June 18: Paul McCartney

Paul McCartneyIt was 72 years ago today, Sgt. Pepper told the band to herald the birth of the man Guinness World Records has called the “most successful composer and recording artist of all time.” Yes, Paul McCartney (The cute one!) was born on this day in 1942. Anyone who knows a thing about pop music knows about Sir Paul, so I don’t think I need to summarize his career here. Instead, let’s take a look at one of my favorite McCartney songs:

“Two of Us” (written by McCartney, but credited to Lennon & McCartney, as most Beatles songs were) is one of McCartney’s more nakedly sentimental Beatle tunes. However, when you look at the song in the context of the Beatles’ career, there’s a strong undercurrent of finality. “Two of Us” opens the Beatles’ infamous Let It Be record, an album that was recorded during sessions in which every Beatle quit the band at least once.

Now, McCartney has claimed that the song is about his then fiancée Linda Eastman, but some Beatles analysts have theorized that these backwards-looking lyrics are actually about John Lennon, who sings harmony vocals on the recording. In this interpretation, you can easily read the lyrics as McCartney facing the dissolving of his partnership with Lennon and looking back on happier days, when the two were the best of friends and not constantly at each other’s throats. Really, its placement at the start of what became the Beatles’ final album sets a tone of “this is the end” that can be found on almost every other song on the record.

By luck, the Beatles themed Hard Day’s Night Hotel in Liverpool has a bar that specializes in cocktails with Beatle related names. As part of the bar’s Winter 2011/2012 menu, they featured a tangy drink called Two of Us. It’s a little sweet and a little tart, which seems to suit the song’s dual nature.

Two of Us

  • 1 ounce Lamb’s Spiced Rum
  • 2/3 ounce Makers Mark Bourbon
  • 2/3 ounce lime juice
  • 1/3 ounce simple syrup

Rim a martini glass with lime juice and dip in vanilla sugar. Shake all ingredients with crushed ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into the glass. Add two cola bottle gummy candies to a toothpick to garnish.

Tomorrow: One of the most famous drinks in the world.

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