Editing Paul McCartney’s autobiography is a similar process to Beatles songwriting sessions, according to Northern Ireland poet Paul Muldoon
Pulitzer Prize-winning North Irish poet Paul Muldoon, who edited Sir Paul McCartney’s lyrical memoir, compared the book’s creative process to the legendary Beatles songwriting sessions in the afternoon.
The Co Armagh man and contemporary of the late Seamus Heaney, was enlisted by McCartney to work on his 900-page volume The Lyrics, a “self-portrait in 154 songs”, tracing the 78-year childhood career to the Beatles.
The book will cover “the circumstances in which the songs were written, the people and places that inspired them and what (McCartney) thinks of them now”.
Muldoon, a former Oxford poetry professor and fan of ’60s pop, has met the former Beatle on several occasions to discuss the book’s content and the writing process.
“Sir Paul and I met regularly for five years for two or three hour sessions where we talked very intensively about the context of half a dozen songs,” Muldoon said.
“In a strange way, our process mimicked the afternoon sessions he had with John Lennon when they were writing for The Beatles. We were determined to never leave the room without something interesting. “
Muldoon described McCartney as “a major literary figure” and a poet.
“He’s one of the most dynamic and optimistic people I know, but his general demeanor shouldn’t suggest he’s anything other than a deep thinker,” Muldoon said.
“He takes a long and careful look at all aspects of life and I think readers old and new will be struck by a book that shows that side of him. He will come out of this book as a major literary figure.
“His glimpses of his artistic process confirm a notion we had only guessed at: that Paul McCartney is a major literary figure who draws inspiration from and extends the long tradition of poetry in English. “
Muldoon also revealed that McCartney played a prank on him with a phone call, posing as then-US President Donald Trump.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today program, the poet said he received a call from Trump in 2016, inviting him to be his “poetry czar”, but that he was actually the Beatles legend masquerading as the president.
“Paul McCartney is a very serious person, but he is far from being a solemn person. He believes a lot in fun, ”Muldoon said.
“It’s quite clear in his catalog, if you can describe it that way. He is more inclined to see the bright side and be happy, rather than anything else.