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Blackbird Singing : Poems and Lyrics,…
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Blackbird Singing : Poems and Lyrics, 1965-1999

by Paul McCartney

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Ok, true confession: I have written poetry, but oddly, have never been much of a fan of reading poetry. Unless it's in music/lyric form. Don't ask me why.

I have always adored Paul McCartney. I think he is a brilliant writer, great singer, and not too hard on the eyes, either. I wanted to really read this book but somehow, it wasn't working out too well, at first. I found it difficult to just *read* words I only knew as a tune, if that makes any sense. Then, I got an idea.

As I paged through, sitting in front of my computer, I enlisted the help of youtube. And through the magic of the internet, I listened to as many of these poems as I could, if they had been recorded (not all had been, of course). One after another, it was a trip down memory lane, watching Paul sing, alone, in live concerts, at the White House, with his various bands, over the years. I even found some great video clips of conversations (for example, with Carl Perkins); yes, I am easily sidetracked but why not?

This was one of the most enjoyable *reads* I've had in a long time! ( )
  jessibud2 | Mar 25, 2014 |
Simple. Clean. Poetry is so subjective. ( )
  NicoleHC | May 16, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0393020495, Hardcover)

It is nearly impossible to scan any of Paul McCartney's lyrics without hearing the Beatles' music in the background, dictating rhythm, pace, and mood. But as Blackbird Singing demonstrates, the effort is worth making. This first collection brings together early and late poems, along with some of Sir Paul's greatest hits (including the words to "Yesterday," "Lady Madonna," "Penny Lane," and "Hey Jude.") In his introduction, editor and fellow Liverpudlian Adrian Mitchell urges readers to "wash out the name and the fame" and examine what's on the page. If you can do this, you're in for a pleasant surprise.

True, some of the lyrics appear trite on paper--"Heart of the Country" and "Mull of Kintyre" are notable offenders. Even "Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band" seems naked and frail without the rousing brass section. But McCartney's deeper vulnerability comes to the surface in "Dinner Tickets," a poem about his childhood. And "Standing Stone" recounts a gutsy fable about a man using the power of imagination to fend off the enemy: he erects a standing stone, "a weathered finger to the sky" and learns to be "at peace with peace." "Irish Language" boasts a rare streak of irony as the narrator admires the way "those Irish chappies" swill the language around in their mouths and dribble it through their fingers. The song ends with a beautifully timed punch line: "The Beatles were a bunch of Micks." Blackbird Singing closes with poems dedicated to the author's late wife that are tender, sparse, and startlingly honest. --Cherry Smyth

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:50:44 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

Brings together the lyrics of his songs, moving elegies to his wife, Linda, and poetry that has never been seen before.

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W.W. Norton

Two editions of this book were published by W.W. Norton.

Editions: 0393020495, 0393324095

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