Home Entertainment Paul McCartney, the poet before the singer: the definitive anthology arrives

Paul McCartney, the poet before the singer: the definitive anthology arrives

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When he enters the hall of the Southbank Centre of London, all dressed in dark, black double-breasted suit untied and open midnight blue shirt, with the Remembrance Poppy – the brooch commemorating the fallen for duty, which in England every VIP now sports – on the lapel, a roar welcomes Paul McCartney. From outside the gallery-museum-auditorium, just below the London Eye, the roars of fireworks arrive, muffled. They are not in honor of Sir Paul: those barrels are for the November 5, the real New Year for the British, which celebrates, or rather remembers, the foiled plot of Guy Fawkes (whose face has become the famous mask of V for Vendetta and symbol of the protesters of Anonymous): in 1600 the terrorist tried to blow up the parliament of Westminster. And therefore the fires have an apotropaic meaning. Yet coincidence pyrotechnics has its own meaning: it is the first time in his life that the baronet sets foot in the famous museum of London.

An absolute first

The anniversary is special and unique: sacred monsters of the caliber of David Bowie, Patti Smith, Paul Weller, Frank Sinatra, the Smiths, Elton John e i Pink Floyd. Everyone to play their songs. The one who, on the other hand, can be considered the putative father (or at least the older brother) of all these stars, on the other hand, presented himself to the public of the Southbank Center not to play, but to read: it is the presentation of his book “Lyrics“. Despite being the most famous English in the world (together with Queen Elizabeth) l’ex Beatles he had never trod. As a good and typical son of the working class of Liverpool, a city of decay and proletariat, London has always been a place for the Upper Class: “This place is for Londoners” in the sense of jocks. And he says it with the accent from scouser, the dialect that is spoken in Liverpool. You may be the most important singer of the last century, but the roots come from Working Class Hero, immortalized by the former bandmate John Lennon, they never cancel.

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From songs to lyrics

On stage, with the Beatles, McCartney was also the bassist-singer, a very rare figure to play the bass, which gives the rhythm, and to sing, because they are two totally different tempos. Not surprisingly, in all the history of music, there are only a handful of them: in addition to Sir Paul, Sting of The Police, Mark King of the Level 42, Morgan dei Bluvertigo and the late Lemmy gods Motorhead. Even before being songs, those of the Beatles were poetic texts, written mostly by Paul (and sometimes together with Lennon): “Many people keep a personal diary where they write down the events of their lives, but I don’t – began the pop star explaining the because of this publication – My diary are the Beatles songs ”. And so all those texts have been collected in a beautiful book: published all over the world by Penguin Books, the largest publishing house in the world, presents itself as a luxurious box with black and white cover photos that collects two volumes. For the first time, all the songs composed by the artist are collected together. Manuscripts, letters and photographs are included, with many unpublished works drawn from the personal archive.

A delicious box set

For fans of the Cockroaches and the Baronet, it is a delicious and unmissable one Summa Theologica which collects the whole McCartney universe: 154 texts that are the self-portrait of one of the greatest songwriters of all time. The book, which required five years of work, is full of testimonies revealing the circumstances in which the passages were written; they reconstruct the creative paths that made them as we know them; they frame the unique people and places that inspired them. Among the many anecdotes pulled out of Sir Paul’s bottomless drawer is the funny one about “I saw her standing there“From the album”Please, Please Me“, Milestone of the group that contained”Love Me Do”, Perhaps the most famous song. The original title was “Seventeen“, Say the biographers, was inspired by Paul’s then girlfriend who lived in London and was just seventeen, and was composed while the former Beatles returned from a concert in Southporth, in Lancashire. What was not known is that Lennon’s intervention was decisive: the text written by Paul, he tells the audience, rhyme “Well, she was just 17, one of the beauty queen“But when they try it, John looks at him wrong, as if to say” what a stupid banality “and then the two come up with”Well, she was just 17, and you know what I meanWhich became a legendary rhyme, destined to cause a sensation. This was the creative process of the McCarteny-Lennon duo: “I really loved John. But I only realized it years after his death ”he comments, his voice a little choked. The former Beatles also reveals the secret of the artistic partnership: he and John sat, each with the guitar to compose line by line. Fortunately or by chance, Paul was left-handed and John right: so, banally, “we didn’t bother with the guitars, as happens to all groups with two right-handed guitarists”.

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The curiosity

The result of “Lyrics” is a comprehensive overview of the life of the mind behind the legendary band’s lyrics. With a peculiarity: the songs are not reproduced in chronological order, as one might expect from a complete anthology, but in alphabetical order. But curiously, the curator noted Paul Muldoon, despite this unnatural shuffling “the texts lose nothing, indeed a coherence and continuity emerge”.

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