McCartney: A Life in Lyrics

iHeartPodcasts and Pushkin Industries

McCartney: A Life in Lyrics offers listeners the opportunity to sit in on conversations between Paul McCartney and poet Paul Muldoon dissecting the people, experiences, and art that inspired McCartney’s songwriting. These conversations were held during the past several years as the two collaborated on the award winning book, “The Lyrics: 1965 to Present.” Over two seasons and 24 episodes of “McCartney: A Life in Lyrics”,you’ll hear a combination master class, memoir, and improvised journey with one of the most beloved figures in popular music. Each episode focuses on one song from McCartney’s iconic catalog – spanning early Beatles through his solo work. Season 2 premieres on February 7th.

“McCartney: A Life in Lyrics” is a co-production between iHeart Media, MPL and Pushkin Industries.

Cover Portrait © 1967 Paul McCartney / Photographer: Linda McCartney

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Our Editor's Take

McCartney: A Life in Lyrics is a podcast about Paul McCartney and his songwriting. This show may interest fans of The Beatles and McCartney's solo work. Episodes consist of discussions between poet Paul Muldoon and the famous Beatle. These conversations were also featured in a book by the same name. The two have more than first names in common. Muldoon appreciates song lyrics, while McCartney admires poetry.

The first podcast episode concerns the song "Eleanor Rigby." McCartney explains that beat poet Allen Ginsberg enjoyed the song. He says Ginsberg lauded the lyrics as great poetry. As the episode begins, the song's mournful string quartet introduction plays. Beatles fans may also be curious about the story of the song "Let It Be." Some might think that "Mother Mary" refers to a Christian figure. This was not McCartney's intent. His mother, Mary, passed away when he was a teenager. In a dream McCartney had when the Beatles were breaking up, she advised him to accept her death. He doesn't mind that some people see religious connotations. He mentions gospel choirs that perform the song today.

McCartney says that interviewers often asked when he would write his autobiography. In a way, he already had. In telling the story of each song, McCartney relates the moments of his life. One podcast episode begins with a memorable sound clip. Sportscaster Howard Cosell announces that someone has shot John Lennon. Less than a year after Lennon's death, McCartney wrote the song "Here Today" in tribute to his friend. He released it on the 1982 album Tug of War with his band Wings. When talking to Muldoon, he calls it a love song to his friend.

There are also podcast episodes on McCartney's post-Beatles work. When talking about "Live and Let Die," he recalls collaborating on the song with the Beatles record producer George Martin. The song became part of the soundtrack for the James Bond movie. Yet despite McCartney's fame, the producers initially wanted him to simply write a theme song for a female singer. Instead, Live and Let Die became the first Bond film to feature a rock song in the title.

All episodes of McCartney: A Life in Lyrics run for about 20 minutes. Each one focuses on one of McCartney's most famous songs.

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Season 2

Season 1