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Blackbird Singing : Poems and Lyrics,…

Blackbird Singing : Poems and Lyrics, 1965-1999 (edition 2001)

by Paul McCartney, Adrian Mitchell

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297663,184 (3.66)16
The hardcover publication of Blackbird Singing, the first collection of Paul McCartney's poems and lyrics, was an international cultural event--celebrated in concert halls, at literary festivals, and in newspapers and magazines throughout the world. "While McCartney is of a completely different cast than Bob Dylan, his appeal may be even greater than that of the latter great poet-songwriter," wrote Publishers Weekly; The Guardian hailed McCartney's words as "a remarkable feat of historical imagination." The best-selling Blackbird Singing now includes several new poems and lyrics, including "Freedom," which McCartney performed in New York City at a benefit concert last fall. To actually read McCartney's poems, whether exuberant ballads of love or poignant messages of deepest grief, is to appreciate the electrifying power of the confluence of dream and song. Inspired by his late wife, Linda McCartney, Blackbird Singing gives us extraordinary access to the inner life of one of the most influential figures of our time.… (more)
Title:Blackbird Singing : Poems and Lyrics, 1965-1999
Authors:Paul McCartney
Other authors:Adrian Mitchell
Info:W.W. Norton & Co. (2001), Edition: 1s t American Editon, Hardcover, 185 pages
Collections:Your library

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Blackbird Singing: Poems and Lyrics, 1965-1999 by Paul McCartney



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I thought I would like this more than I did, but I'm still glad I read it.
It's interesting seeing these words presented like this. Lyrics are a form of poetry in many cases so putting them with dedicated verse is fitting. Some lyrics were obviously lyrics, however, and some poems obviously poems. Then some fell into a twilight where they could be either. ( )
  AngelaJMaher | Nov 27, 2019 |
I always find it interesting when song lyrics are presented as written poems. It is a useful transition to witness. Many songs – rock, pop, blues, folk ballads – have clear antecedents in written poetry even if they go beyond that. Indeed, the written phase of poetry can be seen as an interlude between modern songs and the ancient lyrics of, say, Homer or Sappho. Adrian Mitchell, in his introduction, rightly places song lyrics alongside the melodies of William Blake's 'Tyger, Tyger' or Robert Burns' 'A Red, Red Rose' (pg. xviii). Much of what is now only written down was once sung.

Putting Paul McCartney into this debate is an interesting experiment, and one that largely works. As one-half of the greatest songwriting partnership of the 20th century, his lyrics are as worthy of any as an example of the familial link between poetry and song. 'Blackbird', 'Mull of Kintyre', 'Here Today', 'Hey Jude', 'Yesterday' and 'Eleanor Rigby' all still shine on the page, whilst 'Junk' and 'The Long and Winding Road' in particular are lesser songs that benefit from the transition.

Where Blackbird Singing falters is in its actual poems, as opposed to songs-as-poems. This is not what McCartney is famous for, and rightly so. Some are decent, and none are embarrassing, but they remain unmemorable. McCartney's gift has always been his melody, and it is this what still shines through in his lyrics on the page. But when trying to write more conventional poetry he seems to become a bit more self-conscious, trying hard rather than letting it flow as he might when composing songs. Consequently, these conventional poems often seem to be trying to be obfuscatory and deliberate rather than allowing for the natural talent that leaps from his songs. ( )
  Mike_F | Oct 11, 2016 |
This book was intended to be a birthday present to Paul from Linda & promulgated/edited by Adrian Mitchell.

I liked the poem "Here Today" (for John).
( )
  Auntie-Nanuuq | Jan 18, 2016 |
This is a book of McCartney's poems, including the words to songs, some which he wrote with John Lennon, and some he completed by himself.

There were some obscure poems that were not easily read. It was interesting to try to read words to some of the popular songs as though they were stand alone poems. In that context, many were difficult to follow.
  Whisper1 | Dec 3, 2015 |
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 |
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W.W. Norton

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

Editions: 0393020495, 0393324095

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