Remembering Paul & Linda McCartney’s “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”

In the summer of 1971 I had been out of the service for 2 and half years and the music genre was changing from much of the sounds I was familiar with before I entered in 1966.    The British wave was intact in 1966 and though I liked much of what I heard I was still more familiar with the songs of Buddy Holly, Roy Orbison, The Supremesand Chuck Berry.  By 1971 the “hippy” movement was making its way into the Dallas/Ft.Worth area where I was raised but it would be another year before I started letting my hair grow long.

When I first heard Paul & Linda McCartney’s “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” I was still searching for something concrete to focus my post-Vietnam attention on.  I seemed to bounce from job to job either working at gas stations as my dad had done all of his life after WWII or worked in shipping and receiving departments for large manufacturers in Dallas.

The song really struck me as being unique from anything that came before it.  Its variations in tempo and sounds along with its laid back lyrics seem to break down my earlier conditioned biases toward many of the conservative views I was raised with.  Within the next year I would go to college at a local junior college and experimented with pot and a few other “mind-expanding” drugs like quaaludes and speed.  Thankfully it was not obsession that many of my friends at the time seemed engaged in and who I eventually broke with, not seeing most of them pretty much for the rest of my life.

This piece from an early Wings album was one of those that helped create a mindset in those days that encouraged me to “live a little, be a gypsy and get my feet up off the ground.”

We’re so sorry, Uncle Albert,

We’re so sorry if we caused you any pain.

We’re so sorry Uncle Albert,

But there’s no one left at home

And I believe I’m gonna rain.

We’re so sorry but we haven’t heard a thing all day.

We’re so sorry, Uncle Albert.

But if anything should happen well be sure to give a ring.

 

We’re so sorry, Uncle Albert,

But we haven’t done a bloody thing all day.

We’re so sorry, Uncle Albert,

But the kettles on the boil and we’re so easily called away.

 

Hands across the water. (Water)

Heads across the sky.

Hands across the water. (Water)

Heads across the sky.

 

Admiral Halsey notified me,

He had to have a berth or he couldn’t get to sea.

I had another look and I had a cup of tea and butter pie.

(Butter Pie? )(The Butter wouldn’t melt so I put it in the pie.)

 

Hands across the water. (Water)

Heads across the sky.

Hands across the water. (Water)

Heads across the sky.

 

Live a little be a gypsy, get around.(Get around)

Get your feet up off the ground,

Live a little, get around.

Live a little be a gypsy, get around.(Get around)

Get your feet up off the ground,

Live a little, get around

 

Hands across the water. (Water)

Heads across the sky.

Hand across the water. (Water)

Heads across the sky.

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4 responses to “Remembering Paul & Linda McCartney’s “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”

    • a little bit of trivia there but one wonders what the significance of Halsey is to the theme of “live a little be a gypsy, get around. Get your feet up off the ground”. Just a silly verse perhaps to tickle our pot-enhanced mood when listening to it I suppose. :-)

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