Paul McCartney…The Lyrics

The two volume set of Paul McCartney’s songwriting memories The Lyrics was released this week.  The books are not just filled with lyrics, they’re packed with personal photos, and stories about the songs.

The set comes in a heavy cardboard sleeve, and the books have jacket covers with photos and the lyrics to “Hey Jude” & “Yesterday”.  On the other side are “Back In The U.S.S.R.” & “Maybe I’m Amazed”.

There are even lyrics printed right on the book covers, including “Band On The Run” and “Penny Lane”.

Here are the pages that show the lists of songs in the two volumes.  You can see the songs are in alphabetical order.  (Click to enlarge)

The alphabetical order makes it easy to find songs, but since this is also meant to serve as an autobiography, it might have been more effective if the songs had been placed in chronological order.  There are a total of 154 songs and 874 pages.

Here’s an example of how the book is autobiographical.  When Paul tells the story of “Eleanor Rigby”, he mentions how as a boy he did odd jobs for a woman who lived alone.  He felt that situation was the seed for the song.  While thinking back to that time, he also relays how he met John Lennon and joined The Quarrymen.  That’s how stories of the songs are expanded to reveal much more about Paul’s life.

Here are just a couple of random samples of photos.

John and Paul goofing around backstage, manager Brian Epstein, The Beatles in Hamburg, Germany in 1961, and John Lennon in Paris that same year.

These photos are from a trip Paul and his wife Linda took to Nashville that included meeting guitar great Chet Atkins.

The book has photos from throughout Paul’s personal & professional life.  Paul took some of the early shots, his photographer wife Linda McCartney provided more, and there are some really good recent photos by their daughter, Mary.

All major Paul McCartney and Beatles fans will enjoy getting so much new information about the songs, and seeing hundreds of previously unpublished photos.  The list price for the set is a hefty $100, but I ordered it from Amazon for $79, and then their price guarantee reduced it to $60.

It’s hard to believe they could get the book covers to match this well together to form that picture of Paul.

The final words on songwriting come from Paul McCartney on the back of the book holder.


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