Paul McCartney, as a member of the Beatles, wrote the lyrics "Will you still need me / Will you still feed me / When I'm sixty-four?" It's been years since Macca turned 64, but we definitely still need his music. In his honor, here is Ultimate Classic Rock's list of the Top 10 Paul McCartney Beatles Lyrics:
'Yesterday'"Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be"
It's obvious that Paul McCartney wrote some incredible lyrics when a line from 'Yesterday,' the tune voted by many as the top pop song of the 20th century, comes in at No. 10 on our list. "Suddenly, I'm not half the man I used to be" is followed by "There's a shadow hanging over me," making it a haunting verse in this beautiful song about the emptiness that comes with lost love.
Here's a simple but beautiful lyric from Macca. Like 'Yesterday,' the tune 'I'll Follow the Sun' is a melancholy love song. Instead of being about a lost love, it's about a current relationship coming to an end. With the line 'Tomorrow may rain, so I'll follow the sun," McCartney is essentially saying that the immediate aftermath of the break-up may be rough, but the future will be bright.
What better way to pen a romantic ode to a young woman than by throwing a little French into the lyrics? The English translation of the line, "These are words that go together well," appears in the Grammy-winning song's first verse. Jan Vaughan, an associate of McCartney who came up with phrase 'Michelle, my belle,' helped Macca out with the proper translation of the line into the French.
'Here, There and Everywhere'
"Changing my life with a wave of her hand"
This line is a highlight from yet another beautiful ballad by McCartney. A lyric like "Changing my life with a wave of her hand" reminds us that every little gesture can be significant when you are deeply in love. It's been said that John Lennon told McCartney that 'Here, There and Everywhere' was "the best tune" on 'Revolver.' That's some serious praise from another legendary songwriter.
McCartney has revealed that he wrote 'Helter Skelter' after reading an interview in which Pete Townshend called 'I Can See for Miles' the "loudest, rawest, dirtiest song" recorded by the Who. Macca set out to top the intensity of the Who's track with 'Helter Skelter,' and the lyric "I'm coming down fast, but I'm miles above you" seems like a direct response to Townshend.
McCartney says 'The Fool on the Hill' was inspired in part by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, a guru to the Beatles in the late 60s. Macca felt the spiritual leader was misunderstood, and that the song describes someone who isn't taken seriously. The line "The man of a thousand voices talking perfectly loud" is followed by "But nobody ever hears him," truly an eloquent contradiction.
A signature McCartney tune, 'Let It Be' was inspired by a dream he had about his mother, who passed away from cancer when he was 14. She visited him in a dream when he was in the Beatles, and she inspired the song's "Mother Mary" reference. The line "And in my hour of darkness, she is standing right in front of me" represents the theme of finding hope in troubled times.
McCartney has explained in recent interviews that he wrote 'Blackbird' as a metaphor about the civil rights struggle in America during the late '60s. He divulged that the line "Take these broken wings and learn to fly" was symbolic of the obstacles that black people had to overcome at the time. The lyric later reappeared in the 1985 No. 1 hit 'Broken Wings' by the band Mr. Mister.
Macca wrote 'Hey Jude,' which he originally titled 'Hey Jules,' for John Lennon's son Julian when his parents were going through a divorce. The song has several memorable lines, but the lyric "It's a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder" is particularly intriguing. It's a clever way of telling someone not to shut people out during difficult times.
As the climax of the multi-song medley that takes up most of Side 2 of 'Abbey Road,' the tune 'The End' contains very few words, but its last line is perhaps McCartney's most thought-provoking lyric. Inspired by the prose of WIlliam Shakespeare, Macca wrote "The love you take is equal to the love you make," a compelling line that closes out the last song the Beatles ever recorded.
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