Why Maccas lyrics are underrated.

Discussions of various topics about Paul not covered in the forums below.

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Why Maccas lyrics are underrated.

Postby mhnso » Tue Nov 19, 2013 10:48 am

Through the years I guess the thing Macca has gotten most panned for are his lyrics. Partly he is to blame himself because he has written some below standard lyrics. Of course he ain t Bob Dylan but no one else is either- Dylan is the Shakespeare of our time when it comes to words.
With that said I think Macca is vastly underrated as a lyricist - why is that?
1. He is he man behind some of the -globally most well known and loved songs ever written. Dare I mention Yesterday, Hey Jude, Eleanor Rigby or Blackbird. The words of these songs- and others are so wellknown that any people on the street if asked could recite parts of them. That my friends is called communication and those words(not only the music) has communicated with billions of people for decades. There is a deep relevance in these songs that makes each and everyone correspond to them. Genius is another way to describe this.
2. Macca is-when he puts his mind to it-very good when it comes to playing with words. All his career is full of examples of this. English gardens and mr Bellamey are recent examples.Maxwell silver hammer, Cmoon and Obladi Oblada some older ones
3. When he want s to he can be very honest in his songs - listen to Scared for proof. Or Every night ..or Maybe IM amazed...or little Willow or.....'
4. He can be a great storyteller. How about Penny Lane, On my way to work
5. He can sometimes be a master of metaphors. Tug of war, Wanderlust, Alligator or you never give me my money, Band on the Run are some examples
6. He can sometimes write lyrics with double meaning that create something mysterious. Vanity Fair and Hosannah two prime examples
7. He has never bothered about being "cool" or hip when it comes to lyrics. That s why many of his songs are so timeless-he actually dares to be sentimental and sometimes go over the top. In that way Paul is a very brave artist
There are more examples and I would without problems create a list of at leads 50 songs Macca has written that-besides the music has good to great lyrics.
Of course it s also easy to find examples of the opposite but generally speaking the "Macca makes good music but can t write good lyrics" is nothing but b-t. IMHO of course
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Re: Why Maccas lyrics are underrated.

Postby mr h atom » Tue Nov 19, 2013 2:50 pm

well, you are 100% correct, of course ^:)^

where i would digress, just a bit, is to point out that, in artistic endeavors, one should not try to be a dylan (after all, if i wanted to listen to dylan write/perform...i'd just listen to...well...dylan)...but the best paul mccartney he can ever be...

and 90-99% of the time, M...that's good enough...good enough for me

for every will shakespeare, there needs to be an thomas moore...every stephen king an edgar allen poe...for every charles dickens there has to be a pg wodehouse...for every tom clancy a george macdonald fraser...each offering a similar yet uniquely different take/perspective/ideal

i think macca is underrated often because of the ease and simplicity with which he still manages to be both profound and enlightening...in his very own way
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Re: Why Maccas lyrics are underrated.

Postby mhnso » Tue Nov 19, 2013 4:48 pm

mr h atom wrote:well, you are 100% correct, of course ^:)^

where i would digress, just a bit, is to point out that, in artistic endeavors, one should not try to be a dylan (after all, if i wanted to listen to dylan write/perform...i'd just listen to...well...dylan)...but the best paul mccartney he can ever be...

and 90-99% of the time, M...that's good enough...good enough for me

for every will shakespeare, there needs to be an thomas moore...every stephen king an edgar allen poe...for every charles dickens there has to be a pg wodehouse...for every tom clancy a george macdonald fraser...each offering a similar yet uniquely different take/perspective/ideal

i think macca is underrated often because of the ease and simplicity with which he still manages to be both profound and enlightening...in his very own way

Dylan and McCartney are the two kings in my musical universe. Don t want any of them any different
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Re: Why Maccas lyrics are underrated.

Postby mr h atom » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:15 pm

yeah..i get that...

yet...i bet there might be a few other singer/songwriters you admire/like/love...

my worry on subjects such as this is that in setting up an absolute idol, no one else cannot compare...

that the level of greatness bestowed is so tall...even just great is at what measure a distant second ?

so, when you state, emphatically, that macca 'ain't no dylan but no one else is either' and that dylan is ' the shakespeare of our time when it comes to words'

where does that leave another artist, such as macca...far distant second, never able to reach ??

just musing on what the context of it all is...

:-D 'course...you're wrong, anyway...laz is the greatest songwriter of our times, no :wink:
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Re: Why Maccas lyrics are underrated.

Postby mhnso » Tue Nov 19, 2013 5:34 pm

mr h atom wrote:yeah..i get that...

yet...i bet there might be a few other singer/songwriters you admire/like/love...

my worry on subjects such as this is that in setting up an absolute idol, no one else cannot compare...

that the level of greatness bestowed is so tall...even just great is at what measure a distant second ?

so, when you state, emphatically, that macca 'ain't no dylan but no one else is either' and that dylan is ' the shakespeare of our time when it comes to words'

where does that leave another artist, such as macca...far distant second, never able to reach ??

just musing on what the context of it all is...

:-D 'course...you're Bip Bop
Smile Away
(Paul & Linda McCartney cover)
Mumbo
Give Ireland Back to the Irish
1882
(Paul McCartney song)
I Would Only Smile
(Denny Laine song)
Blue Moon of Kentucky
(Bill Monroe and The Bluegrass Boys cover)
The Mess
Best Friend
(Paul McCartney song)
Soily
I Am Your Singer
Henry's Blues
(Henry McCullough song)
Say You Don't Mind
(Denny Laine song)
Seaside Woman
(Suzy and the Red Stripes cover)
Wild Life
My Love
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Maybe I'm Amazed
(Paul McCartney song)
Hi, Hi, Hi
Long Tall Sally
(Little Richard cover)
Edit setlist songs  , anyway...laz is the greatest songwriter of our times, no :wink:

What I meant was that noone within the rockword writes lyrics with the scope and depth of Dylan. But hardly any songwriter/composer with the melodic flair and skill like McCartney. Brian Wilson at his best perhaps. With that said there are many artists, Singer-songwriters that are great. But not that great
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Re: Why Maccas lyrics are underrated.

Postby ComeOnBrotha » Tue Nov 19, 2013 9:25 pm

mhnso wrote:Through the years I guess the thing Macca has gotten most panned for are his lyrics. Partly he is to blame himself because he has written some below standard lyrics. Of course he ain t Bob Dylan but no one else is either- Dylan is the Shakespeare of our time when it comes to words.
With that said I think Macca is vastly underrated as a lyricist - why is that?
1. He is he man behind some of the -globally most well known and loved songs ever written. Dare I mention Yesterday, Hey Jude, Eleanor Rigby or Blackbird. The words of these songs- and others are so wellknown that any people on the street if asked could recite parts of them. That my friends is called communication and those words(not only the music) has communicated with billions of people for decades. There is a deep relevance in these songs that makes each and everyone correspond to them. Genius is another way to describe this.
2. Macca is-when he puts his mind to it-very good when it comes to playing with words. All his career is full of examples of this. English gardens and mr Bellamey are recent examples.Maxwell silver hammer, Cmoon and Obladi Oblada some older ones
3. When he want s to he can be very honest in his songs - listen to Scared for proof. Or Every night ..or Maybe IM amazed...or little Willow or.....'
4. He can be a great storyteller. How about Penny Lane, On my way to work
5. He can sometimes be a master of metaphors. Tug of war, Wanderlust, Alligator or you never give me my money, Band on the Run are some examples
6. He can sometimes write lyrics with double meaning that create something mysterious. Vanity Fair and Hosannah two prime examples
7. He has never bothered about being "cool" or hip when it comes to lyrics. That s why many of his songs are so timeless-he actually dares to be sentimental and sometimes go over the top. In that way Paul is a very brave artist
There are more examples and I would without problems create a list of at leads 50 songs Macca has written that-besides the music has good to great lyrics.
Of course it s also easy to find examples of the opposite but generally speaking the "Macca makes good music but can t write good lyrics" is nothing but b-t. IMHO of course


You nailed it.
I love that Paul is so eclectic and is fearless in his writing. As you mentioned in the thread that shall remain nameless, he has a great sense for lyrics that fit the music. The lyrics on Chaos come to mind. There was a certain mood on that great album where the lyrics and music fit together beautifully. English Tea is a great example with both music and lyrics whimsical. At the Mercy is somber, yet powerful. The lyrics on New are phenomenal. Early Days is a timeless classic, with Paul speaking as an old man looking back on his youth, a bit cranky with those who have tried to rewrite history. Just perfect. The music is always more important than the lyric, IMO. You can have a hit song with a catchy tune, but it's tougher to have the same with a clever lyric and a sub-par tune. But when you achieve both, you end up with greatness. Paul has achieved a lot of greatness with the songs he has written because he is great a both, end of story.

For me it is not necessary for lyrics to be "clever". They just need to be genuine.
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Re: Why Maccas lyrics are underrated.

Postby Lazarus_2 » Tue Nov 19, 2013 11:47 pm

I disagree. If they were underrated. Obama would not have probably had that thingy in the white house with him. If anything overrated by many.
Just my opinion of course. But everyone's is just an opinion really when it comes to this stuff.
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Re: Why Maccas lyrics are underrated.

Postby mr h atom » Wed Nov 20, 2013 12:01 am

:-O ...wha..????!??

ah, laz...a deeper hole you dig, yes
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Re: Why Maccas lyrics are underrated.

Postby mhnso » Wed Nov 20, 2013 1:54 am

Lazarus_2 wrote:I disagree. If they were underrated. Obama would not have probably had that thingy in the white house with him. If anything overrated by many.
Just my opinion of course. But everyone's is just an opinion really when it comes to this stuff.

I must say your argumentation moves in mysterious circles. I mean -Obama and the White House was because of the award for songwriting. What I said was that within that area Pauls has been fairly critized for his way of wrtiting lyrics. That my friend Laz -is a fact-for everyone-who likes me have been following Maccas works for five decades.
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Re: Why Maccas lyrics are underrated.

Postby garrystanton » Wed Nov 20, 2013 7:11 am

Hi all

I find this a really interesting topic. If we're being entirely (or even just a wee bit) objective, its easy to find less than stellar examples of Paul's lyric writing:
Average Person, So Bad, quite a few of the early Beatles songs (however, this is excusable on the grounds that their movement was about the music and the Beatles
were young and breaking new ground); a lot of the early to mid-eighties stuff shows little effort and even less inspiration, although there are always exceptions with Paul...

What else? Some of the writing on Driving Rain and Chaos is facile and not very well thought out....

however...

This is the man who, for a secondary lyrical talent (there is no doubt that Paul Simon, Dylan and Lennon are better lyricists)
came up with the elegiac Eleanor Rigby, the technicolour of Penny Lane, the allegorical Fool of the Hill, the simple but profound Let it Be.
How about Hey Jude, a non-specific lyrical journey which still manages to encompass a stunning universality of meaning and feel. Why Don't we do it in the Road is
not even a lyric, but is so much of its time that it survives intact. I think Helter Skelter is a good lyric- dualistic, not confined to easy interpretation.

Even when Paul is being reductive and lyrically honest, he can still write Maybe I'm Amazed, one of the finest love songs
ever written (yes, Rolling Stone got that SO wrong)...

Yes, Paul's towering talent is most often concerned with the melody, the arrangements, the production. Of course, he ain't no Dylan, or Neil Young,
or even Lennon. Paul could never have come up with the verses in A Day in the Life, Walrus, or Strawberry Fields, or Maggie's Farm, Born to Run... you get the gist.

The point is: many songwriters will toil for decades and not have a sniff of the melodic (and sometimes lyrical) genius of Sir Macca. He's not perfect- he can be lyrically
lazy, whimsical. But I say he's earned the right to do pretty much whatever the **** he likes!
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