Home

McCartney's Best "Meaningful Lyric" Songs

14775 views

130 posts

Last post 08/09/2020

Posted by SusyLuvsPaul

      Pages

      Original post

      A while back there was a "worse lyrics" thread here that gathered many replies with examples. I personally had no problem with the subject. A a huge McCartney fan, I'm generally more of a melody, music guy first and that is why I love so many Macca songs. Some of Paul's "daft" lyrics don't bother me if I like the melody, beat, vocal, instrumentation etc. of the song. A perfect example is "The Other Me". I like the song a lot in general so the "dustbin lid" line doesn't ruin the song for me at all. Generally, I don't get "too serious" with the lyrics.

      One reason that Mr. McCartney is so prolific is that he writes many songs where he seemingly takes words out of the thin air that just fit well with the music he is creating. A good example is "The World Tonight" from Flaming Pie. Paul describes the song as just "gathering thoughts". Other examples would be great songs like Jet or 1985 from Band on the Run. Listeners have little idea of what the song is about but it is still very enjoyable to listen or sing. That is generally what the "Pop Genre" is all about and Paul is one of the greatest in Pop over the last 50 plus years.

      Conversely, Paul's Catalog is also filled with beautiful melodies coupled with great "meaningful" lyrics. Many of these songs could be categorized in the ACOUSTIC GENRE. The lyrics seem to match the melody perfectly but this time you know what what he means. Many of his greatest songs occurred when he was able to accomplish this feat on the guitar. Think of songs like Yesterday or Here There and Everywhere. They can also be piano based songs (think Let It Be or Hey Jude).

      With this thought in mind, I thought I would start a thread where the lyrics to a McCartney song are not only good to great but they really got to you. You can respond in different ways:

      *just list the song
      *take a few of your favorite lines from the song
      *put down the entire song's lyrics

      A great reference is this Website. Just go to the main page's Music Tab at the top and go to songs. That will give you complete lyrics to many Paul songs.

      My first example song is:

      PUT IT THERE (Flowers in the Dirt)

      One of my all time favorite Paul songs. While it is a Father/Son song, it can just as easily be interpreted as a Father/Daughter song or a Mother to son or daughter song. The obvious main point of the song is that the parent is telling their child (or grown son/daughter) that they can come to them no matter how heavy their problem is. The parent is saying that they are always there to "help" them. Such a simple but great song.

      LYRIC (excerpts)

      Give me your hand, I'd like to shake it
      I want to show you I'm your friend
      You'll understand if I can make it clear
      It's all that matters in the end

      Put it There if it weighs a ton
      That's what a father said to his young son
      I don't care if it weighs a ton
      As Long as you and I are here, put it there

      If There's a fight, I'd like to fix it
      I hate to see things go so wrong
      The Darkest Night and all it its mixed emotion
      Is getting Lighter sing along

      PLEASE ADD A SONG THAT YOU LOVE BECAUSE THE LYRICS ARE JUST AS GOOD AS THE MELODY. THANKS

        He has so many, but two instantly come to mind. Fool On The Hill and The End.

          She's Leaving Home
          For No One
          Beautiful Night
          No More Lonely Nights

          So many!

            For No One
            Wanderlust (maybe it's just because I love the melody so much)
            Distractions
            Beautiful Night

              I'm Looking Through You is lyrical genius. One of the best breakup songs. A scathing attack on Jane.

                "Fine Line" tops my list.

                  *Silly Love Songs (some people want to fill the world with silly love songs, and whats wrong with that, I like to know, cuz' here I go again!) Paul basically giving the finger to his critics.

                  *Too Many People (too many hungry people losing weight) This line hit me like a ton of bricks in 1971.

                  *Average Person ('said she worked the summer crowd at seasides, winter time she ran away and hid; he looked into the corners of his memory, searching for a picture of the fight') Just two insightful lines to a song I have always loved.

                    JoeySmith:I'm Looking Through You is lyrical genius. One of the best breakup songs. A scathing attack on Jane.

                    Breakup? The song came out in 1965 and they didn't break up until July 1968!
                    He also wrote We Can Work It Out, You Won't See Me and What You're Doing about their often-stormy relationship.

                      Nancy R:She's Leaving Home
                      For No One
                      Beautiful Night
                      No More Lonely Nights

                      So many!

                      __________________________________________________________

                      "For No One" is one of Macca's greatest songs of all time. The lyrics are so universal about sadness in losing someone you love. Here are some of the lines:

                      For No One (from Revolver)

                      Your day breaks
                      Your mind aches
                      You find that all the words of kindness linger on
                      When she no longer needs you

                      She wakes up
                      She makes up
                      She takes her time and doesn't feel she has to hurry
                      She no longer needs you

                      And in her eyes you see nothing
                      No sign of love behind the tears cried for no one
                      A love that should have lasted years
                      ___________________________________________
                      Paul was definitely at a Beatles peak during this period when it comes to song writing. Can you imagine that on Revolver, Paul's songs included:

                      Eleanor Rigby
                      For No One
                      Here There and Everywhere

                      One of the best Paul Mccartney shows I personally ever saw was 2005 in Philadelphia. I believe it was 2005 but I could be mistaken. I would have to look it up. At that particular show I heard for the 1st time live "For No One". That was a thrill. When I saw Paul's new setlist for this current tour, I was hoping he would bring it back. Not sure if he considered it but vocally I believe it would be much easier than many of the songs he is currently doing.

                        Nancy R:She's Leaving Home
                        For No One
                        Beautiful Night
                        No More Lonely Nights

                        So many!

                        ______________________________________________________

                        Nancy,
                        Beautiful Night is also one of my favorite Paul Solo songs of all time. It combines a beautiful melody with great lyrics in my opinion. It's basically a love song written for Linda but it does take on a definite sad tone in the middle. Here are some of the lyrics:

                        Beautiful Night excerpts (from Flaming Pie)

                        Some Boat's on the Ocean
                        We're here in this room
                        Seems to me the perfect way to spend an afternoon
                        We can look for castles, pretty castles in the sky
                        No more wondering, wondering why

                        Things can go wrong, things can go right
                        Things can go bump in the dead of the night
                        So let me be there, let me be there
                        Let me be there with you in the dead of the night
                        ______________________________________________________

                        I know Paul had started writing this song in the middle 80's and then picked it up again for the Flaming Pie sessions. I did wonder if that last excerpt above was written (and inspired) because of the problems Linda was having during Flaming Pie with her Lung Cancer. Anyway, such a great song for both melody and lyrics. Another song I wished that Paul had done live in 2002 or 2005. I do understand that it might have been too tough emotionally for him to sing it later. Today, I'm not sure that Paul could handle the vocals now.

                          Don't know why you hang around my door/
                          I don't live here anymore.
                          (Little Lamb Dragonfly)

                          Don't ask me where I found that picture on the wall/
                          how much it cost or what it's worth
                          (Somedays)

                            My favourite line from Beautiful Night:

                            "You and me together
                            Nothing feels so good
                            Even if I get a medal from my local neighborhood
                            I won't need a castle, they've got castles in Versailles"

                            and I love this from Early Days, unusually direct lines from Paul, I love it!

                            "They can't take it from me, if they tried
                            I lived through those early days
                            So many times I had to change the pain to laughter
                            Just to keep from getting crazed"

                            For No One: his best lyrics ever!

                              I've got too much on my mind
                              I think of everything to be discovered
                              I hope there's something to find

                              Not something I expected from a 64 year old. The same song also has

                              I've got too much on my plate
                              Don't have no time to be a decent lover

                              Also not something I expected from a 64 year old.

                                Danish Macca:My favourite line from Beautiful Night:

                                "You and me together
                                Nothing feels so good
                                Even if I get a medal from my local neighborhood
                                I won't need a castle, they've got castles in Versailles"

                                and I love this from Early Days, unusually direct lines from Paul, I love it!

                                "They can't take it from me, if they tried
                                I lived through those early days
                                So many times I had to change the pain to laughter
                                Just to keep from getting crazed"

                                For No One: his best lyrics ever!

                                ________________________________________________________
                                Danish,
                                Great examples of 2 superb Solo Songs.

                                Beautiful Night:

                                While some lyric "purist" might criticized the "local neighborhood" line as being too mundane, I love it too from a humor point of view. It also sounds so perfect with the gorgeous melody.

                                Early Days (from New);

                                Terrific lyrics on a newer Solo song.

                                  Kestrel:Don't know why you hang around my door/
                                  I don't live here anymore.
                                  (Little Lamb Dragonfly)

                                  Don't ask me where I found that picture on the wall/
                                  how much it cost or what it's worth
                                  (Somedays)

                                  ______________________________________________________
                                  Kestrel,
                                  Fantastic examples of 2 great Post Beatle Paul songs.

                                  This is kind of what I had in mind on this thread of showing specific examples of very good lyrics that Paul has written. Critics or people who just don't like Paul in general often point out to songs with they call silly lyrics. They don't point out all the songs that have serious lyrics about sadness, regret, loneliness etc.

                                  Somedays and Little Lamb Dragonfly are great songs...lyrics and music. By the way, where are these 2 songs on Pure McCartney?

                                    B J Conlee:Somedays and Little Lamb Dragonfly are great songs...lyrics and music. By the way, where are these 2 songs on Pure McCartney?

                                    I think maybe those songs would have been considered too introspective for a compilation album built around the concept of ... 'fun'.

                                      Although I'm a huge fan of his music I find his lyrics average however his melodies are very good.

                                        Rockerdude:Although I'm a huge fan of his music I find his lyrics average however his melodies are very good.

                                        ________________________________________________
                                        Rockerdude,
                                        I appreciate your opinion. As I stated in my introductory post, one reason that Paul is so prolific is that among his many talents he is a "Pop" songwriter covering a fusion of genres.
                                        His lyrical songwriting in many of his "pop" songs could be called spontaneous where words are improvised based on the melodies and music he is creating. From an academic point of view I would agree with you that on many songs his lyrics are average. Some of his average lyrics (thinking of a song like Ballroom Dancing where he has the Davey Crockett line) do show a lot of creativity and humor which does come up a lot.

                                        But this thread is based more on example of songs that have good to very good lyrics. When he delves into more serious subjects he can be very good. Not deep on an academicles level but deep at the same time if you get my drift. The Beatles as a whole (even John) wasn't deep from an academia perspective but deep from a real world perspective.

                                        My first example (Put It There) is an example of a song with simple but very good creative lyrics. He has many songs with very good lyrics but many people think of Paul more with songs like Silly Love Song or Let Them In. Unfortunately, some of his greatest songs lyrically were not "hits". The purpose of this thread was to dig out his songs with great lyrics. I'm a music, melody person first so I totally agree with you that his greatest strength is his natural melodic gifts. But as I said, he has written a good number of songs with very good lyrics.

                                          Kestrel:

                                          B J Conlee:Somedays and Little Lamb Dragonfly are great songs...lyrics and music. By the way, where are these 2 songs on Pure McCartney?

                                          I think maybe those songs would have been considered too introspective for a compilation album built around the concept of ... 'fun'.

                                          ____________________________________________________
                                          Kestrel,
                                          Excellent point and I think you are right. Personally I would have preferred a Pure McCartney Compilation that contained more introspective songs than some of the tracks included.

                                            HaileyMcComet:I've got too much on my mind
                                            I think of everything to be discovered
                                            I hope there's something to find

                                            Not something I expected from a 64 year old. The same song also has

                                            I've got too much on my plate
                                            Don't have no time to be a decent lover

                                            Also not something I expected from a 64 year old.

                                            ____________________________________________________
                                            Hailey,
                                            Ever Present Past is one of my favorites on Memory Almost Full. I am going to look at the whole song in the Music section of this website. I remember the lines you reference above and I always thought they were very clever and creative from an older person's perspective. From your reply I now want to look at the whole song. THANKS

                                            PS My son in law's family is from Hong Kong and my daughter visited there with him recently. She loved the experience.

                                              Pages