"Here Today"
Song by Paul McCartney
from the album Tug of War
Released26 April 1982
GenreSoft rock
LabelParlophone (UK)
Columbia Records (US)
Songwriter(s)Paul McCartney
Producer(s)George Martin

"Here Today" is a song by Paul McCartney from his 1982 album Tug of War. He wrote the song as a tribute to his relationship with John Lennon, who was murdered in 1980.[1] He stated the song was composed in the form of an imaginary conversation the pair might have had. The song was produced by the Beatles' producer George Martin. Although not released as a single, the song reached No. 46 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock charts.[2]

Origins and meaning

Paul McCartney composed "Here Today" in mid-1981,[3] less than a year after John Lennon was murdered. In a 1982 interview with The Los Angeles Times, McCartney said that due to the honest and emotional nature of the song he was "kind of crying" when he wrote it.[4] He even found it difficult to talk about with the other remaining members of the Beatles.[5] The structure of the song itself is written like a dialogue between Lennon and McCartney. McCartney says that Lennon used to "lay into" McCartney, but often did not really mean it, and this is emulated in the hypothetical conversation where the two bicker over whether or not they really know each other. The song is about McCartney really trying to talk to Lennon, but finding it futile after the latter's death.[6]

McCartney describes parts of the song as being quite honest.[5] One verse in the song refers to an incident that occurred during the Beatles' first full American tour in 1964 when they were stranded in Key West, Florida during a hurricane.[5] Said McCartney,

It was during that night, when we'd all stayed up way too late, and we got so pissed that we ended up crying—about, you know, how wonderful we were, and how much we loved each other, even though we'd never said anything. It was a good one: you never say anything like that. Especially if you're a Northern Man.[6]

McCartney recorded "Here Today" sometime after June 1981 at his High Park home studio in Campbeltown, Scotland.[7] The Beatles' former producer George Martin produced the song and provided its orchestral accompaniment, performed by a string quartet at AIR Studios in London on 30 November 1981.[8] Mixing was done at Odyssey Studios in London on 9 December 1981.[3]

Live performances

McCartney often performs the song live, and it is featured on the live albums Back in the World, Back in the U.S., Amoeba Gig and Good Evening New York City.[1]

While performing the song, McCartney is prone to becoming choked up over the emotional content of the song. He told The Guardian,

At least once a tour, that song just gets me. I'm singing it, and I think I'm OK, and I suddenly realise it's very emotional, and John was a great mate and a very important man in my life, and I miss him, y'know?[6]


See also


  1. ^ a b "Here Today". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  2. ^ "Tug of War charts and awards". AllMusic. Retrieved 16 July 2011.
  3. ^ a b Madinger & Easter 2018, p. 265.
  4. ^ "Keeping the Faith". The Paul McCartney project. Retrieved 21 August 2022.
  5. ^ a b c "Paul McCartney: Here Today". The Beatles Bible. 21 July 2013. Retrieved 21 November 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Harris, John (11 June 2004). "I'm still standing". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 16 November 2016.
  7. ^ Badman 2001, p. 284.
  8. ^ Madinger & Easter 2018, pp. 262, 265.


  • Badman, Keith (2001). The Beatles Diary Volume 2: After The Break-Up 1970–2001. London: Omnibus Press. ISBN 0-7119-8307-0.
  • Madinger, Chip; Easter, Mark (2018). Eight Arms to Hold You: The Solo Beatles Compendium (Remastered ed.). Chesterfield: Open Your Books. ISBN 978-0-615-11724-9.