.

Song Stories

“Helen Wheels”

Paul McCartney | 1973

A rollicking good-time hard rocker, "Helen Wheels" was not about a woman but about Paul McCartney's Land Rover, the anthemic chorus voicing the vehicle's reckless joy as "she" took to the road. The song was added to the U.S. version of Band on the Run but was issued only as a single in McCartney's native U.K. "I like that because it's a British road song and there's not many of those around," said McCartney. "It's always Route 66. But Carlisle? How many songs have got Carlisle in them?"

prev
Song Stories Main Next

Song Stories

“San Francisco Mabel Joy”

Mickey Newbury | 1969

A country-folk song of epic proportions, "San Francisco Mabel Joy" tells the tale of a poor Georgia farmboy who wound up in prison after a move to the Bay Area found love turning into tragedy. First released by Mickey Newbury in 1969, it might be more familiar through covers by Waylon Jennings, Joan Baez and Kenny Rogers. "It was a five-minute song written in a two-minute world," Newbury said. "I was told it would never be cut by any artist ... I was told you could not use the term 'redneck' in a song and get it recorded."

More Song Stories entries »
www.expandtheroom.com