Sunday, 24 July 2011

In appreciation of...No.19 - Little Lamb Dragonfly

Can be found on: Red Rose Speedway

This song is very well respected in McCartney circles but it still deserves to be much greater known and respected in the public domain.

It apears to be two songs made into one with cute lyrics about little lambs and dragonfly's. However, somehow it does not seem to be lightweight in its narrative. There is something much more meaningful buzzing around the surface fluff. There are many conspiracies that this could be about John or John and George and somehow I think we'll never know.

Paul is very reluctant to tell the public what his songs are really about. Sometimes this is because he has no idea himself, sometimes that his songs just working off a couplet of lines that go somewhere or nowhere in particular, sometimes he will tell a version of what the song is about that is not quite the truth just to keep us entertained or to promote the record and sometimes because it is none of our business or that it is up to us for the song to mean what we want.

This has been a double edged sword for Paul as it makes him seem more superficial in his lyric writing than his actually is. That is the public and critics perception. In my opinion it adds to the mystery and I like it that way. Keep us guessing and keep the real meaning personal.

Back to the song. This is a beautiful acoustic driven number with lovely chord changes, melodies and harmonies. The vocal is soulful and sad and it feels like the weight of the world is on Paul's shoulders.

The quality of the song is wonderful and is one of the best his has ever produced.

Perhaps, it is just about a fluffy little lamb though....

1 comment:

  1. Hi. I seem to recall reading that this was originally part of the Rupert Bear project, and that sounds plausible. But even if that's right it doesn't mean that it is "about" Rupert or "about" lambs and dragonflies. I was pleasantly mystified by this one for a long time and just absorbed it on an emotional level. You are dead right that it is quite mysterious and I can think of no other music quite like it. There is something profound under that gorgeous surface. Well I am still mystified, but I had a Eureka moment when it occurred to me that it is "simply" about love, commitment, temptation and ultimately loyalty. The protagonist is temporarily estranged from the one he loves, the "dragonfly" after some rift. The "little lamb" is another girl who is in love with him and who says she needs him. She tempts him. He is fond of her and wants to be kind - "My heart is aching for you, little lamb. But in the end he is committed to his dragonfly. "I can help you out," he offers, "but I cannot help you in [to my heart]". Meanwhile he is pleading with dragonfly,"You and me will find a way - come on home and make it right" etc. Well, it works for me!