Music, Stories Told

Driving and singing: Wings, “Daytime Nighttime Suffering”

I sing. My goodness, do I love it. It’s a cathartic pleasure that lets me vent steam. Singing is key to my mental health!

While I’ll never be a singing star, I’ve got a decent voice, I can carry a tune, and I can sing out. If you want to hear, just join me at church on Sunday morning. But I do most of my singing in the car, alone. I plug in my iPhone and sing along to my entire music library. I know the words to most of the songs, a couple thousand in the library so far. They are the soundtrack of my life, and I love them.

In the weeks to come I’m going to share with you the songs I like to sing most. I’ll tell you something about them: a story about how they came to be, or how I came to know them, or stories from my life when I discovered them, or why I like to sing them.


The first is “Daytime Nighttime Suffering,” the B-side to Paul McCartney and Wings’ 1979 disco-flamenco hit, “Goodnight Tonight.” That song was a staple of my school’s dances when it was new. I will always count it among my favorites, too.

But I didn’t know about “Daytime Nighttime Suffering” until college, when I bought my first copy of “Goodnight Tonight.” (It was actually a used copy of the 12-inch dance single!) “Daytime Nighttime Suffering” is so infectious and well constructed that it could have been a very successful hit, too. Who but Paul McCartney has such talent that he could afford to make a B side out A-side material?

When I finally did discover this song, it instantly became one of my top ten favorites from McCartney. And that’s saying something, because I’m an enormous McCartney fan and own all of his records.

But I find most of McCartney’s songs to be frustrating to sing because his vocal range and mine don’t line up. I’m forever straining to hit the highs or lows. Sometimes I just give up and switch octaves as needed to keep up with him. I’m sure that doesn’t sound all that great. But I can sing Daytime Nighttime Suffering all the way through in the same octave, and that’s satisfying!

Click Play to listen to “Daytime Nighttime Suffering:”


11 thoughts on “Driving and singing: Wings, “Daytime Nighttime Suffering”

  1. Well, now we know what my earworm of the day is for today. I can see how this would be a very singable song.
    And yes, it’s fun how a record’s B side could sometimes be gold.

  2. Heath Matthias says:

    The bass work on this is really good, as most Macca songs. This one has really melodic playing though. Take a listen focusing on the bass playing

    • Thanks for pointing it out Heath! Wonder if Paul wrote this on *on* the bass. Steve Harris of Iron Maiden does that with a lot of his songs and the bass line often carries a lot of melody as a result

  3. hmunro says:

    I’m an enthusiastic (though somewhat private) singer also, Jim — and I also struggle with McCartney’s range. But they’re so worth the effort, aren’t they? He’s such a gifted songwriter, and so many of his melodies are beautiful. I very much look forward to hearing a few more of Jim’s Top Sing-Along Picks in the year ahead!

    • Before my voice changed as a teen, I had enormous range and could just stretch to sing anything Paul could throw at me. But I lost all that pretty much overnight in the 8th grade when my voice changed. :-(

      I finished writing up next Friday’s installment in this mini-series just this morning!

      • hmunro says:

        My range has shrunken considerably as well since my teens — I really miss that high G! But least what’s left sounds better than what I started with. :) As for that last sentence: I will try to be patient.

  4. Good stuff Jim!! I loved “Silly Love Songs” “So Bad” and “Coming Up” from that Wings era of McCartney’s years.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.