The Story Behind Paul McCartney’s “Little Willow”

 Little Willow by Paul McCartneylittle willow by paul mccartney

Bend, little willow, wind’s gonna blow you
Hard and cold tonight
Life, as it happens, nobody warns you
Willow, hold on tight

Nothing’s gonna shake your love
Take your love away
No one’s out to break your heart
It only seems that way, hey

Sleep little willow, peace gonna follow
Time will heal your wounds
Grow to the heavens, now and forever
Always came too soon

Little willow

Nothing’s gonna shake your love
Take your love away
No one’s out to break your heart
It only seems that way, hey

Bend, little willow, wind’s gonna blow you
Hard and cold tonight
Life, as it happens, nobody warns you
Willow, hold on tight

(Willow)
Ah, little willow
(Willow)
Ooh, little willow

The passing of a loved one is one of the most heart breaking events that one can endure. There are those who would have a hard time moving on after this tragic event and there are those who are strong enough to view things in a positive light. However, for children, this is one of the most traumatizing events. Little Willow is a song written by Paul McCartney for the late Maureen Starkey Tigrett. Maureen, who was Ringo Starr’s first wife, died of leukemia on the 30th of December 1994 at the age of 48. Paul, who remained friends with Maureen and Ringo Starr’s four children, dedicated the song to the children as a form of comfort.

The little willow from the song’s lyrics pertains to Maureen’s children with Ringo. It is how Paul describes Ringo and Maureen’s children. The song talks about life’s unexpected events, “Life as it happens, nobody warns you.” The lyrics talk about how the passing of their mother, Maureen, is a heart breaking event. He reminds the kids that the love that both parties shared is unshakable. He reminds them to be strong even when strong winds blow on a hard and cold night. Paul, then, reminds the kids to hold on tight and that this too shall pass and time will heal their wounds.

The song’s melody sounds like a lullaby which makes it one of the best funeral songs to use for funeral services especially if the deceased is a parent. It gives a certain comforting feel for those who were left behind which, in this case, is the children. It gives them the hope to get on with their lives even if the person they look up to and have loved dearly transcended to a better place. Death is a delicate concept to grasp for children especially for those who are very young. Explaining to a young kid what death is a tricky thing especially since they are also trying to deal with the absence deceased. However, to children who are old enough to understand, understanding the concept would be easier but dealing with grief would be more difficult.

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