‘Long Tailed Winter Bird’ is the opening track on McCartney III, Paul McCartney’s solo album written and recorded during the Covid-19 lockdown.

Aside from the 1992 song ‘When Winter Comes’, ‘Long Tailed Winter Bird’ was the first song to be recorded for McCartney III.

It was ‘Long Tailed Winter Bird’, I think. Which was a follow-on from the title music from ‘When Winter Comes’. It kind of spiralled on from that really. We did a couple of versions of the outro music that sort of morphed into this groove that Paul’s playing – the main acoustic riff in that. That was the beginning of the whole record, it kind of took us off on this route.
Steve Orchard, McCartney’s studio engineer

I’m very lucky because I have a studio that’s, like, 20 minutes away from where I live. We were in lockdown on a farm, a sheep farm with my daughter Mary and her four kids and her husband. So I had four of my grandkids, I had Mary, who’s a great cook, so I would just drive myself to the studio. And there were two other guys that could come in and we’d be very careful and distanced and everything: my engineer Steve, and then my equipment guy Keith. So the three of us made the record, and I just started off. I had to do a little bit of film music – I had to do an instrumental for a film thing – so I did that. And I just kept going, and that turned into the opening track on the album. I would just come in, say, “Oh, yeah, what are we gonna do?” [Then] have some sort of idea, and start doing it. Normally, I’d start with the instrument I wrote it on, either piano or guitar, and then probably add some drums and then a bit of bass till it started to sound like a record, and then just gradually layer it all up. It was fun.
Paul McCartney, October 2020
Rolling Stone

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