SONG about Selective Mutism

Did you know Paul McCartney wrote a song about selective mutism? He did! He wrote the song about a friend’s daughter who wouldn’t talk at school. At the time, they probably had no idea she suffered from selective mutism, but his lyrics are spot-on for the anxiety disorder.

Here are the lyrics:

She’s given up talking
Don’t say a word
Even in the classroom
Not a dickie bird
Unlike other children
She’s seen and never heard
She’s given up talking
Don’t say a word

You see her in the playground
Standing on her own
Everybody wonders
Why she’s all alone
Someone made her angry
Someone’s got her scared
She’s given up talking
Don’t say a word

Ah but when she comes home
It’s yap-a-yap-yap
Words are running freely
Like the water from a tap
Her brothers and her sisters
Can’t get a word in edgeways
But when she’s back at school again
She goes into a daze

Ah but when she comes home
It’s yap-a-yap-yap
Words are running freely
Like the water from a tap
Her brothers and her sisters
Can’t get a word in edgeways
But when she’s back at school again
She goes into a daze

She’s given up talking
Don’t say a word
Even in the classroom
Not a dickie bird
Unlike other children
She’s seen and never heard
She’s given up talking
Don’t say a word

She’s given up talking
She don’t say a word

Don’t say a word

Source: LyricFind Songwriters: Paul MccartneyShe’s Given Up Talking lyrics © Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd.

Paul McCartney did an interview with Reader’s Digest about his album, which included the song, She’s Given Up Talking. Here’s what he said about it …

“And there’s another song on there that’s called, “She’s Given Up Talking.” There’s a neighbor who was just talking about their grandchild, who was then a sort of pre-teenager. And she went to this little primary school over here.

And she’d given up talking, they said to me.
So she goes to the school and the teacher said, “All right, Katie, what do you want now?”
And she’d go – [no answer]
And the kids in the playground would go, “Katie, do you want to play?” And she just did not talk.
They said, when she got home she would talk. And I thought, actually, well, that’s a pretty good strategy for school.

Not really. I mean, if I’d tried it I would have got the cane. Because I did try
those kinds of things. Like I’d try an exam with the arm in a sling. And they’d say, “Just write it with the other hand.”

I said, “No, I’m left-handed.”
They said, “Tough.” And I remember getting two out of 100 for this exam, because I managed my name. School. God, I tried everything to get out of that stuff.

Anyway… But she’d done that. She’s like a normal teenager now. But it was just the idea that she’d given up talking. It’s kind of eerie. It’s a sort of strange little song. But when you know the real story it’s not really creepy.

Copyright © 2001 The Reader’s Digest Association, Inc. All rights reserved. PAGE 3 O F 1 2

link to YouTube song, She’s Given Up Talking … https://youtu.be/fhGycbxgcRg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

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