Love in Song

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"Love in Song"
Love in Song single label.jpg
Single by Wings
from the album Venus and Mars
A-side "Listen to What the Man Said"
Released 16 May 1975
Format 7" single
Recorded 7 November 1974
Genre Rock
Length 3:04
Label Capitol
Songwriter(s) Paul McCartney, Linda McCartney
Producer(s) Paul McCartney
Wings singles chronology
"Junior's Farm"
"Love in Song"
"Letting Go"

"Junior's Farm"
"Listen to What the Man Said"
"Letting Go"
Venus and Mars track listing
13 tracks
Side one
  1. "Venus and Mars"
  2. "Rock Show"
  3. "Love in Song"
  4. "You Gave Me the Answer"
  5. "Magneto and Titanium Man"
  6. "Letting Go"
Side two
  1. "Venus and Mars (Reprise)"
  2. "Spirits of Ancient Egypt"
  3. "Medicine Jar"
  4. "Call Me Back Again"
  5. "Listen to What the Man Said"
  6. "Treat Her Gently/Lonely Old People"
  7. "Crossroads Theme"

"Love in Song" is a song credited to Paul and Linda McCartney that was released on Wings' 1975 album Venus and Mars. It was also released as the B-side of Wings' number 1 single "Listen to What the Man Said." It has been covered by artists such as Helen Merrill and The Judybats.[1]

Writing and recording[edit]

"Love in Song" was initially written on Paul McCartney's 12 string guitar, and McCartney has claimed the song "just came to him."[2][3] It was one of the early songs recorded for Venus and Mars, at Abbey Road Studios in London in late 1974.[2][3] String overdubs were added at Wally Heider Studios in Lost Angeles on March 10, 1975.[3] In addition to playing 12 string guitar and singing lead vocals, Paul McCartney plays upright bass, using the same bass that Bill Black played on Elvis Presley hits such as "Heartbreak Hotel."[4] Denny Laine and Jimmy McCulloch also play guitar, and Linda McCartney sings backing vocals.[2] "Love in Song" is one of the few Venus and Mars songs on which Geoff Britton plays drums, as the song was recorded before he was replaced as Wings' drummer by Joe English.[2]

Lyrics and music[edit]

Several critics have described "Love in Song" as having a melancholy quality.[2][4] The first and third verses express a degree of sadness, as the singer cries out to his lover in the first verse and he sings of sadness that resulted from a misunderstanding in the third.[4] In contrast, in the second and fourth verses the singer sings of how everything is fine when he has his love.[4] In the bridge, the singer remembers a time when he and his lover were happier.[4] McCartney biographer Peter Carlin describes the song as a "portrait of heartbreak," claiming it "traced the thin line between love and obsession."[5]

Author Robert Rodriguez describes the song as a "delicate ballad."[6] Beaver County Times critic Bob Bonn described the melody as "mysterious sounding."[7] Music professor Vincent Benitez describes the song's key as G Aeolian, a melancholy key.[4] Author John Blaney describes the arrangement as "measured," claiming that contributes the singer distancing himself from the subject, although he believes that McCartney's warm vocal "more than compensates for the song's guarded tone."[2]


Rodriguez considers "Love in Song" to be one of McCartney's "better efforts," although he claims that it is neglected today.[6] Rough Guide to The Beatles author Chris Ingham considers it a "luxurious acoustic ballad."[8] Rolling Stone Magazine critic Paul Nelson found "Love in Song" to be one of several "banal ballads" on Venus and Mars.[9] Music critic Richard Tozier described the song as a "formal, yet easily palatable ballad."[10]

Cover versions[edit]

Helen Merrill covered "Love in Song" on the 2005 album Love Is Song.[11] The Judybats covered it on the 2001 album Listen to What the Man Said: Popular Artists Pay Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney.[12]


  1. ^ "Love in Song". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f Blaney, J. (2007). Lennon and McCartney: together alone: a critical discography of their solo work. Jawbone Press. pp. 107–108. ISBN 978-1-906002-02-2. 
  3. ^ a b c Madinger, C. & Easter, M. (2000). Eight Arms to Hold You. 44.1 Productions. p. 203. ISBN 0-615-11724-4. 
  4. ^ a b c d e f Benitez, V.P. (2010). The Words and Music of Paul McCartney: The Solo Years. Praeger. pp. 63–64. ISBN 978-0-313-34969-0. 
  5. ^ Carlin, P.A. (2009). Paul McCartney: A Life. Simon and Schuster. pp. 236–237. ISBN 978-1-4165-6209-2. 
  6. ^ a b Rodriguez, R. (2010). Fab Four FAQ 2.0: The Beatles' Solo Years 1970–1980. Hal Leonard. pp. 165–166. ISBN 978-0-87930-968-8. 
  7. ^ Bonn, B. (July 9, 1975). "McCartney, Wings Better Than Ever". Beaver County Times. p. C9. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  8. ^ Ingham, C. (2009). The Rough Guide to the Beatles. Penguin. ISBN 978-1-84836-525-4. 
  9. ^ Nelson, P. (May 3, 2001). "Venus and Mars". Rolling Stone Magazine. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  10. ^ Tozier, R. (June 27, 1975). "New McCartney Album Refreshingly Infectious". Bangor Daily News. p. 20. Retrieved 2012-10-28. 
  11. ^ "Love Is Song". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 October 2012. 
  12. ^ Bays, K. "Listen to What the Man Said: Popular Artists Pay Tribute to the Music of Paul McCartney". Allmusic. Retrieved 28 October 2012.