It’s hard for me to analyze See Your Sunshine outside the context of Paul’s relationship with Heather Mills. I had heard it many times prior to learning it was written for Mills, but it was background noise. I never listened to the lyrics. It's hard for me to evaluate the song without being influenced by what I know about Paul and Heather's relationship - and it has become hard for me to analyze Paul and Heather's relationship without being influenced by this song.
See Your Sunshine is in some ways similar to the Beatles' song Good Day Sunshine, love songs that reference the sunshine - but in other ways they are very different. Good Day Sunshine is a laid-back, mundane song: Two people in love are enjoying the weather.
See Your Sunshine couldn't be more different. It's intense from the start: "She makes me feel glad, I want her so bad / My heart is beating madly for her". There's a sense of out-of-control from the start, and the second line contains the word "madly". Paul in 1966 just felt good because he was in love and it was a sunny day. Paul in 2007 is driven by an intense desire for his love.
In 1966, Paul sang, “We take a walk, the sun is shining down / Burns my feet as they touch the ground”. In 2007, we get. “The sun is shining in the sky / She wants to dance around the world”. The sun is shining in both verses, but everything else is different. In 1966, Paul goes for a walk, and has the very realistic experience of the sun burning his feet. In 2007, Heather wants to dance around the world - an insane fantasy. We also have this: “I know she knows it isn't real / She still hears music in the air”. It's metaphorical, but phrased as insanity: Hearing things that aren't there is lunacy.
You have this manic energy to See Your Sunshine. In Good Day Sunshine the sun is the sun and his love is his love. But in See Your Sunshine, most of the “sunshine” in the song isn’t in the sky at all. It’s Heather’s own personal sunshine. The fact that the actual sun makes an appearance just makes Heather’s sun feel less metaphorical. This is manic energy.
And here is where I look directly at how this song might reflect Paul and Heather's relationship:
“And though I'd love to be the guy / That gets to walk off with the girl/ I'll go along with all she needs”
The energy is hers. She wants to dance around the world. She hears music in the air. You could look at this as an older man with a younger woman, but maybe it’s more than that. He’s suffering from the exhaustion of grief, and she comes into his life with the energy of mania. Before it all went to hell, Paul compared Heather Mills coming into his life after Linda’s death to John coming into his life after Mary’s death. Both Heather and Paul have said that Heather was the one who brought him out of his grief for losing Linda.
Paul has another song, on the same album. I never heard any statement from him who this one was about, but I can tell you what the lyrics sound like. It’s called “Gratitude”: “Well, I was lonely / I was living with a memory / But my cold and lonely nights ended / When you sheltered me”. Also: “I should stop loving you / Think what you put me through / But I don't want to lock my heart away”.
Heather was a “mistake”, people say, but maybe it was worth it to Paul because of Beatrice. Don’t get me wrong—if Paul McCartney looks back on his relationship with Heather and feels that he would never have gotten near her, Beatrice or no Beatrice, if he had known what it would end? More power to Paul. Feel the same way about Cynthia. I heard people complain about her saying that, despite her love for Julian, she would never have loved John had she known what would happen. That she shouldn’t say that, because of Julian. Julian wrote an intro to the book. As far as I am concerned, Cynthia can say what she damn wants. And while I think Beatrice is too young for Paul to be saying publicly that he would choose not to be with Heather (not to mention how Heather herself might be react…), he can feel what he wants.
But Beatrice was not the only thing Paul got out of that relationship. And I don’t think emotion in See Your Sunshine or Gratitude is based on a lie.
The high may not have been worth the pain, but there was a high. Heather brought him out of grief. Not with a lie, but with the willingness to throw herself into her mania that mirrored her willingness to throw herself into her viciousness when a less happy mood came by. The incredible energy that Paul describes, Heather’s sunshine and extroverted personality, the image of the woman picking daisies and weaving them in her hair, hearing music that isn’t there, dancing around the world in the sunlight…full of enthusiastic energy. Alive.
Someone once said that if they were in Paul’s place, they would have claimed See Your Sunshine was about Linda. I was bit irritated by that. Frankly, I think it would have been insulting to everyone, not least of all Linda. See Your Sunshine isn’t a Linda song. It’s a Heather song. Linda and Heather are not interchangeable. They’re wildly different people, who had wildly different relationships with Paul. To try to paste a song about Paul's troubled relationship with Heather onto his long, successfully marriage to Linda is ridiculous. One blonde wife is not as good as another.
I think Heather did love Paul. In her way. And I know he loved her. And there was some good in that relationship.
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