03/19/2021 | Press release | Archived content
News | Penguin Random House | London, 03/19/2021
This November Allen Lane, a Penguin Random House UK imprint, will publish 'The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present' by Paul McCartney. In the two-volume work, the legendary songwriter recounts his life through the prism of 154 of his songs, from his early youth through his time with the Beatles and the Wings, to today's solo albums.
In November, the imprint will publish 'The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present,' a two-volume self-portrait in which McCartney recounts his life and art through the prism of 154 songs from all stages of his career - from his earliest boyhood compositions through the legendary decade of The Beatles, to Wings and his solo albums to the present.
Arranged alphabetically to provide a kaleidoscopic rather than chronological account, it establishes definitive texts of the songs' lyrics for the first time and, with unparalleled candor, describes the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now. All this is presented with a treasure trove of material from McCartney's personal archive - drafts, letters, photographs - never seen before, which make this also a unique visual record of one of the greatest songwriters of all time.
Paul McCartney says: '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. 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.'
The two volumes of 'The Lyrics,' each 480 pages long and only sold as a set, are introduced and edited by the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Paul Muldoon, who says: '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.'