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Paul McCartney reveals revisiting the first song he ever wrote ‘turned into a therapy session’


Paul McCartney has revealed that revisiting the first song he ever wrote for his new book, The Lyrics, was ‘interesting’ and ‘kind of turned into a therapy session’.

The Beatles star, 79, was speaking in reference to the song titled I Lost My Little Girl as he answered questions from fans in a video posted to his official website on Tuesday.  

The musician said: ‘I thought I was happily writing a little pop song when I was 14, but if you look at the timing of it I had just lost my mother.’ 

His mother Mary died in 1956 from an embolism after an operation for breast cancer.

Candid: Paul McCartney has revealed that revisiting the first song he ever wrote for his new book, The Lyrics, was ‘interesting’ and ‘kind of turned into a therapy session’

The book features 154 songs from all stages of his career, spanning across the Beatles, Wings and as a solo artist, featuring song lyrics from titles such as Hey Jude, Blackbird, Penny Lane, Band On The Run, Live And Let Die and more. 

Asked by a fan about the process of putting the book together and about ‘lyrics or memories that came back to you and reminded you of a time you’d forgotten’, Sir Paul reminisced about writing his first song and the timing of it.

‘It wasn’t really a forgotten memory, but revisiting the first song I ever wrote I Lost My Little Girl was interesting.

RIP: His mother Mary died in 1956 from an embolism after an operation for breast cancer (L-R) Brother Michael, mother Mary, father Jim and Paul as a young boy

RIP: His mother Mary died in 1956 from an embolism after an operation for breast cancer (L-R) Brother Michael, mother Mary, father Jim and Paul as a young boy

First song: The Beatles star, 79, was speaking in reference to the song titled I Lost My Little Girl as he answered questions from fans in a video posted to his official website on Tuesday

First song: The Beatles star, 79, was speaking in reference to the song titled I Lost My Little Girl as he answered questions from fans in a video posted to his official website on Tuesday

The musician said: 'I thought I was happily writing a little pop song when I was 14, but if you look at the timing of it I had just lost my mother'

The musician said: ‘I thought I was happily writing a little pop song when I was 14, but if you look at the timing of it I had just lost my mother’

‘It kind of turned into a therapy session, because I thought I was happily writing a little pop song when I was 14, but if you look at the timing of it I had just lost my mother,’ he said.

He explained: ‘When you think about that, the song seems to have a much deeper meaning that I hadn’t noticed before: the possibility of it being subliminally written about her.

‘I’ve always said Let It Be was written after dreaming of my mum, but some of the lyrics from Yesterday might have been to do with my mum as well.

‘Then there were surprising memories that would come out, like when I got into talking about John and was reminded of the hitchhiking trips we’d taken as kids, and with George.

Out now! The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present features 154 songs from all stages of his career, spanning across the Beatles, Wings and as a solo artist, featuring song lyrics from titles such as Hey Jude, Blackbird, Penny Lane, Band On The Run, Live And Let Die and more

Out now! The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present features 154 songs from all stages of his career, spanning across the Beatles, Wings and as a solo artist, featuring song lyrics from titles such as Hey Jude, Blackbird, Penny Lane, Band On The Run, Live And Let Die and more

‘I think the whole process of analysing the songs took me to stuff that I hadn’t thought of recently, not because I didn’t want to, but because there was never a clue, never a prompt, never a trigger to think about those things.’

He added: ‘That was the interesting thing about making this book.

‘I had to go back in my memory to see how I’d written that song, why I’d written it and any interesting side stories.

‘It became about more than just the songs: it became the memories that the songs evoked.

‘It was a nice process, actually.

Paul said: 'I've always said Let It Be was written after dreaming of my mum, but some of the lyrics from Yesterday might have been to do with my mum as well (Paul filming Help in 1965)

Paul said: ‘I’ve always said Let It Be was written after dreaming of my mum, but some of the lyrics from Yesterday might have been to do with my mum as well (Paul filming Help in 1965)

Iconic: The Beatles Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon in 1963

Iconic: The Beatles Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, George Harrison and John Lennon in 1963

‘Better that being with a psychiatrist!’

The Lyrics also features unseen personal photographs, drafts and drawings from Sir Paul’s personal archive, with each song accompanied by a commentary offering insight into his creative process.

Also included will be the words to the unrecorded Beatles song Tell Me Who He Is, after the handwritten lyrics to the lost song dating back to the early 1960s were discovered in one of Sir Paul’s notebooks.

The Lyrics has been edited and introduced by the Pulitzer Prize-winning Irish poet Paul Muldoon and has been shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year prize. 

The Lyrics: 1956 To The Present by Paul McCartney is out November 2 2021.

It comes after he inducted the Foo Fighters into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame during its annual ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday evening.

The musician was first seen giving a speech where he extolled the achievements of the band’s frontman, Dave Grohl, and his collaborators, which was interrupted by applause on several occasions.

The bassist later joined the band on stage for a performance of the classic Beatles track Get Back after the group played several of their own hits.

McCartney kept it classy during the event, as he sported a black three-piece suit that was offset by a bright white shirt.

Honour: It comes after he inducted the Foo Fighters into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame during its annual ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday evening

Honour: It comes after he inducted the Foo Fighters into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame during its annual ceremony in Cleveland, Ohio on Saturday evening

He notably approached his speech with a sense of lightheartedness and noted via Rolling Stone that he should have emulated the evening’s other presenters.

‘When they asked me to do a speech, they said, ‘Do you want to have the autocue?’ I said, ‘No, I’m good. I’ll look at the paper.’ But I’ve been seeing everyone do these amazing speeches, I’m beginning to think I should have taken the autocue,’ he said.

The bassist briefly spoke about his introduction to popular music, which he described as life-changing. 

Dressed to impress: McCartney kept it classy during the event, as he sported a black three-piece suit that was offset by a bright white shirt

Dressed to impress: McCartney kept it classy during the event, as he sported a black three-piece suit that was offset by a bright white shirt

Taking it easy: The bassist notably approached his speech with a sense of lightheartedness and noted via Rolling Stone that he should have emulated the evening's other presenters

Taking it easy: The bassist notably approached his speech with a sense of lightheartedness and noted via Rolling Stone that he should have emulated the evening’s other presenters

He noted that he was ‘just an ordinary kid going to school like everybody else; and then one day, I heard some music and I fell into rock & roll. It just happened. One day. Suddenly, the world changed, and I just fell, like, through a hole in time.’

The performer then compared his experience to Grohl’s, who he also described as being completely affected by encountering rock music. 

‘By the same time in his life, Dave did the same kind of thing. You know, he’s just an ordinary, kind of goofy kid. And same thing happens, he falls through the same hole, and he’s in rock & roll and it’s gonna be his life,’ he said.

High praise: McCartney described himself as 'just an ordinary kid going to school like everybody else; and then one day, I heard some music and I fell into rock & roll'

High praise: McCartney described himself as ‘just an ordinary kid going to school like everybody else; and then one day, I heard some music and I fell into rock & roll’

Great minds think alike: The performer then compared his experience to Grohl's, who he also described as being completely affected by encountering rock music

Great minds think alike: The performer then compared his experience to Grohl’s, who he also described as being completely affected by encountering rock music

McCartney also spoke about the universal aspect of rock music and remarked that everyone in attendance had been affected by its influence on popular culture. 

‘Everyone who knows, everyone who’s connected with it, everyone who loves rock & roll. It really is a magical thing that contains so many elements – like all of the people we’ve heard tonight,’ he said.

The performer added that he felt ‘super privileged to be here tonight, inducting these guys.’ 

The musician went on to express that he and Grohl were both involved with bands who had made major effects on the face of popular culture. 

‘My group was the Beatles. Like I say, the world changed. Dave did a similar kind of thing. He joined a group, Nirvana,’ he said.

McCartney also drew a comparison between himself and the singer, as both of their bands ended in abrupt and unfortunate ways. 

Similar: The musician went on to express that he and Grohl were both involved with bands who had made major effects on the face of popular culture

Similar: The musician went on to express that he and Grohl were both involved with bands who had made major effects on the face of popular culture

‘We had a great time with our groups, but eventually tragedy happened and my group broke up. Same happened with Dave. His group broke up under tragic circumstances,’ he said.

The bassist then lauded Grohl’s ability to recover from Nirvana’s ending and to channel his feelings in a creative manner.

‘So the question is, what do you do now?…Dave’s group broke up, what’s he do? He makes an album where he plays all the instruments himself,’ he said.

Making it work: The bassist then lauded Grohl's ability to recover from Nirvana's ending and to channel his feelings in a creative manner

Making it work: The bassist then lauded Grohl’s ability to recover from Nirvana’s ending and to channel his feelings in a creative manner

Resilient: The musician expressed that 'Dave's group broke up, what's he do? He makes an album where he plays all the instruments himself'

Resilient: The musician expressed that ‘Dave’s group broke up, what’s he do? He makes an album where he plays all the instruments himself’

McCartney humorously accused the drummer of copying his approach to musicianship, stating: ‘Do you think this guy’s stalking me?’

The performer ended his speech by noting that he had spoken to the band just before the start of the event to inform them about the gravity of their situation. 

‘I was just saying to them in the dressing room, ‘Guys, this is it…tonight, you’re gonna be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.’ I mean, it’s not just any Hall of Fame — it’s the f****** Rock & Roll Hall of Fame,’ he said.

Joking around: McCartney humorously accused the drummer of copying his approach to musicianship, stating: 'Do you think this guy's stalking me?'

Joking around: McCartney humorously accused the drummer of copying his approach to musicianship, stating: ‘Do you think this guy’s stalking me?’

Pro tips: The performer ended his speech by noting that he had spoken to the band just before the start of the event to inform them about the gravity of their situation

Pro tips: The performer ended his speech by noting that he had spoken to the band just before the start of the event to inform them about the gravity of their situation

McCartney was later seen posing for photos with figures such as The Go-Gos and his wife, Nancy Shevell. 

In addition to Grohl, the other members of the Foo Fighters are Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins, Rami Jaffee, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear, who was also a founding member of the highly influential punk band Germs.

William Goldsmith and Franz Stahl were both previously involved with the musical group. 

Say cheese! Dave Grohl posed for a snap with Paul and his wife Nancy Shevell

Say cheese! Dave Grohl posed for a snap with Paul and his wife Nancy Shevell

Getting around: McCartney was later seen posing for photos with figures such as The Go-Gos and his wife, Nancy Shevell

Getting around: McCartney was later seen posing for photos with figures such as The Go-Gos and his wife, Nancy Shevell

McCartney previously collaborated with both Grohl and Smear, as well as Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, for the 2012 track Cut Me Some Slack. 

Other inductees into the Hall of Fame include Tina Turner, Carole King, The Go-Go’s, Jay-Z, Kraftwerk, LL Cool J, Todd Rundgren, Charley Patton, Gil-Scott Heron, Billy Preston, Clarence Avant and Randy Rhoads.

Rundgren previously made headlines for publicly announcing that he would not be attending the star-studded function. 

Working together: McCartney previously collaborated with both Grohl and Smear, as well as Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, for the 2012 track Cut Me Some Slack

Working together: McCartney previously collaborated with both Grohl and Smear, as well as Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic, for the 2012 track Cut Me Some Slack

This year’s Induction Ceremony marks the return of the event to an in-person setting, as last year’s was held virtually due to the onset of the global pandemic.

All ticket holders for the function were required to provide proof of vaccination or a recently acquired negative COVID test prior to the function’s start.

The Ceremony’s planners also implemented numerous health and safety protocols prior to its start. 

Starting up again: This year's Induction Ceremony marks the return of the event to an in-person setting, as last year's was held virtually due to the onset of the global pandemic

Starting up again: This year’s Induction Ceremony marks the return of the event to an in-person setting, as last year’s was held virtually due to the onset of the global pandemic



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