James Corden is hanging out across the pond, so for his latest installment of Carpool Karaoke, he tapped into the local talent in Liverpool to be his partner in singing in the car. Lucky for us, the Late Late Show host apparently has the legend Paul McCartney on speed dial. The former Beatle joined Corden on his drive around the city of McCartney’s youth, which proved to be an emotional cruise down memory lane.
Between singing along to classic Beatles hits like the situation-appropriate “Drive My Car” and “Penny Lane” — while passing by the actual Penny Lane and visiting the barber shop of which the song speaks — McCartney and Corden shared notes on everything from the first songs they had written to the disguises McCartney tried out to avoid fans when he was young. (McCartney’s first song, it turns out, still sounds great; his disguise, meanwhile, was a failure from the start.)
But perhaps the most powerful moment happens when McCartney and Corden sing “Let It Be” in the car and Corden chokes up with tears.
“If my granddad was here right now, he’d get an absolute kick out of this,” Corden tells McCartney, reminiscing on hearing the song back when he was young. McCartney’s response? “He is.”
As their journey continued, McCartney shared the story behind the making of that tune and others, like the early hit “She Loves You”; gave Corden a tour of the home where he wrote many of the early Beatles tunes with John Lennon; and eventually surprised some unsuspecting pub customers with a live concert and emotional rendition of “Hey Jude.”
McCartney, who is now 76, is clearly not slowing down any time soon: he’s releasing a new album in the fall, called Egypt Station, and just put out two new songs. Watch his memorable Liverpool tour with Corden above.