41 Years Ago: The BBC Bans ‘Hi Hi Hi’ by Paul McCartney and Wings
While controversy seemed to follow John Lennon on a daily basis in the early-70s, it was not a foreign concept to his former Beatles band mate Paul McCartney either. In early 1972, McCartney and his band Wings, released the defiantly political single, ‘Give Ireland Back To The Irish.’ Dipping into controversial waters out of character for McCartney, and though the single was strong and hard-rocking, the BBC thought it was too much, and promptly banned it.
A few months later, McCartney slapped back and released a new single, a cover of the children’s song ‘Mary Had A Little Lamb,’ practically daring the powers that be to find something controversial with that. By year’s end, Paul was back for another round. The rollicking single, ‘Hi Hi Hi‘ was, in title alone, almost taunting the BBC. It was not only the seemingly obvious drug references that got them all worked up this time, but also the suggestive sexual content that got this single banned in December 1972.
The unforgettable line ‘get you ready for my body gun’ was too much for the U.K. airwaves. In later years, McCartney claimed the line was actually ‘polygon’ not ‘body gun.’ And if you believe that, good luck to you! Despite, or perhaps due to the controversy, the record hit the U.K. and U.S. Top 10. Over the years the song seemed all but forgotten, but as recently as this year, McCartney has been performing ‘Hi Hi Hi’ in concert.