"Mary Had a Little Lamb"
' version of the traditional nursery rhyme
, recorded, according to Paul McCartney
at the time, in response to the BBC
ban on their previous single, the political "Give Ireland Back to the Irish
", though McCartney has since denied this. Wings lead guitarist Henry McCullough plays mandolin, and the McCartney children sing on the chorus. McCartney has claimed that record logs reveal that the song was recorded before "Give Ireland Back to the Irish" had been banned by the BBC, but a source says that the song was recorded after
"Give Ireland Back to the Irish"
The song was virulently attacked by rock critics at the time, although a few critics thought it to be deliberately ironic. Although it reached the top 10 in the UK (peaking at #9), many US radio stations chose instead to play the pop/rock B-side, "Little Woman Love
". Apple Records
in the US even revised the picture sleeve for the single to credit both sides by name (see reverse cover), but the single still failed to rise above #28 in the U.S.
The song was released as a single on 12 May 1972. It was included as a bonus track on the remastered version of Wild Life
released in 1993.