Saturday, July 6, 2013
Paul McCartney is touring this summer. Unfortunately, I will not be attending any of his concerts. Right now my concert commitments consist of the Americanarama Tour coming to Duluth next Tuesday: Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket, Richard Thompson. It is a great line-up and I am looking forward to attending with my son. The only negative is that it is an outdoor concert and there is rain in the forecast.
Back to Paul McCartney. On Tuesday, May 28, McCartney re-released his first post-Beatles live album, Wings Over America. First released in December 1976, Wings Over America was then a three-record vinyl album – a rarity. McCartney and Wings were doing quite well at the time, with a number of their songs having been hit records in the early to mid-1970s. You could not listen to the radio for very long without encountering a McCartney/Wings song. I remember a joke that went around at the time, intended to test one’s musical cool quotient – “Did you know Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings?”
It wasn’t an infrequent occurrence to hear McCartney unfavorably compared to his former Beatle’s writing partner, John Lennon. Lennon was seen as the more intellectual, the one more engaged in the issues of the day, the more serious. McCartney had a knack for silly love songs. In the end, what’s wrong with that?
In my circle of friends, it was o.k. to like Paul McCartney and Wings, but not be too enamored with them. Nevertheless, Wings Over America found its way into my record collection, along with Wings Greatest. In 1977, the year I graduated from high school, a song from Wings Over America was a hit single, a live version of “Maybe I’m Amazed.” It is a wonderful love song, and the tempo of the live version gives it a certain leg up on the earlier studio version.
When Wings Over America came out again in May, I bought a copy. It was fun to hear again that version of “Maybe I’m Amazed.” Listening to it, I found that it also spoke to how I understand my faith.
Baby, I’m a man, maybe I’m a lonely man
whose in the middle of something
That he doesn’t really understand
Baby, I’m a man maybe you’re the only woman
who could ever help me,
Baby, won’t you help me to understand
maybe I’m amazed at the way you help me
sing my song,
right me when I’m wrong
For me, my Christian faith, my relationship to God in Jesus addresses me a person in the midst of life, in the middle of something that I don’t really understand. My faith helps me understand myself and the world. It helps me sing my song. It rights me when I’m wrong. I’m amazed.
With Faith and With Feathers,