Paul McCartney Praises Beyoncé’s “Blackbird” Cover: “Makes Me Very Proud”

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Paul McCartney has nothing but praise for Beyoncé’s cover of “Blackbird.”

In an Instagram post shared Thursday, McCartney said he gave the superstar his blessing to include her rendition of The Beatles’ classic on Cowboy Carter. “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,” he wrote.

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McCartney also shared that he’s “so happy” with Beyoncé’s cover, as 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.”

Over the years, McCartney has given various answers as to what the song was written about, from being inspired by hearing the call of a blackbird while the Beatles were in India, to penning it in support of the Civil Rights Movement.

In his post about Beyoncé’s song, he confirmed that the song was inspired by the Little Rock Nine, a group of Black students who were admitted into the previously all-white Little Rock Central High School, but were blocked from entering the high school by a mob and continued to be tormented by their classmates throughout the year.

“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,” wrote McCartney. “Anything my song and Beyoncé’s fabulous version can do to ease racial tension would be a great thing and makes me very proud.”

In a 2018 video interview with GQ, he delved into the Civil rights message he had in mind while writing “Blackbird” for the White Album.

“I was sitting around my acoustic guitar and I heard about the Civil Rights troubles that were happening in the ’60s in Alabama, Mississippi, Little Rock in particular,” McCartney recalled at the time. “That was in my mind and I just thought, it’d be really good if I could write something that, if it ever reached any of the people going through those problems, it might kind of give them a little bit of hope.”

He continued, “In England, a bird is a girl so I was thinking of a Black girl going through this. You know, now’s your time to arise, to see yourself free and take these broken wings.”

Besides “Blackbird,” Beyoncé also included a reworked version of Dolly Parton’s “Jolene” on Cowboy Carter. Parton was equally grateful for her classic to be included, telling Knox News that she was “very excited.”

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