Inside the mind of a writer

Today, opening a new mini-series on People of Inspiration, I offer my first choice: Paul McCartney.

Sir Paul McCartney in Mexico show Fri 11 May 2012

Sir Paul McCartney in Mexico show Fri 11 May 2012

He was my childhood hero. I first fell for him when a schoolfriend put a souvenir programme into my hands and I saw a picture of him singing “Yesterday” at the Royal Variety Command Performance, a few years after that performance.

Keeper of Dreams. This is a phrase which sprung into my mind in 2010 while I sat in the audience at the Cardiff Millennium Stadium watching Paul in his Up and Coming Tour. 

I watched and listened to him with my husband and teenage daughter and son, and all of us were captivated by his music and charisma. 

Paul has reinvented himself a number of times – a gift possessed by all those who persist in a career in the public eye for forty or more years. But to me he is poet, minstrel, storyteller, observer and interpreter of life, all in one.

His fellow Beatles mocked him for the sentimentality of “Yesterday” – yet for millions this song came to define the point where the establishment’s narrow presumptions about the Beatles radically shifted.

The appeal of Paul McCartney isn’t solely in his skill as a showman, and his personal qualities, but in the effect his words and music have on those who hear them.  Profound, moving, haunting, cryptic, puzzling, bizarre, touching, quirky, intriguing, beguiling, poignant, playful –  every mood and emotion can be found among his songs.

Although he is an international rock star and pop icon he makes his audience feel as if they’re in the pub with him having a singalong. Synthesis of special and ordinary – no-one can doubt that who has visited his mid-terrace childhood home at Forthlin Road in Liverpool – yet international superstar, you’re sharing a seat with him on the bus at Penny Lane, you’re standing with him looking down at Eleanor Rigby’s grave, you’re beside him on the Mull of Kintyre gazing over to Ireland.

How do you feel about Sir Paul? Have you been to his concerts?  Have you admired him for years, or are you a new fan? I’d love to have your comments!


Comments on: "People of Inspiration Part 1 – Paul McCartney, Muse, Minstrel and Keeper of Dreams" (10)

  1. […] young, innocent, and naive they were, aged in their early twenties: cheeky and endearing. As Paul McCartney puts it, “At the beginning it was all very simple. By the end it had become very […]

  2. I like him too and always have through the decades of music….Diane

    • Thank you for your comment – I find it inspirational to see the creativity and the energy of someone like Sir Paul endure through several decades, and to see how he picks up new audiences with every generation and carries them with him.

  3. Reblogged this on MMM… Meditation, Mental health, Mindful crochet and commented:
    Here’s a post about my favourite Beatle. – so many of his songs can raise a smile, lift my heart, or give food for thought.

  4. lovely post, Sheila. I’ve been a fan of Paul’s for years. He was my favourite Beatle from the first. Loved Yesterday, Elinor Rigby, – and then with Wings – we had a tape we’d play on holiday journeys – such simple lyrics, but a delight to listen to and sing along with.
    Thanks for this, and the memories, beautifully written.

    • Thank you – another thing I love about Paul’s music is the enduring fascination of the words; we play the CD “Love” quite a lot at home and my teenagers often ask me, “Why did he write those words?” “What what was he saying in that song?” as if I am the fount of all knowledge about McCartney and Leonnon/McCartney songs! And quite often I do know the answer because I’ve read it somewhere. One thing that intrigued me was to learn that Paul only acknowledged to himself the true meaning/inspiration for “Yesterday” decades later – he realised it was about his mother, and how he had felt at the age of 14 when she died.

      • Thanks for that info. Some of his words are so simple, yet so profound. I guess it’s the same for all us writers – sometimes they must come from somewhere in the subconscious – or the Spirit, and we don’t realise the full significance until later.

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