Little Willow
Released December 19, 1997

Little Willow is a song from Paul's Flaming Pie album. This song is also featured on the Diana Tribute album as Paul's contribution.

Little Willow review by Mike Kovacich (11-20-97) 
I was one of the lucky ones to get to the taping of the Oprah interview where Paul premiered both Little Willow and Beautiful Night. As Oprah introduced the song during the interview, she asked Paul what the song was about and who it was about. Paul replied that it was personal and he didn't want to go into details for the kids sake, he wanted to keep it private. That question and answer were edited out for the actual broadcasted version of the Oprah show.

Most die-hard fan already know what the song is about and who it was written for. Paul baically had written it for the Beatle kids so to speak. Ringo's 1st wife Maureen had been stuggling with cancer only to loose her battle. Paul had stayed in close touch with Maureen and Ringo's kids of course and this song was to help them all through this tragedy.

The Little Willow video was premiered on the Oprah Winfrey Show
that originally aired on December 19, 1997.
The song itself to me is his best work on Flaming Pie next to Beautiful Night. The video tells the simple story of what the song is about. It is a VERY powerful video as many in the audience were crying throughout.

At the beginning you see a young woman laying down on a long chair in front of a willow tree in a secluded meadow on a beautiful summer's day. You see images of her playing with her two young children. The scene fades to Paul in the studio with acoustic guitar singing and playing the song, with a somber face. On a couple of occasions you see the same two children in the studio watching Paul sing the song as if Paul is singing it to them.

The women is shown going into a doctor's office and the doctor reviews x-rays with her. She is seen leaving the doctor's office crying. The news from the doctors was not good at all. Images of her in a hospital bed putting on a brave face for her children, she is dying. You see the sad faces of her children, the funeral and a haunting view of Paul singing over the cemetery, just quite overwhelming.

The ending sequence shows the young girl sitting alone in the long chair, under that same willow tree, hence Little Willow. This video should get a tremendous response from the public as it was made specifically for the Lady Diana tribute album.

Little Willow' is an achingly touching ballad written by Paul upon hearing of the death of a close friend, whom the McCartneys visited in hospital and continued to keep in close contact with until she died. Being on reach, Paul wasn't given the news for some days, but instantly created 'Little Willow' not only as a personal response to the sadness but, hopefully, as a salve for his late friend's children. 

The studio recording, begun ten months later (on the day that The Beatles Anthology 1, with 'Free As A Bird' was released), is an eloquent combination of voice and instrumentation, Paul's work being augmented by Jeff Lynne. 

This from the New York Times, a review of the Diana Tribute CD:
"Only two tracks genuinely recall the Princes.  Aretha Franklin gives her a blessed gospel send-off with "I'll Fly Away" and Paul McCartney's  "Little Willow" gently invokes her appealing, tragic vulnerability.  Otherwise, this tribute is an indiscriminate sob fest fed by sentimentality and a strange sense of uplife, as if the soothing outpourings of sad pop stars might actually enrich listeners' souls." 

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