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Paul McCartney to publish 'The Lyrics' book in November, profiling over 150 of his songs

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Liveright/W.W. Norton

Paul McCartney has never written an autobiography, but the former Beatles legend has shared much of his life story through his songs. With that in mind, McCartney has unveiled plans to release a book called The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present, which offers a self-portrait while profiling 154 songs he’s written throughout his long career.

The book, which will be published on November 2, features the lyrics of tunes spanning from Paul’s childhood, through his years with The Beatles and Wings and as a solo artist, up to the present day.

“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,” Sir Paul explains in a book excerpt. “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.”

The Lyrics is arranged alphabetically rather than chronologically, with each entry establishing the definitive texts for McCartney’s compositions, while also offering details about the tunes, what inspired them and what Paul’s current opinion of them is.

In addition, the book features a trove of material from McCartney’s personal archive, including never-before-seen drafts, letters and photos.

“I hope that what I’ve written will show people something about my songs and my life which they haven’t seen before,” McCartney maintains. “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.”

The commentary in The Lyrics was based on conversations McCartney had over five years with Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet and Princeton University professor Paul Muldoon, who edited the book.

The Lyrics can be pre-ordered now.

By Matt Friedlander
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