Yvonne's The One
But Who Is Yvonne?
I must confess that I have known a few Yvonne's over the course of my life, but quite honestly, I can't remember one of them inspiring me to write a song for her.
Then again, I'm really not a songwriter, and I have no idea what inspires an artist, such as Paul McCartney, to write a song about anyone.
Yes, I can understand Paul's writing a whack of lovesongs for his wife, Linda, during the days he toured with her and Wings. I suppose those songs encapsulated some of the emotions and experiences the couple shared.
More recently, there are songs on New that are clearly directed towards his wife since 2011, Nancy Shevell.
I'm not so sure there were any songs inspired by his second wife, whatever her name was ...
The thing is that there are not many songs from The Beatles' days that actually are directed towards a woman, real or imaginary, in name. There's "Michelle," which includes something of a French lesson, "Eleanor Rigby," of course, then "Lady Madonna," "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds," "Lovely Rita," "Dear Prudence," "Martha My Dear," "Julia," "Sexy Sadie," and "Polythene Pam."
Some of you will want to include "Hey Jude," but, hey, Jude is a pseudonym for Julian, John's son.
Some of you will realise I may have missed a couple. So it goes ...
Now, most of The Beatles' songs and the songs from Paul's post-Beatles career are about love, in one form or another. That much seems reasonable enough, but do you ever wonder just who these people were ... who was Michelle, Eleanor, Martha, Pam, or any of the others?
All this brings me to the topic at hand. Who was Yvonne? And why was she important enough to have a song named after her, even though she's a bit of a contrary kind of gal?
Paul worked with Eric Stewart of the band, 10cc, over the course of four Paul McCartney albums (Tug Of War
, Pipes Of Peace
, Give My Regards To Broad Street
, and Press to Play
During sessions for Press to Play, Paul and Eric co-wrote a song called "Yvonne," which was later recorded as a demo by Paul. The song was originally slated for inclusion into the Press to Play tracklist, but it was dropped just before the final pressing of the album.
The song remained unreleased until Eric included it on the 15-track European pressing of what is now known to be 10cc's last album, Mirror Mirror (1995), with Paul playing rhythm guitar on the track. The official title of the song became "Yvonne's The One."
Please note that "Yvonne's The One" is not included on the standard North American release of the album, which consists of just 10 tracks. The most complete version of Mirror Mirror is the Japanese Pressing, which is now out-of-print, highly collectible and quite pricey.
Here's Paul's demo version ...
—— Yvonne ——
(Paul McCartney Demo)
Here's the 10cc version from the album Mirror Mirror ...
—— Yvonne's The One ——
(10cc Recorded Version)
Which version is your favourite?
So there you have it. Paul decided not to immortalize Yvonne, but Eric Stewart went and set her firmly in place in music history. Granted, she's no Michelle or Eleanor Rigby, but she might be close to Polythene Pam or Lovely Rita. Regardless, once you're there, you're there. There's no erasing her now.
I just wish I knew who the heck Yvonne was in real life or even if she was real at all.
© The Beatles On Abbey Road — Posted here on May 10, 2014.