Friday, July 21, 2006

Mull of Kintyre test

So every now and then, about once a year, I find myself humming "Jet" or "Another Day" or even "Mull of Kintyre" and need to dig out Wings Greatest, one of the first LP's that I ever loved on my own, without trying to copy anybody else's opinion.

You know what I mean?
Sure, I thought I liked Lynn Anderson or Tony Orlando and Dawn, but really those were just echoes of my parents' record collections. When I got Wings Greatest from Columbia House record club, I came to love nearly every song on it, with the puzzling exception of "Mull of Kintyre," which for a kid of about ten, was bafflingly un-rock. This was compounded by the fact that it is sometimes referred to as an "international hit." Huh?

Anyway, I was having my annual revisitation with Wings Greatest, and in my—ahem—wiser years have come to love "Mull of Kintyre." Still, after all these years, amazingly, I was singing along wondering once again, "what the heck is this about?!" and finally decided to find out. And discovered that it's a kind of love letter to a region of Scotland where McCartney owned a home and a recording studio.

What was more surprising, though, was finding out about the Mull of Kintyre test, a longstanding (though now obsolete) obscenity test in Britain that used the phallic shape of the Mull in determining the relative indecency of movie content. Those wacky Brits!

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