Paul McCartney has been a big supporter of Irish independence in the past – he wrote the song “Give Ireland Back to the Irish” in 1972 as his personal response to the events of Bloody Sunday in Derry – but those feelings don’t extend to what’s happening in Scotland, where citizens will go to the polls on September 18 to decide if they want to remain part of the United Kingdom.
Macca is the latest celebrity urging Scottish voters to stay part of the U.K. “We want to let you know how very much we value our bonds of citizenship with you, and to express our hope that you will vote to renew them. What unites us is much greater than what divides us. Let’s stay together,” said the legend in a letter published last week.
McCartney and his fellow Beatles put Liverpool in England on the map, and he owns a farm in Scotland. His ode to Northern Ireland becoming part of the Irish Republic was a number one hit in the U.K. when it was released – even though it was banned by official England, including the BBC, for its pro-independence lyrics.
"From our point of view," McCartney said at the time, "it was the first time people questioned what we were doing in Ireland. It was so shocking. I wrote 'Give Ireland Back to the Irish,’ we recorded it and I was promptly phoned by the chairman of [record label] EMI, Sir Joseph Lockwood, explaining that they wouldn't release it. He thought it was too inflammatory.
“I told him that I felt strongly about it and they had to release it. He said, 'Well it'll be banned', and of course it was.”