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Paul McCartney Felt He Could Be ‘Goofy’ When He Sang The Beatles’ ‘Michelle’ to the Obamas




The Beatles’ “Michelle” is not a provocative song. However, Paul McCartney joked that President Barack Obama might hit him when he performed the tune in front of Michelle Obama.

The Beatles‘ “Michelle” is not a provocative song. However, Paul McCartney joked that President Barack Obama might hit him when he performed the tune in front of Michelle Obama. The “Say Say Say” singer revealed what he thought when he performed the track. Notably, “Michelle” was not a hit in the United States or the United Kingdom.

Paul McCartney relaxed when he played The Beatles’ ‘Michelle’ for the Obamas

In 2010, Paul performed for the Obamas at the White House. He joked that the then-president might punch him for performing “Michelle,” a love song about a woman named Michelle. Considering the first lady was right there, the joke became one of the most memorable moments of Paul’s set. It harkened back to the dry jokes that The Beatles would make during interviews in the 1960s.

During a 2010 interview with The Repository, Paul discussed the comment. “It was such a nice, friendly atmosphere,” he said. “It was almost like a little family gathering. So I felt free to say anything I wanted to, just like he was a cousin, like a family wedding or something — just goofy stuff. We found his whole family very relaxing to be with, and I think he found us, hopefully, the same way. So it was nice on that level. And he didn’t punch me out, thank goodness.”


Why the former Beatle was sympathetic to President Obama

Paul discussed what he thought of Obama. “I’m a fan of the president,” he said. “I believe that he’s been dealt a bad hand. He came into that job with a lot of difficulties on his plate that weren’t of his creation.” The “Live and Let Die” singer did not clarify his comment, but he may have been referring to the controversial presidency of George W. Bush.

“I was eager to meet him, being a fan of his and his wife,” Paul added. “I had never actually been to the White House, so that was great. And the idea of playing in the White House was very interesting.” Paul said that everyone in his crew was excited to be able to go to the White House. Paul also commended Obama for being kind to his staff.

How ‘Michelle’ performed in the United States and the United Kingdom

“Michelle” was not a single, so it did not chart on the Billboard Hot 100. Considering “Michelle” is not too popular in the U.S., Paul probably would not have performed the tune at the White House if the first lady had another first name.

The tune appeared on the indelible album Rubber Soul. “Michelle” is a bit of an anomaly on Rubber Soul because it isn’t a folk song. That record topped the Billboard 200 for six weeks, staying on the chart for a total of 70 weeks.

The Official Charts Company reports “Michelle” did not chart in the United Kingdom either. On the other hand, Rubber Soul topped the U.K. chart for eight weeks. It lasted on the chart for 42 weeks in total. Upon its rerelease in the 1980s, Rubber Soul reached No. 10 and sent another 17 weeks on the chart.


“Michelle” is a classic Beatles love song and Paul was able to perform it for someone he admired.

Source: Cheat Sheet

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