Paul McCartney knows how to write a simple and catchy song, even a Christmas song. There aren’t many of his “Wonderful Christmastime” hits, except for some easy, effective lyrics and the beat of ’80s music to keep it together. No wonder Paul only took two minutes to write.
Paul McCartney wrote his “Wonderful Christmastime” in 10 minutes during July
Surprisingly, Paul wrote “Wonderful Christmastime” late in his career. Well, later than many fans expected. In 1980, during the recording sessions for McCartney II, Paul Melody wrote. However, the song became Paul’s first single since 1971. He released it in November 1979, just in time for the holiday season.
According to the Sunday Post, Paul recorded the song himself and wrote it in about 10 minutes on a “boiling hot day in July.”
The lyrics include, “The mood is good. Morale goes up. We’re here tonight. And that’s enough. Simply have a great birthday. Simply have a great birthday. The party is going on. The feeling is here. It just comes. This time of year.”
So, it’s obvious how a songwriter of Paul’s caliber could write such easy lyrics in a matter of minutes. Paul took Christmas in July very seriously that year. Is it easier to write a vacation tune in the hot summer heat?
It’s also worth noting that the song came during another turning point in Paul’s career. He was recording his first solo album since his band Wings broke up that fall. However, the band performed the song live during one of their last shows and even appeared in the music video for the song.
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The simplicity of the words has stirred up hate over the years
Although its lyrics are straightforward and cheerful, the song “Wonderful Christmastime” has garnered some hate from fans over the years. If it was written in 10 minutes, it must have been horrible.
In 2014, USA Today (per iHeartRadio) published an article saying that Paul’s efforts on the song were “similar to being the writer of one of Adam Sandler’s films.”
Meanwhile, Esquire wrote, “It’s a love song between a middle-aged man and his new Casio keyboard that he’s got in his inventory. A great black-hole ballad of music that’s almost powerful enough to suck the life out of everything McCartney has done before.”
Harsh words for such a simple song. However, the simplicity of “A wonderful Christmas” can be the cause of all the hatred. Mental Floss writes that these strong reactions to a melody could have something to do with its structure, “or lack thereof.”
They spoke to musicologist and instrumentalist Nate Sloan, who said, “A Wonderful Christmas” is a “simple mistake.” Sloan continued to explain, “It moves through the syllable of the song faster than a sled without brakes. Before you know it, ‘That’s enough’ as we move on to the chorus. It’s almost as if I’ve barely finished the eggnog before someone pushes a plate.” of pork in your face.
“The only difference comes with the bridge section, ‘The children’s choir sings their song,’” Sloan continued. “Is their song ‘Ding Dong?’ or do the bells ring at the same time?” Either way, it’s not the most creative clip.”
Another reason fans may hate the song is the synthesizer, which Sloan points out isn’t a common instrument used in holiday songs.
The song has accumulated so much hatred that it has forced some to write counterarguments to defend it. Later, when USA Today conducted a poll in 2016, the song had an approval rating of 62%. Paul doesn’t complain about hating the song. He earns a penny in royalties for every birthday.
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Paul McCartney makes millions for his Christmas success
No matter what anyone says about “Wonderful Christmastime,” the song is popular. They are usually played on the radio a million times during Christmas and are constantly appearing in holiday playlists.
It is for this reason that Paul receives a large sum of money each year for it. In 2010, Forbes reported that “Wonderful Christmastime” earns Paul between $400,000 and $600,000 in royalties annually.
Not bad for a simple song that everyone seems to enjoy hating on.