Paul McCartney has revealed details of a new book, The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present, to be published by Allen Lane on November 2.
Described as “a self-portrait in 154 songs”, it features the definitive lyrics to McCartney’s best-known songs along with his commentary describing the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now. The book will also include never-before-seen drafts, letters and photographs from McCartney’s personal archive.
“More often than I can count, I’ve been asked if I would write an autobiography, but the time has never been right,” says McCartney. “The one thing I’ve always managed to do, whether at home or on the road, is to write new songs. I know that 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.
“I hope that what I’ve written 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.”
Adds editor Paul Muldoon: “Based on conversations I had with Paul McCartney over a five year period, these commentaries are as close to an autobiography as we may ever come. His insights into his own 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.”
Watch a video trailer for The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present below: