The Lyrics by Paul McCartney

The Lyrics by Paul McCartney
Publisher: Liveright
Genre: Contemporary, Historical, Non-Fiction, Music
Rating: 4 Stars
Reviewed by Nymphaea

A work of unparalleled candor and splendorous beauty, The Lyrics celebrates the creative life and the musical genius of Paul McCartney through 154 of his most meaningful songs.
From his early Liverpool days, through the historic decade of The Beatles, to Wings and his long solo career, The Lyrics pairs the definitive texts of 154 Paul McCartney songs with first-person commentaries on his life and music. Spanning two alphabetically arranged volumes, these commentaries reveal how the songs came to be and the people who inspired them: his devoted parents, Mary and Jim; his songwriting partner, John Lennon; his “Golden Earth Girl,” Linda Eastman; his wife, Nancy McCartney; and even Queen Elizabeth, among many others. Here are the origins of “Let It Be,” “Lovely Rita,” “Yesterday,” and “Mull of Kintyre,” as well as McCartney’s literary influences, including Shakespeare, Lewis Carroll, and Alan Durband, his high-school English teacher.

With images from McCartney’s personal archives—handwritten texts, paintings, and photographs, hundreds previously unseen—The Lyrics, spanning sixty-four years, becomes the definitive literary and visual record of one of the greatest songwriters of all time.

The lyrics and then some…this book is truly packed.

I picked up this pair of books because I wanted to know more about the stories behind the songs of Paul McCartney. Now, I have to add the caveat that there are Lennon-McCartney songs as well, which is a nice bonus. Anything anyone wants to know about those songs, at least from Paul McCartney’s point of view is there. Stories, tales and even some tidbits. It’s quite nice because there’s no glazing over. He tells the stories. There are wonderful photographs as well and many illustrate the song through what he was doing at the time. I rather liked it. He has many of his own solo songs there as well. A few of the ones I would’ve liked to have known about were missing, but that’s okay. Can’t please everyone and there is enough here to please a lot!

This is a big set of books and will take some time to go through, but if you’re a Beatles fan, a McCartney fan or just want to know the stories behind some great songs, then this is the set of books for you.

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