‘Run Devil Run’ is the title track of Paul McCartney’s 11th solo album.

It was one of three original compositions on the 1999 album, the others being ‘Try Not To Cry’ and ‘What It Is’. The rest of the album was made up of cover versions.

I saw this herbal medicine shop in Atlanta selling Run Devil Run products. I thought it is a great rock ‘n’ roll title. So I did a story, Chuck Berry style.
Paul McCartney
Run Devil Run liner notes

The title was inspired by Miller’s Rexall Drugs, a drugstore in Atlanta, Georgia which sold products under that name. McCartney thought it would make a good name for a rock ‘n’ roll song.

I was in Atlanta with my son and he wanted to visit the funky side of town. So we went down there and were just wandering around the block and we came across this sort of voodoo shop selling cures for everything. I was looking in the shop window and I saw this bottle of bath salts called Ran Devil Run. I thought that was a good title for a song. So when I was on holiday after that I started thing of words for it and it came quite easily – ‘Run devil run, the angels having fun, making, winners out of sinners, better leave before he’s done, and when he gets through he’ll be coming after you, so listen to what I’m telling you, run devil run.’ I was actually out sailing when I did the verses. It’s nothing about sailing, it’s about a swamp in Alabama, but imagination roams…

Interestingly, some people have said that the harmonies on the song had a Linda feel to them and I thought that too. She didn’t record on it, it was done more recently, but it is like she is singing on it. Well I have no problem with that It just must be something about my voice and her voice and how it used to match. Living so close together I think you grow into each other a bit. But I have thought that recently; I have thought ‘She is singing backing, yeah, magic!’

I’m getting the bath salts and I’ll be taking a bath with them. Not that I have got many demons to get rid of but there may be one or two lurking and this stuff is definitely going to do the trick.

Paul McCartney
Run Devil Run Best Buy bonus interview disc

‘Run Devil Run’ was recorded on 3 March 1999, the third session for the album, at Abbey Road Studios. Also taped on that day were ‘Honey Hush’ and ‘Lonesome Town’.

Previous song: ‘All Shook Up’
Next song: ‘No Other Baby’
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