Certain songs you kind of written in advance of your recording sessions, and then certain other songs you make up in the studio, and you’re just thinking of ideas as you go along.
So with this one I was in the studio with Ryan, Ryan Tedder, whereas the rest of the album was made with Greg Kurstin. But for this one we were just thinking of ideas and little pieces of melody and chords, and the song just came together bit by bit.
And then I’d try and make some sort of sense of the story, so it was like, ‘Come on baby, now… come on baby now, talk about yourself, try and tell the truth, let me get to know you. And basically I wanna know how you feel. You make me wanna go out and steal – I just wanna for you.’
So that was the basic idea, and it developed from there. That’s sort of a love song, but a raunchy love song. Here you go: ‘Fuh You’.
‘Fuh You’ was the only song on Egypt Station to be co-written and produced by Ryan Tedder, although he did the same for ‘Nothing For Free’, included as a bonus song on initial copies of the album sold by HMV in the UK, and in Target stores in the US. The pair also worked together on a third song.
So out of all the producers that were suggested, I liked Ryan, rung him up and we chatted. He said, ‘What do you hope to get [out of this]?’. I was like, oh I don’t know. And then I thought, come on Paul, don’t be so shy. So I said, ‘A hit?’ And he was like ‘Yeah! Now you’re talking my language! The world loves a hit!’ So that was our brief. To do something commercial. In a week, we ended up with three songs and one of them was ‘Fuh You’, which is on the album.
DIY Magazine, 20 June 2018
Egypt Station’s primary producer, Greg Kurstin, told Rolling Stone magazine that the Tedder sessions came about due to a scheduling conflict.
That happened because there was a miscommunication with the scheduling and I wasn’t able to work when Paul was off. He wanted to continue to write and record, so his management or someone get in touch with Ryan to try working with him. They created that song at that time.
Rolling Stone, 3 July 2018
McCartney claimed that ‘Fuh’ was a misspelling of ‘For’, and that the chorus contained the line: “I just want it fuh you”. However, the odd spelling had been used once before, by Brute Force – aka Stephen Friedland – whose single ‘The King Of Fuh’ was released by The Beatles’ Apple Records in 1969. On that release the intended meaning was quite different.
If you’re lucky, when you’re creating you can have some fun. This song was coming to a close and we were just getting a bit hysterical in the studio, as you do when you’re locked away for long hours, and I said, ‘Well, I’ll just say, ‘I just wanna shag you.’ And we had a laugh. And I said, ‘No, I’ll tell you what we can do is, I can make it questionable as to what it is I’m singing.’ So the actual lyrics are You make me wanna go out and steal / I just want to fuck you or …I just want it for you.” It’s a schoolboy prank. Which we did a lot in the Beatles. And it brings some joy to your tawdry little life. If you listen to it, I don’t actually say ‘fuck,’ because I don’t particularly want to say ‘I just want to fuck you’ – I’ve got, like, eight grandchildren. Of course they’d probably like it better. But anyway…
So I just thought, I can fudge this easily. It was something to amuse ourselves. Hey, listen—when you make these things up, it’s not like writing a Shakespeare play. I mean, it’s intended as a popular song. So you don’t feel like you’ve got to adhere to any rules. And then you do ‘Why don’t we do it in the road?’ ‘tit-tit-tit-tit-tit-tit,’ ‘She’s a prick teaser.’ It’s kind of pathetic, but actually a great thing in its pathos because it’s something that makes you laugh. So what’s wrong with that?