Exhibit B: Little Woman Love
AKA: Macca does sexy
Nowadays there isn’t a hair out of place on that dyed barnet and McCartney hasn’t neglected a razor for decades. It’s all a far cry from the period 1969-72 where he hit the drugs and drink (as evidenced by Every Night and Monkberry Moon Delight), grew a monster beard, mooched around on his Scottish farm and screwed Linda endlessly.
Ignoring Maybe I’m Amazed or My Love, the dominant themes of McCartney’s early 70s work concern evenings in, getting wasted and laid. Tracks such as Eat at Home, Long Haired Lady, Monkberry Moon Delight, Too Many People and Smile Away made Ram into McCartney’s sex, drugs and rock’n’roll album. The message given by this album was that McCartney was out of the superstar race, enjoying the company of his wife and children and would be making whatever music he damned well felt like.
While Eat at Home is full of lascivious intent, it has the feel of a rather nervy encounter, the slightly orgasmic Buddy Hollyesque “Oh-oh-oh-ohs” making the McCartneys sound like gawky teenagers enjoying a first fumble.
Revisiting this territory in the present song when recording a B-side for the execrable Mary Had a Little Lamb, McCartney got it just right. Essentially a simple honky-tonk blues song, the callow tone of the previous year has been replaced with a deeper, warmer sound. The coy invitation of Eat at Home is now an everyday occurrence for the McCartneys. Presumably the lack of central heating on the farm accounted for that.
Out of the opening exhortations, “I got a little woman I can really love/My woman fit me like a little glove” we descend into a chorus made up simply of “Oh yeah/oh yeah/oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-ho”. The McCartneys never sounded more as one than they did in this simple little song.
Why should we be interested in it?
There’s a lack of artifice here which stretches through most of McCartney’s early solo work and reaches it apex in this song. Essentially McCartney was living his earlier demand of Why Don’t We Do It In the Road? Most sex songs seem to take place in an alternative universe of fine wines, luxurious hotel suites (or ‘cribs’) and seem as far removed from everyday sex experiences as a road sweeper is from a rocket scientist.
But here (and in Eat at Home) that divide comes down. They copulate where we copulate and it means the same to them as it does to us. “You know I feel alright/My little woman mine”.
Band on the Run changed this. Once he became a global superstar again, McCartney smartened up, recorded in Lagos, Nashville, the Virgin Islands etc and never wrote quite so earthily again.
(by David Pascoe)