May 17, 2018

A Paul McCartney Classic: “Goodbye” by Mary Hopkin

A Paul McCartney Classic: "Goodbye" by Mary Hopkin 1
Mary Hopkin’s “Goodbye” cover (Photo Credits: Discogs)

About the Song

A song originally written by Paul McCartney, “Goodbye” was performed and recorded by Welsh folk singer Mary Hopkin. Released on March 28, 1968, “Goodbye” place no. 2 in the UK Singles chart. Moreover, it’s the song that prevented Beatles’ “Get Back” from reaching the top spot.

A Paul McCartney Classic: "Goodbye" by Mary Hopkin 2
Paul McCartney (Photo Credits:

On the other hand, in the US, the song was released on April 7, 1969. To note, “Goodbye” made it to no. 13 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart while no. 6 on the Billboard Easy Listening. In Canada, it peaked at no. 3 and no. 15 on the RPM Adult Contemporary and RPM Top Singles, respectively. Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, the song placed no. 1 on the Dutch Single Top 100 chart.

Song Background

The creation of the song came about following the massive success of Hopkin’s first single, “Those Were the Days.” Interestingly, it was also produced by Paul McCartney. “Those Were the Days” highlighted Hopkins debut album Postcard under her record Apple Records.

A Paul McCartney Classic: "Goodbye" by Mary Hopkin 3
Mary Hopkin (Photo screen grabbed on Youtube)

McCartney recollected creating the song. He said that “Goodbye” was penned in a great hurry in order to capitalize and give way to Hopkin’s popularity. However, he recalled that one time, he was told by a boat skipper from the Orkney Islands that it became his personal favorite. This led to McCartney saying:

“if you think of it from a sailor’s point of view, it’s very much a leaving-the-port song.”

On the other hand, Richie Unterberger, an AllMusic critic, described the song as:

“a pleasant and catchy romp, rather like a Continental European folk love ballad in tone, with a dash of music hall.”

A part of the song goes:

Leave your flowers at my door
I’ll leave them for the one who waits behind.
Far away my lover sings a lonely song
And calls me to his side.
When the song of lonely love
Invites me on I must go to his side.
Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye, goodbye my love goodbye.

Watch Mary Hopkin sing “Goodbye” below:

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goodbye, Mary Hopkin, Paul McCartney

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