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THE LYRICS : 1956 TO THE PRESENT . ( BOXED SET 2 VOLS.) **PENGUIN* (2021 original; edició 2021)
de paul Mccartney (Autor)
Informació de l'obra
The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present de Paul McCartney (Lyricist) (2021)
Books Read in 2022 (1,567)
Books Read in 2021 (3,056)
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Was Paul your fave Beatle? Do you enjoy reading song lyrics and being in on the creation? If not, you might want to skip this immense tome that covers A - K songs written by Lennon/McCartney (or McCartney/Lennon, depending on Paul's recollection of who wrote more of each) from “All My Loving” through “Kiss of Venus” (no, I don't remember it nor many Wings songs). There's some remarkable recollections of John and Paul's friendship, dating back to their teenage years, and of their ability to sit down, two boys with two guitars, and not get up until they had composed a song or two. His ambivalence about the grown-up John, his lashing attacks and lack of confidence, are attributed mostly to John's miserable childhood. Paul's, in contrast, was sunny until his mother died when he was in his early teens, but he still had his father and brother to keep him striving. There's very little about George and Ringo and about how John and Paul's partnership excluded them and caused George to leave the group. Paul's choices of his own favorites here – “I Saw her Standing There”, and “Here, There, and Everywhere” - pretty much match my own. Perusing this was time would be time well spent for any Beatles fan.
This would have been so much better for me if they song lyrics had been presented in chronological order. I’m actually fine with the choice to present the songs in alphabetical order but this is a huge book. Two volumes. Would it have been even a little bit hard to include a list of the songs in general chronologist order? No. It should have been done. Listing the albums where songs appeared would also have been nice but not at important. I would have appreciated a chronological list. Song title and year first published (and/or written) would have been sufficient for me.
I know the songs so well that reading the lyrics I can hear their music/sing along. That was the main draw for me of this book: the lyrics.
There is also lots of great additional material including biographical info, many photos of people and works in progress, and so much else. In addition to the song lyrics, it works as a biography, as a book on the creative process, etc. Different readers will focus on different parts and take away different things from the reading experience.
It definitely helps to be a Paul fan, a Paul & John fan, a Beatles fan, and most of all a fan of the music. Recommended for all/any of the above but not recommended for those with no interest in any of the above. This is a book for fans. I’m not a rabid fan but I’ve always liked Paul, especially since he went veg, and I’ve always enjoyed and admired the music, and some of the lyrics. “The Long and Winding Road” always makes me cry. I know the lyrics and the songs too can be found online. I’ve searched and listened to various songs and pieces of music many times. It’s nice to have all the McCartney lyrics in one place and this two volume set a a whole package. Fascinating content though at times I felt as though I was 13 again and reading a (very large) teen magazine. Usually, it seemed to have more substance though, thankfully.
It is heavy. If they’d tried to make it one volume it would have been unmanageable. The sleeve is nice. (This part reminds me of [book:The Complete Far Side, 1980–1994|50323]. It also needs two volumes in a sleeve. So did the [book:The Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary, 2 Vols w/Reading Glass|441499]. I am keeping the former for forever if I can. I just recently gave up the latter after owning it for over 50 years. It had sentimental value but was 50 years out of date and didn’t make the cut of only about 1,200 books left out of an original estimated 15,000.)
4-1/2 stars For what it is, it’s kind of brilliantly done. A half star off for not including a list of the songs in chronological order. Yes, I’ll keep mentioning that. I really liked it anyway. It’s unique so I rounded up my rating.
I should have known that I wouldn't be satisfied with simply borrowing a copy of The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present by Paul McCartney (with help from Paul Muldoon). Even though I've only had a chance to look at the first volume which covers his songs from A-K I know that this book set is one that I will most definitely be adding to my personal collection. Beautifully designed and executed, this is exactly what it purports to be: a collection of the lyrics that he's written from 1956 to the present day. I guess it must have been Paul Muldoon who suggested they arrange the songs alphabetically which was an excellent decision as it allows the reader to feel like they're sitting with Paul and hearing his reminiscences rather than a backlog of albums chronologically. Arranged into chapters by letter, each song lists the writer(s), vocal artist, recording studio, album, and year along with the entire lyrics. Following that is a short recollection from Paul about the story behind the song as well as various photographs and ephemera (some of which has never been seen before!). This is a gorgeous masterpiece of literature in my opinion. [A/N: And if you love a book that lays down flat then you're going to melt with rapture.] As you could probably guess, this is a 10/10 from me (and I haven't even gotten my hands on L-K yet!).
If he hadn’t become a musician, Paul McCartney says, he would probably have been an English teacher. He has fond memories of his English teacher, Alan Durband, who studied with FR Leavis and taught the young Paul the value of close reading. When he wrote songs with John Lennon, the chords and melody came first. But the words mattered too. Where the straight-up, irony-free early lyrics wooed their audience through a flurry of pronouns – She Loves You, From Me to You, Please Please Me, etc – the later lyrics aspired to poetry.
Take Eleanor Rigby, which began as a song about the kind of old lady McCartney did chores for as a scout during bob-a-job week and who he thought of calling Daisy Hawkins until working with Eleanor Bron on the film Help! and spotting a shop sign with the name Rigby in Bristol. “The secret to successful songwriting is the ability to paint a picture,” he says, and the picture of Eleanor Rigby “picking up rice in the church where a wedding has been” perfectly captures her loneliness, just as the line “writing the words of a sermon that no one will hear” does with Father McKenzie (originally Father McCartney, till a trawl through the phone book turned up a suitable trisyllabic alternative). It’s a homespun English lyric – “the face that she keeps in a jar by the door” alludes to Nivea cold cream, a favourite of McCartney’s mum – with universal resonance: Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs were among the song’s biggest fans.
Numerous biographies have traced the origins of Beatles songs. This is the McCartney version. Spread over two lavish volumes and more than 900 pages, and supplemented by memorabilia from the million-plus items in his archive (photos, posters, paintings, jottings and letters), the book came about through conversations with the poet Paul Muldoon: 50 hours of them, in 24 sessions between 2015 and 2020, covering 154 songs. On the face of it, the two Pauls have little in common: one a complex poet, the other a pop star. But they share an Irish heritage. And a few of McCartney’s rhymes (pataphysical/quizzical, Edison/medicine) wouldn’t look out of place in a Muldoon poem. At any rate the two hit it off. Though Muldoon has edited himself out of the text, you can sense him in the background, prompting and prodding. In effect the book becomes an autobiography, with Muldoon playing the part that Dennis O’Driscoll played in the interviews that became Seamus Heaney’s autobiography, Stepping Stones.
The biggest influence on McCartney’s music was the death of his mother, Mary, when he was 14. He used to deny that she lay behind the words of Yesterday (“Why she had to go I don’t know, she wouldn’t say”) but now accepts she must have been. He wrote more directly about her in the year she died, 1956, in I Lost My Little Girl, a song not released till 1991. And she is namechecked (“When I find myself in times of trouble/Mother Mary comes to me”) in Let It Be, a phrase she liked to use and one that also appears in Hamlet, which McCartney read at school. A midwife in life, she was also a midwife in her afterlife, helping to deliver some of his finest songs.
McCartney has similarly fond memories of his trumpet-playing father, whose love of crosswords he compares to his own approach to writing songs. When he sat down with Lennon – two guitars, two notepads, two pencils – they would have a song written within three hours: “After that your brain goes a bit.” You’d think there must have been sessions when nothing came off but he doesn’t remember any.
He talks a lot about Lennon, nostalgically and with affection (“I still have him whispering in my ear after all these years”), and is keen to emphasise that they ended on good terms; at their last meeting “we talked about how to bake bread”. Harsh words were exchanged when the Beatles broke up, with the acerbic John scornful of Paul’s taste for “silly love songs”, to which he retaliated by writing a song called Silly Love Songs. But till the breakup their differences were productive: “I could calm him down and he could fire me up.” They mirrored each other, John with his right-handed guitar, Paul with his left-handed one. And their tug-of-war rivalry produced brilliant harmonies. “We thought of ourselves as Lennon and McCartney from early on,” he says, a double act like Gilbert and Sullivan or Rodgers and Hammerstein.
The lyrics he wrote as a solo artist and for Wings are included here too. And many aspects of his offstage life are discussed along the way: his pacifism (which began after he met Bertrand Russell), vegetarianism, bird-watching, parenting, painting (which took off after a chat with Willem de Kooning) and unapologetic cheeriness (“it’s OSS: Optimistic Song Syndrome”). All kinds of music influenced him, Cole Porter as well as Little Richard: “No one thought it at the time but we were really big fans of the music that came out of our parents’ generation.” But the real revelation is how much he took from books – “intertextuality as they call it in posh circles”. Among the writers he alludes to are TS Eliot, George Orwell, James Joyce, Philip Larkin, Harold Pinter, Adrian Mitchell (“a good friend”), Eugene O’Neill, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, Sean O’Casey, Charles Dickens, LP Hartley and Louis MacNeice. And though the tone of the book is conversational, Muldoon’s editing ensures that it’s also quote-worthy: “Writing a song is like talking to a psychiatrist”, “The vignette is really my stock in trade”, “It’s not so much that I compose songs, they arrive”.
The most startling such arrival was Yesterday, the tune of which was in his head when he woke up one day and which seemed very familiar; only when he played it to others did he realise it existed only in his head. Getting it down, he used dummy words: what became “Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away” began as “scrambled eggs, oh my baby, how I love your legs”. The backstories to the songs are often as interesting as the lyrics. With Ticket to Ride he and John were also thinking about a trip they’d made to Ryde, on the Isle of Wight; Blackbird, with its “broken wings”, was written after the assassination of Martin Luther King; “Hey Jude was originally Hey Jules and written for the young Julian Lennon after John had divorced Cynthia;the portrait of a community in Penny Lane took its bearings from Dylan Thomas’s Under Milk Wood while She’s Leaving Home “was almost like a shooting script for the Wednesday Play”.
The book won’t persuade the Nobel literature committee to honour McCartney as they did Bob Dylan, and though he once wrote a song about the Queen (“a person I admire very much”), he won’t be the next poet laureate. Stripped of the music, the words on the page can look random or banal. But at best he’s a wonderfully versatile lyricist: troubadour, comedian, elegist, social commentator, pasticheur. And anyone with even half an interest in the Beatles will find The Lyrics fascinating.
"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"--
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Classificació Decimal de Dewey (DDC)782.42166The arts Music Vocal music Secular Forms of vocal music Secular songs General principles and musical forms Song genres Rock songs
LCC (Clas. Bibl. Congrés EUA)
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