‘I’m Carrying’ is the third song on Wings’ penultimate album London Town.

People say, ‘What does this song mean?’ and I say, ‘Well, it’s up to you.’ It can mean a million things. What am I carrying here? I kind of make it clear that it’s packages. So I’m like Dapper Dan, with my carnation hidden by the packages. I’m bringing presents for you, I’m carrying something for you, but also, when a woman is having a baby, she’s carrying. There are a couple of other meanings that rule themselves out. One is carrying a gun. Another is carrying drugs. One meaning that might have a little traction is the idea of one person ‘carrying’ a band, with the others riding on the coattails. I’m not even sure about that. I’m just playing with the word ‘carrying’. It’s a very ambiguous little song, but that was the sort of freedom of Wings, to do something a little bit ambiguous.

Paul McCartney recorded the song in a single take on 5 May 1977, on board the Fair Carol, a motor yacht stationed at Watermelon Bay in St John’s in the Virgin Islands.

McCartney performed the song on a Martin D-28 acoustic guitar. His microphone picked up some squeaks from his fingers on the new strings, which he chose to leave on the final version.

‘I’m Carrying’ was completed with overdubs at Abbey Road towards the end of 1977. They included McCartney’s electric guitar, played with a Gizmotron – a device invented by 10cc’s Kevin Godley and Lol Creme, which attached to a guitar and bowed the strings to simulate the sound of orchestral string instruments.

The song was completed with real orchestral strings, which were overdubbed at AIR Studios in December 1977/

It’s been suggested that this song sounds Lennon-esque. I’d admit to it if it were, but to me it sounds more McCartney-esque: just the little voice. I couldn’t imagine John doing quite such a little voice. But you know, if it’s seen as Lennon-esque, that’s no great problem. We did learn how to write songs together, after all.

‘London Town’ was released as a single in the USA on 21 August 1978, with ‘I’m Carrying’ on the b-side. It reached number 39 on the Billboard Hot 100.

It was issued on 26 August in the UK, where it peaked at number 60 on the singles chart.

George Harrison singled out ‘I’m Carrying’ for praise during a 1979 interview.

I’ve always preferred Paul’s good melodies to his screaming rock & roll tunes. The tune I thought was sensational on the London Town album was ‘I’m Carrying’, but all the noisy, beaty things I’m not into at all. But then that’s not only with Paul’s music, that goes right across the board. I’m not a fan of that sort of punky, heavy, tinny stuff. I like a nice melody.
George Harrison
Rolling Stone, 19 April 1979

Previous song: ‘Café On The Left Bank’
Next song: ‘Backwards Traveller’
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