Paul McCartney had written about finding solace in the country before, most notably in 1968’s ‘Mother Nature’s Son’.
Much of Ram was written about his new-found love of living with Linda in their bucolic idyll. McCartney bought High Peak Farm in Kintyre, Scotland in June 1965, and towards The Beatles’ later years it became a place for him to retreat from the pressures of fame and business.
Two 16mm promotional films – ‘Heart Of The Country’ and ‘3 Legs’ – were made in support of Ram. They were produced by McCartney and edited by Ray Benson, who had previously worked on The Beatles’ Magical Mystery Tour film.
Both clips contained mute footage, shot on the McCartneys’ farm and on a beach just a few days before the promos were screened on the BBC’s Top Of The Pops on 24 June 1971.
‘Heart Of The Country’ was the b-side of the UK-only single ‘The Back Seat Of My Car’. However, it was not a commercial success, peaking at number 39 in the charts.
The song was one of two from Ram to be included in Blackbird Singing, McCartney’s 2001 collection of lyrics and poetry. It featured in the section headed Playing At Home. The other Ram song in the book was ‘Monkberry Moon Delight’.
In the studio
‘Heart Of The Country’ was recorded over two consecutive days at CBS Studios in New York.
The first session was on 16 November 1970. Paul McCartney sang and played his Martin acoustic guitar, Hugh McCracken was on electric guitar, and Denny Seiwell was on percussion – of sorts.
We were approaching another genre of music, so I looked around the studio to find some stuff that I could replace the drum set with. I found a plastic trash can and I hooked my bass drum pedal up to it, so that was the bass drum. I taped up my hi-hat cymbals so that they made no noise whatsoever, and for the snare drum part I found a very thin sheet of sheet metal and I laid it down and played brushes on it. The kit was made up of all these weird things that I found around the studio.
Ram Archive Collection
McCartney completed ‘Heart Of The Country’ the following day by adding a bass guitar part. The final master used only six of the available 16 tracks, making it one of the simplest – and fastest – recordings on Ram.