Why Paul McCartney's 'Ebony and Ivory' Got Banned in South Africa
“Ebony and Ivory” is both one of Paul McCartney’s most famous songs and one of Stevie Wonder’s. Its message of racial harmony remains as relevant as ever. The song has received plenty of criticism from Paul and Wonder’s fans over the years for supposedly being kitschy, but those fans don’t decry its message.
However, the song was actually banned in South Africa in the 1980s. The song itself wasn’t the reason the South African government banned the track. The government was upset at Wonder for taking a noble stand.
The creation of Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder’s ‘Ebony and Ivory’
“Ebony and Ivory” was included on Paul’s album Tug of War — an album which features three duets with other artists. Paul told NME the album was “cast like [a film], except using musicians instead of actors.” Wonder was certainly more famous than many of the movie stars of the day!
Paul has fond memories of the track’s creation. “I wanted Stevie… I was just reaching. It was just, you know, if you could have anyone. We had a good time. We were all out on Montserrat, and we had a good time.”
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According to The Hollywood Reporter, Wonder was drawn to the song because of its message of racial equality. “I listened to the song, and I liked it very much. … it was positive for everybody. I won’t say it demanded of people ...
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