Paul McCartney Applauds Beyoncé’s ‘Killer’ Beatles Cover

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images
Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Paul McCartney took to Instagram on Thursday to share high praise for Beyoncé, whose latest album, Cowboy Carter, includes a cover of the classic Beatles ballad “Blackbird.”

“I am so happy with [Beyoncé’s] version of my song ‘Blackbird,’” McCartney wrote under an old photo of him and Bey. “I think she does a magnificent version of it and it reinforces the civil rights message that inspired me to write the song in the first place. I think Beyoncé has done a fab version and would urge anyone who has not heard it yet to check it out. You are going to love it!”

He continued: “I spoke to [Beyoncé] on FaceTime and she thanked me for writing it and letting her do it. I told her the pleasure was all mine and I thought she had done a killer version of the song.”

In his post, McCartney also recalled the original meaning of “Blackbird” as a 1960s civil rights anthem about overcoming oppression. He explained that he wrote it after being deeply moved by the Little Rock Nine, a group of Black students who were at the center of the fight to desegregate American public schools.

“When I saw the footage on the television in the early 60s of the black girls being turned away from school, I found it shocking and I can’t believe that still in these days there are places where this kind of thing is happening right now,” McCartney wrote. “Anything my song and Beyoncé’s fabulous version can do to ease racial tension would be a great thing and makes me very proud.”

Along with her cover of “Blackbird,” Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter also includes an ambitious re-imagining of “Jolene,” Dolly Parton’s enduring country classic. Parton herself is credited as the sole writer of Beyoncé’s version, which shifts the meaning of the song. In Parton’s original, the song’s narrator fearfully and plaintively begs another women not to steal her man. In Bey’s version, however, she issues an icy dressing-down of her romantic rival: “There’s a thousand girls in every room / That act as desperate as you do,” she sings.

“Wow, I just heard Jolene,” Parton wrote on Instagram last week. “Beyoncé is giving that girl some trouble and she deserves it! Love, Dolly P.”

Take that, Lily Allen.

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