‘Girls School’ was released on a double a-side single with Wings’ ‘Mull Of Kintyre’.

It was written by Paul McCartney in Hawaii in December 1975, under the original title ‘Love School’. McCartney found inspiration from a list of pornographic film titles in an American publication.

The song came about when we’d finished our tour of Australia and were coming back via Hawaii for a sort of holiday after the tour. We were supposed to go to Japan, but the Japanese Minister of Justice decided we couldn’t get in, because we’d been naughty. So we went to Hawaii instead, on the way back to England. Anyway, I was looking through one of these American newspapers and the back page, at the end of the entertainments section, is always the porno films.

I rather liked the titles, so basically I took all the titles and made a song out of them. For example, there was a film called School Mistress, another called Curly Haired, one called Kid Sister and another called The Woman Trainer and I liked those titles so much I just wove them into a song. It’s kind of like a pornographic St Trinians.

Paul McCartney
The Paul McCartney Encyclopedia, Bill Harry

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for Girls School

If you’re in a rock and roll group, you’re always trying to write songs that are going to work live. I think this one came from seeing an ad for a porn film called Girl School. It might even have said something like (I’m trying to recall from forty years ago), ‘See Yuki and so-and-so romp to your delight’. So I thought, ‘Right, I’m going to imagine this school into a song.’ I thought, ‘It’s a girls’ school, like St Trinian’s’ – which had been a comic book and a series of films set in an all-girls school when I was growing up. But now it would be a kind of grown-up St Trinian’s. I just started to imagine all the characters and what they were all up to, and it was all a little bit racy.

‘Girls School’ was initially recorded in February 1977, but was remade at Abbey Road Studios on 14 March. It was completed in August in Campbeltown, Scotland, using Mickie Most’s RAK Mobile Studio.

The song is a series of vignettes, all tied together. That’s something I like to do across a lot of my lyrics. If you think about it, the vignette is really my stock-in-trade.

A lot of the guitar bands who came alone in the eighties – the glam metal bands – took this kind of risqué lyric and ran with it. But for us, it was really just a one-off reflection of what was happening at the time.

The release

‘Girls School’ was issued as a double a-side with ‘Mull Of Kintyre’ on 11 November 1977 in the UK, and 14 November 1977 in the USA.

While ‘Mull Of Kintyre’ became a smash hit in the UK, in the States ‘Girls School’ received the bulk of the promotion. Despite the efforts, however, it only reached 33 on the Billboard Hot 100.

The idea of it was that if someone had bought the single and decided they wanted to have a dance, all they had to do was flip it over and there they had something to dance to, rather than put two songs that were the same sort of thing on the record.

The idea of having a double A-side was so that if someone thought we were only into ballads, there was the opposite to prove we do all kinds of songs. I think there may be some people who prefer the more rocking side, which is the ‘Girls School’ one. So, for those people, we made it a double A, because b-sides get swallowed. B-sides never get played on the radio or anything like that, so you have to say it’s a double A even if you really think it’s an A and a B.

Paul McCartney
The Paul McCartney Encyclopedia, Bill Harry

Although it was included on the 1993 reissue of London Town, ‘Girls School’ did not appear on any Wings or McCartney compilation until The 7″ Singles Box in 2002. It was never played live.

Poster for Wings' Mull Of Kintyre/Girls School

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