Paul McCartney is set to publish ‘The Lyrics,’ a major deep dive into the performer’s life based on actual conversations he had with prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon. Publisher Allen Lane claims that it will be “as close to an autobiography as Paul may ever come.”
‘The Lyrics’ will be a two-volume, 900-page “self-portrait in 154 songs,” and will be released on November 2nd of this year. Allen Lane claims that it will be “a kaleidoscopic rather than chronological account of McCartney’s life, and will cover the musician’s earliest boyhood compositions – he wrote his first song at 14 – through the Beatles catalog to Wings, solo albums and his present life. The book will cover the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what McCartney thinks of them now.”
“Some people, when they get to a certain age, like to go to a diary to recall day-to-day events from the past, but I have no such notebooks. What I do have are my songs, hundreds of them, which I’ve learned serve much the same purpose. And these songs span my entire life.”
McCartney went on to explain that “more often than I can count I’ve been asked if I would write an autobiography, but the time has never been right. The one thing I’ve always managed to do, whether at home or on the road, is to write new songs.”
Muldoon is a Pulitzer prize-winning poet from Ireland who edited the book. The book itself is based on conversations that he and McCartney had throughout the past few years.
“Sir Paul and I met regularly over a period of five years for two or three hour sessions in which we talked in a very intensive way about the background to a half dozen songs. In a strange way, our process mimicked the afternoon sessions he had with John Lennon when they wrote for the Beatles. We were determined never to leave the room without something interesting,” Muldoon explained.
Muldoon said that he was “struck again and again by what you might term Paul McCartney’s ‘scholarly’ disposition during the process. He’s one of the most buoyant, upbeat people I know, but his general demeanor shouldn’t suggest that he’s anything but a deep thinker. He looks long and hard into every aspect of life and I believe readers, old and new, will be struck by a book that will show that side of him. He’s going to come out of this book as a major literary figure.”
“His insights into his artistic process confirm a notion at which we had but guessed: that Paul McCartney is a major literary figure who draws upon, and extends, the long tradition of poetry in English.”
The two-volumes will also include material from McCartney’s personal archive that have never been shared publicly before. The material will include drafted songs, letters, and photographs from the beginning of his career. Lane claims that readers will be learning a much more intimate side to the legend, and have a real insight into his “creative process, how he works out certain melodies and the moments that inspired him the most throughout his career.”
“I hope what I wrote will show people something about my songs and my life which they haven’t seen before. I’ve tried to say something about how the music happens and what it means to me and I hope what it may mean to others too,” McCartney said.
Eric Mastrota is a Contributing Editor at The National Digest based in New York. A graduate of SUNY New Paltz, he reports on world news, culture, and lifestyle. You can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.