denny Seiwell, Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney, Henry McCullough


One of the excluded singles happens to be the first released by Wings. “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” was written by Paul together with his wife Linda in response to the events in Northern Ireland on Bloody Sunday (January 30, 1972). It was recorded only 2 days later on February 1 and was the first Wings recording to feature Henry McCullough on guitar. Along with Paul, Linda and Henry are Denny Seiwell on drums and Denny Laine on backing vocals and some additional electric guitar. Paul plays bass and Linda provides some keyboards and backing vocals. Of course, the political sentiment of the song was sufficiently enough for it to be banned from airplay in the UK, though the single topped the charts in Ireland and Spain. In the US it peaked at number 21 on the Billboard Hot 100 on April 8, 1972.

The last official release of “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” was in 1993 when it appeared as a bonus track on the remastered UK re-issue CD of the first Wings album, Wild Life. Even though that has been awhile, the studio recording still doesn’t quite qualify as a rarity. The live recording of it from a Wings gig at The Pavillion in Montreux, Switzerland is another story. While this concert performance is not soundboard quality it still gives us a good feel for how the early Wings shows sounded. It dates back to July 22, 1972 and is the second track from that show that I’ve presented for BROW (the first was the Wild Life track “Bip Bop” found here).


Wings - Give Ireland Back To The Irish


Here are some Amazon links to purchase the new Paul McCartney compilation or music related to this post:

1) Pure McCartney – 2016 4-CD Paul McCartney compilation (67 tracks).

2) Pure McCartney – 2016 4-LP Paul McCartney compilation (41 tracks).

3) Wild Life – 1993 remastered CD of original 1971 Wings LP with 4 bonus tracks including the original single version of “Give Ireland Back To The Irish.”

4) Beatles/Beatles-related Music: The Beatles, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr.

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  • Steve says:

    A very warm welcome back Nat. YEAH!!!!!

  • Elliott Marx says:

    Welcome back Happy Nat.

  • Happy Nat says:

    Thank you for the warm welcomes!

  • Hippy Pat says:

    Welcome back, welcome back Happy Nat!

    I’m glad you included “Give Ireland Back To The Irish” featuring Henry McCullough who died recently 6/14/16. I hope you do a tribute to him on a future BROW.

    Why has the instrumental “Give Ireland Back To The Irish (version)” never seen a CD release? I like it very much!

    Glad you’re back, glad you’re back Happy Nat!

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