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12.06-MAYBE I'M AMAZED (Paul McCartney)

Paul McCartney
Linda and Paul McCartney

LISTEN

[Intro]

Baby, I'm amazed at the way you love me all the time.
Maybe I'm afraid of the way I love you.

Maybe I'm amazed at the way you pulled me out of time
And hung me on the line.
Maybe I'm amazed at the way I really need you.

     Maybe I'm a man
     Maybe I'm a lonely man
     Who's in the middle of something
     That he doesn't really understand.

     Maybe I'm a man.
     Maybe you're the only woman
     Who could ever help me!
     Baby, won't you help me to understand?

     [Break]

     [Chorus]

Maybe I'm amazed at the way you're with me all the time.
Maybe I'm afraid of the way I leave you.

Maybe I'm amazed at the way you help me sing my song,
Right me when I'm wrong.
Maybe I'm amazed at the way I really need you.

     [Break]

[Coda]


The McCartney album was released along with the news of the Beatles' final breakup and issuance of the Beatles final album Let It Be, though Let It Be had actually been recorded in the main before the release of Abbey Road. Much of McCartney had a homespun quality and had been recorded indeed at home on a four track tape machine. Like Oar by Skip Spence, the album was almost totally made up of tracks of in which the singer plays all the instruments. The only outside help was the occasional voice and harmony of his wife Linda. Unlike Oar, the album did not have an editor. There were several instrumental and incompletely realized tracks. However, Maybe I’m Amazed stood out on the album as a finished work. McCartney overdubbed several vocals on the track and played all instruments: three guitars, bass, piano, organ and drums. In a question and answer session that Paul McCartney had in 2009 with the Portuguese Epoca magazine, he stated that Maybe I’m Amazed was “the song [he] would like to be remembered for in the future.” It does seem to be considered in the early 21st century as his best work, his signature song, outside of his compositions with the Beatles. However, the McCartney version was never released as a single. A live version with his band Wings was released in 1977, and got to #10 on the U.S. chart.

McCartney does some of his most varied and soulful singing on Maybe I’m Amazed; the desperation he felt upon the Beatles split and the gratitude he felt toward his wife for pulling him through are clearly expressed in his voice. (This element is missing from the Wings version.) Another impressive feature is the several different guitar parts that McCartney wrote into the song with a complexity of counterpoint that ties it to the “baroque rock” of psychedelia. As a matter of form, it was very unusual to find a break transitioning into a coda based on a different melody. If 1983 by the Jimi Hendrix Experience demonstrates the most successful psychedelic exploration of sound in order to create visual impressions, I believe Maybe I’m Amazed demonstrates the most successful psychedelic exploration of sound in order to communicate an emotional state. Unlike most of McCartney’s work in which he maintains an ironic distance, there’s no doubt here of the sincerity of his lyric and its delivery.

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