Paul McCartney on his Wife Linda

N E W   Y O R K, May 2, 2001 -- For Paul McCartney, even past her death, his beloved "lovely Linda" has meant magic in his life.

It has been three years since McCartney lost his wife to breast cancer, but he told ABCNEWS' Diane Sawyer that he never stopped feeling her presence.

"After Linda died, I think all of us in the family would hear noises, or see things, and would say, 'That's Linda, that's mom,' and a lot of things happened like that," he said in an interview with Sawyer which aired today on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.

"And I think in some ways it's very comforting to think she's still here. You'd like to think that, and you do."

Serendipitous events convinced McCartney that his wife was still around him.

"It's the magic of little things," he says.

One day, as he worked in an edit room, a fragment of a recorded sentence simply "appeared."

"The soundman hit the button and Linda's voice just said, 'I'm in heaven.' So it's that kind a thing. It's the beautiful moments, inspirational moments, you know," said McCartney.

McCartney says there have been many moments since her death in which he has felt his late wife's spirit. In the end of his poem "Her Spirit" he mentions a rare meeting with a white squirrel.

"I was on a horse ride. I was on my own now, because Linda taught me to ride and she was a great rider. And one day, after she died, I saw this white squirrel in the woods. I mean, this one was looking right at me, didn't move.

My mind just went, 'That's probably Linda. Somehow her spirit's got into that'," he said. "And I think it's very comforting.

"I don't know if that's true, but it sure is a great thought."

'Her Spirit'

McCartney read excerpts from his poems on Good Morning America. His poetry is collected in a newly released book, Blackbird Singing: Poems and Lyrics, 1965-1999.

Her spirit moves wind chimesWhen air is stillAnd fills the roomsWith fragrance of lily

Her eyes blue greenStill seenPerfectly happyWith nothing

Her spirit sets The water pipes a hummingFat lektronic force be with ya sound

Her spirit talks to meThrough animalsBeautiful creatureLay with me

Bird that calls my nameInsists that she is hereAnd nothing Left to fear

Bright white squirrelFoot of treeFixes me With innocent gaze Her spirit talks to me


Sawyer asked McCartney if writing poems "console" him.

"They let you know what you're thinking. They let you put down what you're thinking. That's why I enjoy that," he answered. "You know, it's, it's a simple act. It's like writing a letter to yourself."

In 1995, Linda found a lump under her arm, and began a round of chemotherapy to combat her disease.As her health worsened, McCartney and his wife spent cherished moments together."I would go out for a run, think of some words, get home from the run, write them down, and make a cup a tea for Linda," said McCartney, who would bring it to her for breakfast."I'd make a little tray, and go up, and then I'd say, 'Hey, by the way, do you want to hear some poetry?'She'd always … she'd say, 'Yeah.' And so I wrote that poem."


I would come back from a run With lines of poetry to tellAnd having listened, she would say"What a mind."

She'd fold my words inside her headAnd though the lines may not have been Supreme, she wasn't merely being kindShe meant it, what she saidAnd I am blessedFor she said, "What a mind"

"It's going to make a make a guy feel good, that kind a thing," he said.

Another one of his poems, written, he said, after a moment of uncontrollable tears is full of thoughts about everything left to remember.

'To Be Said' (as read aloud by McCartney )

"There's a lot to be said, there is nothing to be said.My love is aliveMy love is deadI hear a voice inside my head There's a lot to be saidThere's nothing to be said

There's a lot to remember, a lot to forgetMy love is hot, my love is wetAs if it was the night we met

There's a lot to remember, a lot to forget There's a lot to be saidThere's nothing to be said

McCartney set another one of his poems to music. In the song "Nova" from his CD, Garland for Linda, he asks if God is present.

"So I just thought, in a church, it'd be nice to get real. And instead of just saying, Holy Father … accepting God's presence, I think a lot of people, including me, sometimes doubt, have doubts. So I just thought it might be a good way to open a song. You know, 'Are you there?' You're in a church. 'Hello. Are you there?'

And then the payoff comes with God then answering, 'I am here.' And he says, 'I am here in all the good things in life,' and it goes through that.But I liked the idea of starting off with a doubt, and then the payoff, you know, was 'Yeah, I am here.'"

Diane Sawyer's interview with Paul McCartney continues all week on Good Morning America.