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Paul McCartney based much of his music on his personal experiences, especially his fond memories of Liverpool. For instance, “Penny Lane” was written about an actual street near his childhood home. One song from his solo career references a street game he often played when he was a kid. 

Paul McCartney based the song ‘Queenie Eye’ on a game he played in Liverpool

Before the internet, video games, and streaming services, kids had to find creative ways to keep themselves entertained. Growing up in a working-class family, McCartney didn’t have a ton to play with, but he found ways to have fun with the other kids in his neighborhood. 

One way they passed the time was by playing “Queenie, Queenie, who’s got the ball?” This is a popular children’s game where one person is designated “Queenie” and throws a ball backwards in the air to the other players. One person catches it, and then everyone puts their hands behind their back. Queenie then has to guess who has the ball. 

In 2013, Paul McCartney released a song called “Queenie Eye” for his album, New. In a 2013 interview with The Sun, McCartney said he loved the rhythm of the chant they would say for the game, and he wanted to put that into a song. 

“It’s what we used to get up to before video games and that whole home entertainment thing. Someone would be elected to be ‘the one’ or the ‘queenie eye’. We’d all stand behind that person and he would throw a ball over his head and one of us would catch and hide it. Then we would all chant, ‘Queenie eye, queenie eye, who’s got the ball? I haven’t got it. It isn’t in my pocket… !’ Then he was allowed to turn around and try to guess which of us had it. You know, simple entertainment for simple minds but it was great fun. The thing that attracted me was the rhythm of that chant. We put down the drums and it had a contemporary feel, even though it was from God knows when, 1940s Britain.”

‘Queenie Eye’ has a star-studded music video

“Queenie Eye” was released as a single, but it didn’t perform very well on the charts. New fared much better as it peaked at No. 3 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and the U.K. Album charts. However, “Queenie Eye” still received the royal treatment. Not from the actual royal family, but from the stars appearing in the music video. 

The music video features Paul McCartney recording the song at Abbey Road Studios. While he plays it on the piano, he’s accompanied by a growing roster of celebrities, who listen and dance to the former Beatles’ latest tune. The list of stars includes Johnny Depp, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, James Corden, Jeremy Irons, Kate Moss, Lily Cole, Tom Ford, Jude Law, Alice Eve, Sean Penn, and more. 

“They are friends of mine and Stella’s,” McCartney shared. “I am very lucky they agreed to do it.”

Remarkably, all these people found time in their schedules to do this, but who would turn down an invitation from one of the most legendary musicians in the world.