‘Warm And Beautiful’ is the closing song on Wings’ fifth album Wings At The Speed Of Sound.

This is one of my favourite songs. It’s a ballad with a brass section, but it’s always felt Victorian in style to me. It’s very heartfelt. ‘A love so warm and beautiful/Stands when time itself is falling.’ I like that idea, instead of just saying, ‘It will go on forever.’ I got a good feeling writing this song, and listening to it now, I still do. ‘Love, faith and hope are beautiful’.

The brass solo is lovely for me because it harks back to the brass bands that were so common when I was a kid; there would often be brass bands in the park or in the streets. My dad played trumpet, as I never fail to mention, and he had his own little band – Jim Mac’s Jazz Band.

‘Warm And Beautiful’ was recorded at Abbey Road Studios on 2 February 1976. McCartney recorded his piano and vocals in half an hour, before the strings and brass overdubs were added. The recording features a string quartet and two tenor flugelhorns.

‘Warm And Beautiful’ was written well after the demise of The Beatles, and at this time we knew sadness. I knew about delving into your mind to look for help and looking for some sort of solace in a song. I liked the idea of writing a song in a universal way that dispels the sadness. You write about the wonderful things you know in the world, and you try to write so that it will sing well and be well received by people dealing with grief – something that inevitably surrounds all of us at one time or another.

On a more personal level, the main inspiration for the song was Linda. There was no sadness associated with Linda, except when she later became ill. In that way, I think it’s oddly prophetic. We had a very good relationship, but like all relationships, it wasn’t perfect. We would sometimes disagree and get annoyed with each other, but that’s how families function. She as a fun person to be with, very amusing and very witty. She had a great take on life, and of course she was very artistic. There really wasn’t a lot of sadness about her at all. She was an upbeat lady.

Over twenty years later, I reworked the song to be played by a string quartet at her memorial concert.

An orchestral version of ‘Warm And Beautiful’ appeared on McCartney’s 1999 album Working Classical.

That one really does get to me. It captures some of my innermost feelings for Linda.
Paul McCartney
Working Classical liner notes

Elvis Costello performed ‘Warm And Beautiful’ at the Concert For Linda at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 10 April 1999.

Score for Wings' Warm And Beautiful

Previous song: ‘San Ferry Anne’
Next album: Wings Over America
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