Paul McCartney Calls Beyoncé's “Blackbird” Cover “Magnificent”

He posted a photo of the two of them alongside a heartfelt caption.

Beyonce covered Paul McCartney's "Blackbird" on her new album.
Kevin Mazur/WireImage/Getty Images

Beyoncé’s Cowboy Carter has received huge acclaim from the music industry, including from the artists whose songs she covers on the album. On April 4, Paul McCartney joined that list.

Reacting to her rendition of The Beatles’ “Blackbird” (stylized as “Blackbiird” on the new album), McCartney shared a throwback snapshot of him and Bey on Instagram.

“I am so happy with @beyonce’s version of my song ‘Blackbird,’” he wrote. “I think she does a magnificent version of it and it reinforces the civil rights message that inspired me to write the song in the first place. I think Beyoncé has done a fab version and would urge anyone who has not heard it yet to check it out. You are going to love it!”

McCartney then recalled speaking to Bey about the cover on FaceTime. “She thanked me for writing it and letting her do it,” he said. “I told her the pleasure was all mine and I thought she had done a killer version of the song.”

McCartney wrote “Blackbird” in 1968 with John Lennon after seeing footage of the Little Rock Nine and other Black students who’d been harassed for attending newly integrated schools.

George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr.George Rinhart/Corbis Historical/Getty Images

“When I saw the footage on the television in the early ’60s of the Black girls being turned away from school, I found it shocking and I can't believe that still in these days there are places where this kind of thing is happening right now,” McCartney wrote on Instagram. “Anything my song and Beyoncé's fabulous version can do to ease racial tension would be a great thing and makes me very proud.”

In 2018, McCartney told GQ that “blackbird” was a metaphor for a Black girl, and he’d intended the song as a message of encouragement for Black women during the Civil Rights Movement. “In England, a bird is a girl, so I was thinking of a Black girl going through this; now is your time to arise; set yourself free; take these broken wings,” he said.

Beyoncé honors the song’s intent by enlisting Black female country artists to sing the cover with her, including Brittney Spencer, Tiera Kennedy, Reyna Roberts, and Tanner Adell.