‘The Other Me’ is the third song on Paul McCartney’s fourth solo album Pipes Of Peace.

McCartney often spoke of being a Gemini, and what he saw as two conflicting sides to his character. The theme of opposites found its way int songs such as ‘Hello, Goodbye’ and ‘Tug Of War’.

Maybe this yin and yang and trying to see both sides comes from being a Gemini. I never really bother with astrological signs, but I do know that the conventional Gemini has two halves, pushing and pulling, and it fits with my character. Apparently, we’re typically curious, intelligent, adaptable and sociable. It occurs to me that anyone who is a Gemini is going to think about the two-sidedness of things. I’ve noticed that tension does crop up a lot in my songs: ‘Ebony and Ivory’, say, or ‘Hello, Goodbye’ – ‘You say yes, I say no/You say stop and I say go, go, go’.

‘The Other Me’ is a song of regret and atonement for mistreating another. The song was written while McCartney was walking in the Scottish hills.

Often after an argument, people walk away with a lot of strong feelings and energy with nowhere for it to go. If you’re a songwriter, you can use that. In writing songs like ‘The Other Me’, you can be your own psychiatrist. You’re reviewing your actions, admitting your faults and then looking for the solution which will make it better next time.

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for The Other Me

‘The Other Me’ was recorded at AIR Studios in London on 11 January 1983. McCartney played all the instruments.

Had I not got into a group that was as successful as The Beatles – a group that had a long life as groups go – then I might have had to find some other work. I would almost certainly have become an English teacher, that ‘other me’.

Paul McCartney's handwritten lyrics for The Other Me

Previous song: ‘Say Say Say’
Next song: ‘Keep Under Cover’
Published: |