London, July 18 : Sir Paul McCartney has called for Quebec nationalists "to smoke the pipes of peace" after they opposed his free concert celebrating the city's 400th anniversary.
McCartney's participation in the weekend birthday celebrations of French-speaking Quebec City has been criticised by many artists and politicians because of his British roots.
However, the former Beatle has said that he is least bothered about claims that his presence makes the nation revert back to painful memories of Britain's conquest of New France, which included Quebec, in 1760.
Ever since the celebrations of the city's four centuries of uniquely French culture kicked off in July, Francophones have condemned elements of the festivities they believe are English in nature.
"I think it's time to smoke the pipes of peace and to just, you know, put away your hatchet because I think it's a show of friendship," The Daily Express quoted McCartney, as saying on Radio-Canada.
In fact in his pursuit of getting love from the country, Macca tried to deflate the political rhetoric in around Sunday's show on the Plains of Abraham, site of the pivotal 1759 battle between British General James Wolfe and France's Marquis Louis-Joseph de Montcalm.
"The kind of thing I read about in the schoolbooks when I was a kid was...who was General Wolfe? I still haven't figured it out," he said jokingly.
The ex-Beatle also revealed that he has been working on expanding the few lines of French he used in the 1965 hit Michelle.
"Come on Quebece-ins (Quebecers), love me baby," said McCartney.
This open-air concert will be his only scheduled appearance in North America this year and may attract a crowd of around 200,000.