Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Sir Paul McCartney at the White House

Paul McCartney, known to the press as Sir Paul, recently garnered yet another award for a lifetime of outstanding music writing and singing -- the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.  He is the third recipient of this Prize.  To celebrate, he and several other well known musicians met the Obamas for an evening of music and praise at the White House on June 2.  The other musicians included Stevie Wonder (the first winner of the Gershwin Prize), Emmylou Harris, Lang Lang, Herbie Hancock, and Elvis Costello.  The entire concert will be broadcast by PBS on June 28, but until then, we can watch this video of Sir Paul leading everyone present in singing "Hey Jude."  

Paul McCartney sang a song that he said he was "itching " to sing, "Michelle," a Beatles song which he sang for Michelle Obama.  I think the fun part of this performance was the sight of President Obama singing along.  At some of the most romantic parts of the song, he leaned over to his wife, who was sitting next to him, and whispered in her ear.  I know that he was being a ham for the camera, but I'm sentimental, and I loved it.

Emmylou Harris said that she just had to sing a sad song, and she certainly did.  It was "For No One" by McCartney and Lennon.  Stevie Wonder sang something by himself, and then he and Sir Paul sang "Ebony and Ivory."  For a complete change of pace, pianist Lang Lang played a Polonaise by Chopin.

I think my favorite part of McCartney's performance was his statement, "After the last eight years, it’s great to have a president who knows what a library is."

I'm looking forward to seeing the whole show on PBS on June 28, but until then, I'll enjoy listening to what's on Youtube now.

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