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"I hope that what I’ve written will show people something about my songs and my life that they haven’t seen before," the singer said

By Georgia Slater
February 25, 2021 10:12 AM
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Paul McCartney is giving fans a glimpse into his incredible decades-long career in his upcoming book The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present.

On Wednesday, the famed singer, 78, announced the two-volume, 960-page collection which will see McCartney "recount his life and art through the prism of 154 songs from all stages of his career," according to a press release.

The book, which editor Paul Muldoon said is as "close to an autobiography as we may ever come," is due out November 2nd and is available for preorder now.

"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," McCartney said in a statement.

"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," he continued. "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."

According to the release, The Lyrics will span McCartney's career "from his earliest boyhood compositions through the legendary decade of The Beatles, to Wings and his solo albums to the present."

The collection — which is arranged alphabetically rather than chronologically — "establishes definitive texts of the songs' lyrics for the first time and describes the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now."

The book was also announced along with a trailer for the collection, which is set to McCartney's ballad "Calico Skies."

"I hope that what I've written will show people something about my songs and my life which they haven't seen before," McCartney added. "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."

Paul McCartney In Concert - New York City
Credit: Taylor Hill/Getty

The publication includes a "treasure trove of material from McCartney's personal archive – drafts, letters, photographs" which have never been seen before, U.S. publishers Liveright/W.W. Norton said in a statement.

The Lyrics also includes an introduction from Muldoon, a Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and poet.

"[McCartney's] 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," Muldoon said.