Harmonica_header

Motorpsycho Nightmare

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

-7 -7 -7 -7-7 -7 -7
I pounded on a farmhouse
6 6 6 6 6 6 -7
Lookin’ for a place to stay
-7-7 -7-7 -7-7 -7 6
I was mighty, mighty tired
6 6 -7 6 -6 -6 6
I had come a long, long way
6 6 -7 -7 -7 -7
I said, “Hey, hey, in there
-7 -7 -7-7-7-7 -7
Is there anybody home ?
-7 -7 -7-7 -7 -7 -7
I was standin’ on the steps
-7 6 -6 -6 6
Feelin’ most alone
6 -7 -7 -7 -7-7
Well, out comes a farmer
-7 -7 -7 -7 -7 -7 -7 -8
He must have thought that I was nuts
-8 -8 -8-8-8-8 -8 -8 -8
He immediately looked at me
-7 -7 6 -7 6-6 -6 6
And stuck a gun into my guts

I fell down
To my bended knees
Saying, “I dig farmers
Don’t shoot me please”
He cocked his rifle
And began to shout
“You’re that travelin’ salesman
That I have heard about”v I said, “No ! No ! No !
I’m a doctor and it’s true
I’m a clean-cut kid
And I been to college too”.

Then in comes his daughter
Whose name was Rita
She looked like she stepped out of
La Dolce Vita
I immediately tried to cool it
With her dad
And told him what a
Nice, pretty farm he had
He said, “What do doctors
Know about farms, pray tell ?”
I said, “I was born
At the bottom of a wishing well”.

Well, by the dirt ‘neath my nails
I guess he knew I wouldn’t lie
He said “I guess, you’re tired”
He said, kinds sly
I said, “Yes, ten thousand miles
Today I drove”
He said, “I got a bed for you
Underneath the stove
Just one condition
You got to sleep right now
That you don’t touch my daughter
And in the morning, milk the cow”.

I was sleepin’ like a rat
When I heard something jerkin’
There stood Rita
Lookin’ just like Tony Perkins
She said, “Would you like to take a shower ?
I’ll show you up to the door”
I said, “Oh, no, no
I’ve been through this movie before
I knew I had to split
But I didn’t know how
When she said,
“Would you like to take that shower now ?”

Well, I couldn’t leave
Unless the old man chased me out
‘Cause I’d already promised
That I’d milk his cows
I had to say something
To strike him very weird
So I yelled out
“I like Fidel Castro and his beard”
Rita looked offended
But she got out of the way
As he came charging down the stairs
Sayin’, “What’s that I heard you say ?”

I said, “I like Fidel Castrov I think you heard me right”
And I ducked as he swung
At me with all his might
Rita mumbled something
‘Bout her mother on the hill
As his fist hit the icebox
He said he’s going to kill me
If I don’t get out of the door
In two seconds flat
“Your unpatriotic
Rotten doctor Commie rat”.

Well, he threw a Reader’s Digest
At my head and I did run
I did a somersault
As I seen him get his gun
And chrashed through the window
At a hundred miles an hour
And landed fully blast
In his garden flowers
Rita said, “Come back”
As he started to load
The sun was comin’ up
And I was runnin’ down the road.

Well, I don’t figure I’ll be back
There for a spell
Even though Rita moved away
And got a job in a motel
He still waits for me
Constant on the sky
He wants to turn me in
To the FBI
Me, I romp and stomping
Thankful as a romp
Without freedom of speech
I might be in the swamp.

Lyrics


The Nightmare Before Christmas (intro)

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Listen to the midi first.
I couldnt get the whole song, but here is the intro:

8 9 8 9 8 9 -9 -10 10 -10
5 6 4 5 5 6 -6 -7 7 -7
4 5 5 6 -6 7 7 6 5 6 5 6 4

Lyrics


Welcome To My Nightmare

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

WELCOME TO MY NIGHTMARE
By:Alice Cooper & Dick Wagner
Key: G

6 -5 6 6 7 6
Wel-come to my night-mare
-467-6*
-5 6 -5 6 6 -7 7
I think you’re gon-na like it,
-3-5-6*6
-5 6 -5 6 6 7
I think you’re gon-na feel
-5 6 -4
You be-long,
-5 6 6 -5 6 7 6
A noc-tur-nal va-ca-tion,
-5 6 -5 6 -5 6 -7 7
Un-nec-es-sar-y se-da-tion,
-5 6 -5 6 6 7
You want to feel at home
6 -5 6 -4
‘Cause you be-long,
6 6-5 7 6 -5 6-3-3*
-5 -4 -5 -5 -5* -4 -4-5676
Wel-come to my night-mare. Woah
6 -5 6 6 7 6
Wel-come to my break-down.
6 6 -5 6 6 -7 7
I hope I did-n’t scare you.
6 6 -5 6 6 7
That’s just the way we are
6 -5 6 -4
When we come down.
-5 6 -5 6 6 7 6
We sweat and laugh and scream here,
6 6 -5 6 6 -7 7
‘Cause life is just a dream here.
6 6 -5 6 6 7
You know in-side you feel
-5 6 -4 6
right at home, here

-5 -4 -5 -5 -5* -4 -4-5676
Wel-come to my break-down. Woah
-5 -5 -4 -5 -5 -5* -4 -4-5676
You’re wel-come to my night-mare, yeah

-5 6 -5 6 6 -7 7
I think you’re gon-na like it,
-3-5-6*6
-5 6 -5 6 6 7
I think you’re gon-na feel
-5 6 -4
You be-long,
-5 6 6 -5 6 7 6
A noc-tur-nal va-ca-tion,
-5 6 -5 6 -5 6 -7 7
Un-nec-es-sar-y se-da-tion,
-5 6 -5 6 6 7
You want to feel at home
6 -5 6 -4
‘Cause you be-long,
6 6-5 7 6 -5 6-3-3*
-5 -4 -5 -5 -5* -4 -4-5676
Wel-come to my night-mare. Woah
6 -5 6 6 7 6
Wel-come to my break-down.
6 6 -5 6 6 -7 7
I hope I did-n’t scare you.
6 6 -5 6 6 7
That’s just the way we are
6 -5 6 -4
When we come down.
-5 6 -5 6 6 7 6
We sweat and laugh and scream here,
6 6 -5 6 6 -7 7
‘Cause life is just a dream here.
6 6 -5 6 6 7
You know in-side you feel
-5 6 -4 6
right at home, here

-5 -4 -5 -5 -5* -4 -4-5676
Wel-come to my break-down. Woah
-5 -5 -4 -5 -5 -5* -4 -4-5676
You’re wel-come to my night-mare, yeah

Lyrics


Sally’s Song (The Nightmare Before Christmas)

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Any suggestions for improvement would be greatly appreciated.

This song is from Disney’s “The Nightmare Before Christmas” and
is sung by Sally (voiced by Catherine O’Hara), enjoy!

5 6 -6 -7 5 6 5 -5

I sense there’s some-thing in the wind

-5 -6 -7 7 -6 -5 -4 5

That seems like tra-ge-dy’s at hand

6 -7 7 -8 6 -6 -7 -6

And though I’d like to stand by him

-6 -7 7 7 -6 -5 -4 5

Can’t shake this fee-ling that I have

-7 -7 7 -8 6 -6 -7 -6

The worst is just a-round the bend

-6 -7 7 7 -7 6 -6 -7 -7 -6

And does he no-tice my fee-lings for him?

7 -6 -5 5 5 -4 5 -5 6 5

And will he see how much he means to me?

5 -4 5 -5 6 5

I think it’s not to be

5 6 -6 -7 5 6 5 -5

What will be-come of my dear friend?

-5 -6 -7 7 -6 -5 -4 5

Where will his ac-tions lead us then?

6 -7 7 -8 6 -6 -7 -6

Al-though I’d like to join the crowd

-6 -7 7 7 -6 -5 -4 5

In their en-thu-si-as-tic cloud

-7 -7 7 -8 6 -6 -7 -6

Try as I may, it doe-sn’t last

-6 -7 7 7 -7 6 -6 -7 -7 -6

And will we e-ver end up to-ge-ther?

7 -6 -5 5 5 -4 5 -5 6 5

No, I think not, it’s ne-ver to be-come

5 -4 5 -5 6 5

For I am not the one

Lyrics


Dick Gautier

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Richard Gautier (October 30, 1931 – January 13, 2017) was an American actor, comedian, singer, and caricaturist. He was known for his television roles as Hymie the Robot in the television series Get Smart, and Robin Hood in the TV comedy series When Things Were Rotten.

Gautier also played Hal, the partner of Stanley Beamish, in the short-lived sitcom series Mister Terrific (1967); and had various voice roles in the 1984 animated Transformers series (including the voice of Rodimus Prime).

Career

Early career

Gautier started his career as a nightclub comic and a singer; he joined ASCAP in 1959 after serving in the United States Navy. In 1960, he portrayed fictional rock ‘n roll star Conrad Birdie in the original Broadway theatre production of Bye Bye Birdie, receiving a Tony Award nomination for his performance. He would later appear with two of his “Birdie” stars in two films – with Kay Medford in Ensign Pulver in 1964, and with Dick Van Dyke in Divorce American Style in 1967.

He appeared in an episode of The Patty Duke Show, “Anywhere I Hang My Horn Is Home”. He portrayed the clumsy robot “Hymie” on TV’s Get Smart. He portrayed a dance instructor in the original TV series Gidget and a French dress designer in the episode “Samantha, the Dressmaker” from the second season of the TV situation comedy Bewitched. He portrayed Jerry Standish in the ‘divorce comedy’ Here We Go Again, a short-lived (13 episodes; January 1973 to April 1973) sitcom on ABC. In 1974, he played sportscaster Ed Cavanaugh on The Mary Tyler Moore Show in the season four episode, “Hi There, Sports Fans”, and a murdered blackmailer in the season one The Rockford Files episode “The Countess”. In 1978, he appeared as Harriman in the episode “The Intimate Friends of Janet Wilde” in the NBC crime drama series The Eddie Capra Mysteries. He also portrayed a magician, Cagliostro, in the Wonder Woman TV series episode “Diana’s Disappearing Act” starring Lynda Carter. He also appeared on Charlie’s Angels in season 4 in the episode “Million Dollar Homes”

As a game show panelist

During the 1970s and 1980s, Gautier was a frequent game show panelist, appearing on Match Game, Family Feud, Tattletales, Showoffs, You Don’t Say!, Liar’s Club, Password Plus, Body Language, Super Password, Win, Lose or Draw, and the TV version of Can You Top This?

Batman

In 1973, when Burt Ward and Yvonne Craig reprised their Batman roles (as Robin and Batgirl respectively) for a TV public service announcement about equal pay for women, Adam West, who was trying to distance himself from the Batman role at the time, declined to participate. Gautier filled in for West as Batman on this occasion.

Voice-over roles

Gautier performed several voice-over roles in animation, including Rodimus Prime in the third season of The Transformers animated series from 1986–1987, as well as Serpentor in the G.I. Joe series, Louis from the 1986 cartoon Foofur, Spike the Dog in Tom & Jerry Kids, some additional voices in Hanna-Barbera’s The New Yogi Bear Show, Wooly Smurf in The Smurfs, several voices for Inhumanoids, including Crygen and Pyre and their combined form Magnakor.

Caricatures of celebrities

Gautier was known for his caricatures of celebrities, and wrote several instructional books on caricature, drawing, and cartooning.

Other

Gautier attended TFcon 2013 as a guest where he reprised his role as Rodimus Prime from the Transformers series for a voice play.

Personal life

Gautier was first married to Beverly J. Gerber, ending in divorce after they had three children together. He was divorced from his second wife, actress Barbara Stuart, and his final marriage was to Tess Hightower, a psychologist. He has three children, Chrissie, Randy and Denise, six grandchildren as well as stepdaughter, Jennifer and her two children.

Gautier died January 13, 2017 at an assisted living facility in Arcadia, California, following a long illness.

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1964 Ensign Pulver Stefanowski
1965 Get Smart Hymie The Robot
1967 Divorce American Style Larry Strickland
1968 Maryjane Bearded prisoner Uncredited
1972 Wild in the Sky Diver
1975 The Manchu Eagle Murder Caper Mystery Oscar Cornell
1975 When Things Were Rotten Robin Hood 13 episodes
1977 Fun with Dick and Jane Dr. Will
1977 The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries:The Mystery of the Flying Courier Tail Gunner
1977 Billy Jack Goes to Washington Gov. Hubert Hopper
1981 Happy Days Dr. Ludlow Welcome to My Nightmare, Season 8,episode 11
1986 G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero Serpentor Voice
1986 GoBots: Battle of the Rock Lords Brimstone / Bugsie / Klaws / Narlihog Voice
1987 G.I. Joe: The Movie Serpentor Voice
1988 Glitch! Julius Lazar
1992 The Naked Truth The Bartender
1992 Garfield and Friends Skip Yenta Guest star/Voice

Lyrics


Paul McCartney

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Sir James Paul McCartney CH MBE (born 18 June 1942) is an English singer, songwriter, musician, and record and film producer who gained worldwide fame as co-lead vocalist and bassist for the Beatles. His songwriting partnership with John Lennon remains the most successful in history.[4] After the group disbanded in 1970, he pursued a solo career and formed the band Wings with his first wife, Linda, and Denny Laine.

A self-taught musician, McCartney is proficient on bass, guitar, keyboards, and drums. He is known for his melodic approach to bass-playing (mainly playing with a plectrum), his versatile and wide tenor vocal range (spanning over four octaves), and his eclecticism (exploring styles ranging from pre-rock and roll pop to classical and electronica). McCartney began his career as a member of the Quarrymen in 1957, which evolved into the Beatles in 1960. Starting with the 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, he gradually became the Beatles’ de facto leader, providing the creative impetus for most of their music and film projects. His Beatles songs “And I Love Her” (1964), “Yesterday” (1965), “Eleanor Rigby” (1966) and “Blackbird” (1968) rank among the most covered songs in history.[5][6]

In 1970, McCartney debuted as a solo artist with the album McCartney. Throughout the 1970s, he led Wings, one of the most successful bands of the decade, with more than a dozen international top 10 singles and albums. McCartney resumed his solo career in 1980. Since 1989, he has toured consistently as a solo artist. In 1993, he formed the music duo the Fireman with Youth of Killing Joke. Beyond music, he has taken part in projects to promote international charities related to such subjects as animal rights, seal hunting, land mines, vegetarianism, poverty, and music education.

McCartney is one of the most successful composers and performers of all time. He has written or co-written 32 songs that have reached No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, and as of 2009, had sales of 25.5 million RIAA-certified units in the United States. His honours include two inductions into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (as a member of the Beatles in 1988 and as a solo artist in 1999), 18 Grammy Awards, an appointment as a Member of the Order of the British Empire in 1965, and a knighthood in 1997 for services to music. As of 2020, he is also one of the wealthiest musicians in the world, with an estimated fortune of £800 million.

Early life

James Paul McCartney was born on 18 June 1942 at Walton Hospital in the Walton area of Liverpool, where his mother, Mary Patricia (née Mohin), had qualified to practise as a nurse. His father, James (“Jim”) McCartney, was absent from his son’s birth due to his work as a volunteer firefighter during World War II.[8] McCartney has a younger brother named Michael and a stepsister named Ruth. The children were baptised in their mother’s Catholic faith, even though their father was a former Protestant who had turned agnostic. Religion was not emphasised in the household.[9]

McCartney attended Stockton Wood Road Primary School in Speke from 1947 until 1949, when he transferred to Joseph Williams Junior School in Belle Vale because of overcrowding at Stockton.[10] In 1953, he was one of only three students out of 90 to pass the 11-Plus exam, meaning he could attend the Liverpool Institute, a grammar school rather than a secondary modern school.[11] In 1954, he met schoolmate George Harrison on the bus from his suburban home in Speke. The two quickly became friends; McCartney later admitted: “I tended to talk down to him because he was a year younger.”

Career

1957–1960: The Quarrymen

At the age of fifteen on 6 July 1957, McCartney met John Lennon and his band, the Quarrymen, at the St Peter’s Church Hall fête in Woolton.[26] The Quarrymen played a mix of rock and roll and skiffle, a type of popular music with jazz, blues and folk influences.[27] Soon afterwards, the members of the band invited McCartney to join as a rhythm guitarist, and he formed a close working relationship with Lennon. Harrison joined in 1958 as lead guitarist, followed by Lennon’s art school friend Stuart Sutcliffe on bass, in 1960.[28] By May 1960, the band had tried several names, including Johnny and the Moondogs, Beatals and the Silver Beetles.[29] They adopted the name the Beatles in August 1960 and recruited drummer Pete Best shortly before a five-engagement residency in Hamburg.

1960–1970: The Beatles

In 1961, Sutcliffe left the band and McCartney reluctantly became their bass player.[31] While in Hamburg, they recorded professionally for the first time and were credited as the Beat Brothers, who were the backing band for English singer Tony Sheridan on the single “My Bonnie”.[32] This resulted in attention from Brian Epstein, who was a key figure in their subsequent development and success. He became their manager in January 1962.[33] Ringo Starr replaced Best in August, and the band had their first hit, “Love Me Do”, in October, becoming popular in the UK in 1963, and in the US a year later. The fan hysteria became known as “Beatlemania”, and the press sometimes referred to McCartney as the “cute Beatle”.[34][nb 2] McCartney co-wrote (with Lennon) several of their early hits, including “I Saw Her Standing There”, “She Loves You”, “I Want to Hold Your Hand” (1963) and “Can’t Buy Me Love” (1964).[36]

In August 1965, the Beatles released the McCartney composition “Yesterday”, featuring a string quartet. Included on the Help! LP, the song was the group’s first recorded use of classical music elements and their first recording that involved only a single band member.[37] “Yesterday” became one of the most covered songs in popular music history.[38] Later that year, during recording sessions for the album Rubber Soul, McCartney began to supplant Lennon as the dominant musical force in the band. Musicologist Ian MacDonald wrote, “from [1965] … [McCartney] would be in the ascendant not only as a songwriter, but also as instrumentalist, arranger, producer, and de facto musical director of the Beatles.”[39] Critics described Rubber Soul as a significant advance in the refinement and profundity of the band’s music and lyrics.[40] Considered a high point in the Beatles catalogue, both Lennon and McCartney said they had written the music for the song “In My Life”.[41] McCartney said of the album, “we’d had our cute period, and now it was time to expand.”[42] Recording engineer Norman Smith stated that the Rubber Soul sessions exposed indications of increasing contention within the band: “the clash between John and Paul was becoming obvious … [and] as far as Paul was concerned, George [Harrison] could do no right—Paul was absolutely finicky.”[43]

In 1966, the Beatles released the album Revolver. Featuring sophisticated lyrics, studio experimentation, and an expanded repertoire of musical genres ranging from innovative string arrangements to psychedelic rock, the album marked an artistic leap for the Beatles.[44] The first of three consecutive McCartney A-sides, the single “Paperback Writer” preceded the LP’s release.[45] The Beatles produced a short promotional film for the song, and another for its B-side, “Rain”. The films, described by Harrison as “the forerunner of videos”, aired on The Ed Sullivan Show and Top of the Pops in June 1966.[46] Revolver also included McCartney’s “Eleanor Rigby”, which featured a string octet. According to Gould, the song is “a neoclassical tour de force … a true hybrid, conforming to no recognizable style or genre of song”.[47] Except for some backing vocals, the song included only McCartney’s lead vocal and the strings arranged by producer George Martin.

The band gave their final commercial concert at the end of their 1966 US tour.[50] Later that year, McCartney completed his first musical project independently of the group—a film score for the UK production The Family Way. The score was a collaboration with Martin, who used two McCartney themes to write thirteen variations. The soundtrack failed to chart, but it won McCartney an Ivor Novello Award for Best Instrumental Theme.[51]

Upon the end of the Beatles’ performing career, McCartney sensed unease in the band and wanted them to maintain creative productivity. He pressed them to start a new project, which became Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, widely regarded as rock’s first concept album.[52] McCartney was inspired to create a new persona for the group, to serve as a vehicle for experimentation and to demonstrate to their fans that they had musically matured. He invented the fictional band of the album’s title track.[53] As McCartney explained, “We were fed up with being the Beatles. We really hated that fucking four little mop-top approach. We were not boys we were men … and [we] thought of ourselves as artists rather than just performers.”[54]

Starting in November 1966, the band adopted an experimental attitude during recording sessions for the album.[55] Their recording of “A Day in the Life” required a forty-piece orchestra, which Martin and McCartney took turns conducting.[56] The sessions produced the double A-side single “Strawberry Fields Forever”/”Penny Lane” in February 1967, and the LP followed in June.[35][nb 4] Based on an ink drawing by McCartney, the LP’s cover included a collage designed by pop artists Peter Blake and Jann Haworth, featuring the Beatles in costume as the Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, standing with a host of celebrities.[58] The cover piqued a frenzy of analysis.Epstein’s death in August 1967 created a void, which left the Beatles perplexed and concerned about their future.[61] McCartney stepped in to fill that void and gradually became the de facto leader and business manager of the group that Lennon had once led.[62][dubious – discuss] In his first creative suggestion after this change of leadership, McCartney proposed that the band move forward on their plans to produce a film for television, which was to become Magical Mystery Tour. According to Beatles historian Mark Lewisohn, the project was “an administrative nightmare throughout”.[63] McCartney largely directed the film, which brought the group their first unfavourable critical response.[64] However, the film’s soundtrack was more successful. It was released in the UK as a six-track double extended play disc (EP), and as an identically titled LP in the US, filled out with five songs from the band’s recent singles.[35] The only Capitol compilation later included in the group’s official canon of studio albums, the Magical Mystery Tour LP achieved $8 million in sales within three weeks of its release, higher initial sales than any other Capitol LP up to that point.

The Beatles’ animated film Yellow Submarine, loosely based on the imaginary world evoked by McCartney’s 1966 composition, premiered in July 1968. Though critics admired the film for its visual style, humour and music, the soundtrack album issued six months later received a less enthusiastic response.[66] By late 1968, relations within the band were deteriorating. The tension grew during the recording of their eponymous double album, also known as the “White Album”.[67][nb 5] Matters worsened the following year during the Let It Be sessions, when a camera crew filmed McCartney lecturing the group: “We’ve been very negative since Mr. Epstein passed away … we were always fighting [his] discipline a bit, but it’s silly to fight that discipline if it’s our own”.[69]

In March 1969, McCartney married his first wife, Linda Eastman, and in August, the couple had their first child, Mary, named after his late mother.[70] Abbey Road was the band’s last recorded album, and Martin suggested “a continuously moving piece of music”, urging the group to think symphonically.[71] McCartney agreed, but Lennon did not. They eventually compromised, agreeing to McCartney’s suggestion: an LP featuring individual songs on side one, and a long medley on side two.[71] In October 1969, a rumour surfaced that McCartney had died in a car crash in 1966 and was replaced by a lookalike, but this was quickly refuted when a November Life magazine cover featured him and his family, accompanied by the caption “Paul is still with us”.[72]

McCartney was in the midst of business disagreements with his bandmates when he announced his departure from the group on 10 April 1970.[73] He filed a suit for the band’s formal dissolution on 31 December 1970, and in March 1971 the court appointed a receiver to oversee Apple’s finances. An English court legally dissolved the Beatles’ partnership on 9 January 1975, though sporadic lawsuits against their record company EMI, Klein, and each other persisted until 1989.

1970–1981: Wings

As the Beatles were breaking up in 1969–70, McCartney fell into a depression. His wife helped him pull out of that condition by praising his work as a songwriter and convincing him to continue writing and recording. In her honour, he wrote “Maybe I’m Amazed”, explaining that with the Beatles breaking up, “that was my feeling: Maybe I’m amazed at what’s going on … Maybe I’m a man and maybe you’re the only woman who could ever help me; Baby won’t you help me understand … Maybe I’m amazed at the way you pulled me out of time, hung me on the line, Maybe I’m amazed at the way I really need you.” He added that “every love song I write is for Linda.”[79][80]

In 1970, McCartney continued his musical career with his first solo release, McCartney, a US number-one album. Apart from some vocal contributions from Linda, McCartney is a one-man album, with McCartney providing compositions, instrumentation and vocals.[81][nb 8] In 1971, he collaborated with Linda and drummer Denny Seiwell on a second album, Ram. A UK number one and a US top five, Ram included the co-written US number-one hit single “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”.[83] Later that year, ex-Moody Blues guitarist Denny Laine joined the McCartneys and Seiwell to form the band Wings. McCartney had this to say on the group’s formation: “Wings were always a difficult idea … any group having to follow [the Beatles’] success would have a hard job … I found myself in that very position. However, it was a choice between going on or finishing, and I loved music too much to think of stopping.”[84][nb 9] In September 1971, the McCartneys’ daughter Stella was born, named in honour of Linda’s grandmothers, both of whom were named Stella.[86]

Following the addition of guitarist Henry McCullough, Wings’ first concert tour began in 1972 with a debut performance in front of an audience of seven hundred at the University of Nottingham. Ten more gigs followed as they travelled across the UK in a van during an unannounced tour of universities, during which the band stayed in modest accommodation and received pay in coinage collected from students, while avoiding Beatles songs during their performances.[87] McCartney later said, “The main thing I didn’t want was to come on stage, faced with the whole torment of five rows of press people with little pads, all looking at me and saying, ‘Oh well, he is not as good as he was.’ So we decided to go out on that university tour which made me less nervous … by the end of that tour I felt ready for something else, so we went into Europe.”[88] During the seven-week, 25-show Wings Over Europe Tour, the band played almost solely Wings and McCartney solo material: the Little Richard cover “Long Tall Sally” was the only song that had previously been recorded by the Beatles. McCartney wanted the tour to avoid large venues; most of the small halls they played had capacities of fewer than 3,000 people.[89]

In March 1973, Wings achieved their first US number-one single, “My Love”, included on their second LP, Red Rose Speedway, a US number one and UK top five.[90][nb 10] McCartney’s collaboration with Linda and former Beatles producer Martin resulted in the song “Live and Let Die”, which was the theme song for the James Bond film of the same name. Nominated for an Academy Award, the song reached number two in the US and number nine in the UK. It also earned Martin a Grammy for his orchestral arrangement.[91] Music professor and author Vincent Benitez described the track as “symphonic rock at its best”.

After the departure of McCullough and Seiwell in 1973, the McCartneys and Laine recorded Band on the Run. The album was the first of seven platinum Wings LPs.[94] It was a US and UK number one, the band’s first to top the charts in both countries and the first ever to reach Billboard magazine’s charts on three separate occasions. One of the best-selling releases of the decade, it remained on the UK charts for 124 weeks. Rolling Stone named it one of the Best Albums of the Year for 1973, and in 1975, Paul McCartney and Wings won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Vocal Performance for the song “Band on the Run” and Geoff Emerick won the Grammy for Best Engineered Recording for the album.[95][nb 12] In 1974, Wings achieved a second US number-one single with the title track.[97] The album also included the top-ten hits “Jet” and “Helen Wheels”, and earned the 413th spot on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time.[98][nb 13]

Wings followed Band on the Run with the chart-topping albums Venus and Mars (1975) and Wings at the Speed of Sound (1976).[100][nb 14] In 1975, they began the fourteen-month Wings Over the World Tour, which included stops in the UK, Australia, Europe and the US. The tour marked the first time McCartney performed Beatles songs live with Wings, with five in the two-hour set list: “I’ve Just Seen a Face”, “Yesterday”, “Blackbird”, “Lady Madonna” and “The Long and Winding Road”.[102] Following the second European leg of the tour and extensive rehearsals in London, the group undertook an ambitious US arena tour that yielded the US number-one live triple LP Wings over America.[103]

In September 1977, the McCartneys had a third child, a son they named James. In November, the Wings song “Mull of Kintyre”, co-written with Laine, was quickly becoming one of the best-selling singles in UK chart history.[104] The most successful single of McCartney’s solo career, it achieved double the sales of the previous record holder, “She Loves You”, and went on to sell 2.5 million copies and hold the UK sales record until the 1984 charity single, “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

London Town (1978) spawned a US number-one single (“With a Little Luck”), and continued Wings’ string of commercial successes, making the top five in both the US and the UK. Critical reception was unfavourable, and McCartney expressed disappointment with the album.[107][nb 16] Back to the Egg (1979) featured McCartney’s assemblage of a rock supergroup dubbed “Rockestra” on two tracks. The band included Wings along with Pete Townshend, David Gilmour, Gary Brooker, John Paul Jones, John Bonham and others. Though certified platinum, critics panned the album.[109] Wings completed their final concert tour in 1979, with twenty shows in the UK that included the live debut of the Beatles songs “Got to Get You into My Life”, “The Fool on the Hill” and “Let it Be”.[110]

In 1980, McCartney released his second solo LP, the self-produced McCartney II, which peaked at number one in the UK and number three in the US. As with his first album, he composed and performed it alone.[111] The album contained the song “Coming Up”, the live version of which, recorded in Glasgow, Scotland, in 1979 by Wings, became the group’s last number-one hit.[112] By 1981, McCartney felt he had accomplished all he could creatively with Wings and decided he needed a change. The group discontinued in April 1981 after Laine quit following disagreements over royalties and salaries.

1982–1990

In 1982, McCartney collaborated with Stevie Wonder on the Martin-produced number-one hit “Ebony and Ivory”, included on McCartney’s Tug of War LP, and with Michael Jackson on “The Girl Is Mine” from Thriller.[117][nb 19] “Ebony and Ivory” was McCartney’s record 28th single to hit number one on the Billboard 100.[119] The following year, he and Jackson worked on “Say Say Say”, McCartney’s most recent US number one as of 2014. McCartney earned his latest UK number one as of 2014 with the title track of his LP release that year, “Pipes of Peace”.[120][nb 20]

In 1984, McCartney starred in the musical Give My Regards to Broad Street, a feature film he also wrote and produced which included Starr in an acting role. It was disparaged by critics: Variety described the film as “characterless, bloodless, and pointless”;[122] while Roger Ebert awarded it a single star, writing, “you can safely skip the movie and proceed directly to the soundtrack”.[123] The album fared much better, reaching number one in the UK and producing the US top-ten hit single “No More Lonely Nights”, featuring David Gilmour on lead guitar.[124] In 1985, Warner Brothers commissioned McCartney to write a song for the comedic feature film Spies Like Us. He composed and recorded the track in four days, with Phil Ramone co-producing.[125][nb 21] McCartney participated in Live Aid, performing “Let it Be”, but technical difficulties rendered his vocals and piano barely audible for the first two verses, punctuated by squeals of feedback. Equipment technicians resolved the problems and David Bowie, Alison Moyet, Pete Townshend and Bob Geldof joined McCartney on stage, receiving an enthusiastic crowd reaction.[127]

McCartney collaborated with Eric Stewart on Press to Play (1986), with Stewart co-writing more than half the songs on the LP.[128][nb 22] In 1988, McCartney released Снова в СССР, initially available only in the Soviet Union, which contained eighteen covers; recorded over the course of two days.[130] In 1989, he joined forces with fellow Merseysiders Gerry Marsden and Holly Johnson to record an updated version of “Ferry Cross the Mersey”, for the Hillsborough disaster appeal fund.[131][nb 23] That same year, he released Flowers in the Dirt; a collaborative effort with Elvis Costello that included musical contributions from Gilmour and Nicky Hopkins.[133][nb 24] McCartney then formed a band consisting of himself and Linda, with Hamish Stuart and Robbie McIntosh on guitars, Paul “Wix” Wickens on keyboards and Chris Whitten on drums.[135] In September 1989, they launched the Paul McCartney World Tour, his first in over a decade. During the tour, McCartney performed for the largest paying stadium audience in history on 21 April 1990, when 184,000 people attended his concert at Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.[136] That year, he released the triple album Tripping the Live Fantastic, which contained selected performances from the tour.

1991–1999

McCartney ventured into orchestral music in 1991 when the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Society commissioned a musical piece by him to celebrate its sesquicentennial. He collaborated with composer Carl Davis, producing Liverpool Oratorio. The performance featured opera singers Kiri Te Kanawa, Sally Burgess, Jerry Hadley and Willard White with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and the choir of Liverpool Cathedral.[140] Reviews were negative. The Guardian was especially critical, describing the music as “afraid of anything approaching a fast tempo”, and adding that the piece has “little awareness of the need for recurrent ideas that will bind the work into a whole”.[141] The paper published a letter McCartney submitted in response in which he noted several of the work’s faster tempos and added, “happily, history shows that many good pieces of music were not liked by the critics of the time so I am content to … let people judge for themselves the merits of the work.”[141] The New York Times was slightly more generous, stating, “There are moments of beauty and pleasure in this dramatic miscellany … the music’s innocent sincerity makes it difficult to be put off by its ambitions”.[142] Performed around the world after its London premiere, the Liverpool Oratorio reached number one on the UK classical chart, Music Week.[143]

In 1991, McCartney performed a selection of acoustic-only songs on MTV Unplugged and released a live album of the performance titled Unplugged (The Official Bootleg).[144][nb 27] During the 1990s, McCartney collaborated twice with Youth of Killing Joke as the musical duo “the Fireman”. The two released their first electronica album together, Strawberries Oceans Ships Forest, in 1993.[146] McCartney released the rock album Off the Ground in 1993.[147][nb 28] The subsequent New World Tour followed, which led to the release of the Paul Is Live album later that year.[149][nb 29][nb 30]

Starting in 1994, McCartney took a four-year break from his solo career to work on Apple’s Beatles Anthology project with Harrison, Starr and Martin. He recorded a radio series called Oobu Joobu in 1995 for the American network Westwood One, which he described as “widescreen radio”.[153] Also in 1995, Prince Charles presented him with an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Music—”kind of amazing for somebody who doesn’t read a note of music”, commented McCartney.[154]

In 1997, McCartney released the rock album Flaming Pie. Starr appeared on drums and backing vocals in “Beautiful Night”.[155][nb 31] Later that year, he released the classical work Standing Stone, which topped the UK and US classical charts.[157] In 1998, he released Rushes, the second electronica album by the Fireman.[158] In 1999, McCartney released Run Devil Run.[159][nb 32] Recorded in one week, and featuring Ian Paice and David Gilmour, it was primarily an album of covers with three McCartney originals. He had been planning such an album for years, having been previously encouraged to do so by Linda, who had died of cancer in April 1998.[160]

McCartney did an unannounced performance at the benefit tribute, “Concert for Linda,” his wife of 29 years who died a year earlier. It was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London on 10 April 1999, and was organised by two of her close friends, Chrissie Hynde and Carla Lane. Also during 1999, he continued his experimentation with orchestral music on Working Classical.

2000–2009

In 2000, he released the electronica album Liverpool Sound Collage with Super Furry Animals and Youth, using the sound collage and musique concrète techniques that had fascinated him in the mid-1960s.[162] He contributed the song “Nova” to a tribute album of classical, choral music called A Garland for Linda (2000), dedicated to his late wife.[163]

Having witnessed the 11 September 2001 attacks from the JFK airport tarmac, McCartney was inspired to take a leading role in organising the Concert for New York City. His studio album release in November that year, Driving Rain, included the song “Freedom”, written in response to the attacks.[164][nb 33] The following year, McCartney went out on tour with a band that included guitarists Rusty Anderson and Brian Ray, accompanied by Paul “Wix” Wickens on keyboards and Abe Laboriel Jr. on drums.[166] They began the Driving World Tour in April 2002, which included stops in the US, Mexico and Japan. The tour resulted in the double live album Back in the US, released internationally in 2003 as Back in the World.[167][nb 34][nb 35] The tour earned a reported $126.2 million, an average of over $2 million per night, and Billboard named it the top tour of the year.[169] The group continues to play together; McCartney has played live with Brian Ray, Rusty Anderson, Abe Laboriel Jr. and Wix Wickens longer than he played live with the Beatles.[170]

In July 2002, McCartney married Heather Mills. In November, on the first anniversary of George Harrison’s death, McCartney performed at the Concert for George.[171] He participated in the National Football League’s Super Bowl, performing “Freedom” during the pre-game show for Super Bowl XXXVI in 2002 and headlining the halftime show at Super Bowl XXXIX in 2005.[172] The English College of Arms honoured McCartney in 2002 by granting him a coat of arms. His crest, featuring a Liver bird holding an acoustic guitar in its claw, reflects his background in Liverpool and his musical career. The shield includes four curved emblems which resemble beetles’ backs. The arms’ motto is Ecce Cor Meum, Latin for “Behold My Heart”.[173] In 2003, the McCartneys had a child, Beatrice Milly.

In July 2005, he performed at the Live 8 event in Hyde Park, London, opening the show with “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” (with U2) and closing it with “Drive My Car” (with George Michael), “Helter Skelter”, and “The Long and Winding Road”.[175][nb 36] In September, he released the rock album Chaos and Creation in the Backyard, for which he provided most of the instrumentation.[177][nb 37][nb 38] In 2006, McCartney released the classical work Ecce Cor Meum.[180][nb 39] The rock album Memory Almost Full followed in 2007.[181][nb 40] In 2008, he released his third Fireman album, Electric Arguments.[183][nb 41] Also in 2008, he performed at a concert in Liverpool to celebrate the city’s year as European Capital of Culture. In 2009, after a four-year break, he returned to touring and has since performed over 80 shows.[185] More than forty-five years after the Beatles first appeared on American television during The Ed Sullivan Show, he returned to the same New York theatre to perform on Late Show with David Letterman.[186] On 9 September 2009, EMI reissued the Beatles catalogue following a four-year digital remastering effort, releasing a music video game called The Beatles: Rock Band the same day.[187]

McCartney’s enduring fame has made him a popular choice to open new venues. In 2009, he played to three sold-out concerts at the newly built Citi Field, a venue constructed to replace Shea Stadium in Queens, New York. These performances yielded the double live album Good Evening New York City later that year.

2010–present

In 2010, McCartney opened the Consol Energy Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; it was his first concert in Pittsburgh since 1990 due to the old Civic Arena being deemed unsuitable for McCartney’s logistical needs.[189][nb 42] In July 2011, McCartney performed at two sold-out concerts at the new Yankee Stadium. A New York Times review of the first concert reported that McCartney was “not saying goodbye but touring stadiums and playing marathon concerts”.[191] McCartney was commissioned by the New York City Ballet, and in September 2011, he released his first score for dance, a collaboration with Peter Martins called Ocean’s Kingdom.[192] Also in 2011, McCartney married Nancy Shevell.[193] He released Kisses on the Bottom, a collection of standards, in February 2012, the same month that the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences honoured him as the MusiCares Person of the Year, two days prior to his performance at the 54th Annual Grammy Awards.[194]

McCartney remains one of the world’s top draws. He played to over 100,000 people during two performances in Mexico City in May, with the shows grossing nearly $6 million.[195][nb 43] In June 2012, McCartney closed Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee Concert held outside Buckingham Palace, performing a set that included “Let It Be” and “Live and Let Die”.[197] He closed the opening ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London on 27 July, singing “The End” and “Hey Jude” and inviting the audience to join in on the coda.[198] Having donated his time, he received £1 from the Olympic organisers.[199]

On 12 December 2012, McCartney performed with three former members of Nirvana (Krist Novoselic, Dave Grohl, and Pat Smear) during the closing act of 12-12-12: The Concert for Sandy Relief, seen by approximately two billion people worldwide.[200] On 28 August 2013, McCartney released the title track of his upcoming studio album New, which came out in October 2013.[201] A primetime entertainment special was taped on 27 January 2014 at the Ed Sullivan Theater with a 9 February 2014 CBS airing. The show featured McCartney and Ringo Starr, and celebrated the legacy of the Beatles and their groundbreaking 1964 performance on The Ed Sullivan Show. The show, titled The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to The Beatles, featured 22 classic Beatles songs as performed by various artists, including McCartney and Starr.[202]

On 19 May 2014, it was reported that McCartney was bedridden on doctor’s orders due to an unspecified virus, which forced him to cancel a sold-out concert tour of Japan that was scheduled to begin later in the week. The tour would have included a stop at the famed Budokan Hall. McCartney also had to move his June US dates to October, as part of his doctor’s order to rest to make a full recovery.[203] However, he resumed the tour with a high-energy three hour appearance in Albany, New York on 5 July 2014.[204] On 14 August 2014, McCartney performed in the final concert at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, California before its demolition. It was the same venue that the Beatles played their final concert in 1966.[205] In 2014, McCartney wrote and performed “Hope for the Future,” the ending song for the video game Destiny.[206][207] In November 2014, a 42-song tribute album titled The Art of McCartney was released, which features a wide range of artists covering McCartney’s solo and Beatles work.[208] Also that year, McCartney collaborated with American recording artist Kanye West on the single “Only One”, released on 31 December.[209] In January 2015, McCartney collaborated with West and Barbadian singer Rihanna on the single “FourFiveSeconds”.[210] They released a music video for the song in January[211] and performed it live at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards on 8 February 2015.[212] McCartney is a featured guest on West’s 2015 single “All Day”, which also features Theophilus London and Allan Kingdom.

In February 2015, McCartney appeared and performed with Paul Simon for the Saturday Night Live 40th Anniversary Special. McCartney and Simon performed the first verse of “I’ve Just Seen a Face” on acoustic guitars, and McCartney later performed “Maybe I’m Amazed”.[214] McCartney shared lead vocals on the Alice Cooper-led Hollywood Vampires supergroup’s cover of his song “Come and Get It”, which appears on their debut album, released on 11 September 2015.[215] On 10 June 2016, McCartney released the career-spanning collection Pure McCartney.[216] The set includes songs from throughout McCartney’s solo career and his work with Wings and the Fireman, and is available in three different formats (2-CD, 4-CD, 4-LP and Digital). The 4-CD version includes 67 tracks, the majority of which were top 40 hits.[217][218] McCartney appeared in the adventure film Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, which was released in 2017.[219]

In January 2017, McCartney filed a suit in United States district court against Sony/ATV Music Publishing seeking to reclaim ownership of his share of the Lennon–McCartney song catalogue beginning in 2018. Under US copyright law, for works published before 1978 the author can reclaim copyrights assigned to a publisher after 56 years.[220][221] McCartney and Sony agreed to a confidential settlement in June 2017.[222][223] On 20 June 2018, McCartney released two songs, “I Don’t Know” and “Come On to Me”, from his album Egypt Station, which was released on 7 September through Capitol Records.[224] Egypt Station became McCartney’s first album in 36 years to top the Billboard 200, and his first to debut at number one.[225]

In October 2020, McCartney announced his new album McCartney III, which is set to be released on 11 December via Capitol Records.

Musicianship

McCartney was largely a self-taught musician, and his approach was described by musicologist Ian MacDonald as “by nature drawn to music’s formal aspects yet wholly untutored … [he] produced technically ‘finished’ work almost entirely by instinct, his harmonic judgement based mainly on perfect pitch and an acute pair of ears … [A] natural melodist—a creator of tunes capable of existing apart from their harmony”. McCartney commented, “I prefer to think of my approach to music as … rather like the primitive cave artists, who drew without training.”

Early influences

McCartney’s earliest musical influences include Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Buddy Holly, Carl Perkins, and Chuck Berry.[230] When asked why the Beatles did not include Presley on the Sgt. Pepper cover, McCartney replied, “Elvis was too important and too far above the rest even to mention … so we didn’t put him on the list because he was more than merely a … pop singer, he was Elvis the King.”[231] McCartney stated that for his bassline for “I Saw Her Standing There”, he directly quoted Berry’s “I’m Talking About You”.[232]

McCartney called Little Richard an idol, whose falsetto vocalisations inspired McCartney’s own vocal technique.[233] McCartney said he wrote “I’m Down” as a vehicle for his Little Richard impersonation.[234] In 1971, McCartney bought the publishing rights to Holly’s catalogue, and in 1976, on the fortieth anniversary of Holly’s birth, McCartney inaugurated the annual “Buddy Holly Week” in England. The festival has included guest performances by famous musicians, songwriting competitions, drawing contests and special events featuring performances by the Crickets.

Bass guitar

Best known for primarily using a plectrum or pick, McCartney occasionally plays fingerstyle.[236] He does not use slapping techniques.[237] He was strongly influenced by Motown artists, in particular James Jamerson, whom McCartney called a hero for his melodic style. He was also influenced by Brian Wilson, as he commented: “because he went to very unusual places”.[238] Another favourite bassist of his is Stanley Clarke.[239] McCartney’s skill as a bass player has been acknowledged by bassists including Sting, Dr. Dre bassist Mike Elizondo, and Colin Moulding of XTC.

During McCartney’s early years with the Beatles, he primarily used a Höfner 500/1 bass, although from 1965, he favoured his Rickenbacker 4001S for recording. While typically using Vox amplifiers, by 1967, he had also begun using a Fender Bassman for amplification.[242] During the late 1980s and early 1990s, he used a Wal 5-String, which he said made him play more thick-sounding basslines, in contrast to the much lighter Höfner, which inspired him to play more sensitively, something he considers fundamental to his playing style.[237] He changed back to the Höfner around 1990 for that reason.[237] He uses Mesa Boogie bass amplifiers while performing live.[243]

MacDonald identified “She’s a Woman” as the turning point when McCartney’s bass playing began to evolve dramatically, and Beatles biographer Chris Ingham singled out Rubber Soul as the moment when McCartney’s playing exhibited significant progress, particularly on “The Word”.[244] Bacon and Morgan agreed, calling McCartney’s groove on the track “a high point in pop bass playing and … the first proof on a recording of his serious technical ability on the instrument.”[245] MacDonald inferred the influence of James Brown’s “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag” and Wilson Pickett’s “In the Midnight Hour”, American soul tracks from which McCartney absorbed elements and drew inspiration as he “delivered his most spontaneous bass-part to date”.[246]

Bacon and Morgan described his bassline for the Beatles song “Rain” as “an astonishing piece of playing … [McCartney] thinking in terms of both rhythm and ‘lead bass’ … [choosing] the area of the neck … he correctly perceives will give him clarity for melody without rendering his sound too thin for groove.”[247] MacDonald identified the influence of Indian classical music in “exotic melismas in the bass part” on “Rain” and described the playing as “so inventive that it threatens to overwhelm the track”.[248] By contrast, he recognised McCartney’s bass part on the Harrison-composed “Something” as creative but overly busy and “too fussily extemporised”.[249] McCartney identified Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band as containing his strongest and most inventive bass playing, particularly on “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”.

Acoustic guitar

McCartney primarily flatpicks while playing acoustic guitar, though he also uses elements of fingerpicking.[251] Examples of his acoustic guitar playing on Beatles tracks include “Yesterday”, “I’m Looking Through You”, “Michelle”, “Blackbird”, “I Will”, “Mother Nature’s Son” and “Rocky Raccoon”.[252] McCartney singled out “Blackbird” as a personal favourite and described his technique for the guitar part in the following way: “I got my own little sort of cheating way of [fingerpicking] … I’m actually sort of pulling two strings at a time … I was trying to emulate those folk players.”[251] He employed a similar technique for “Jenny Wren”.[253] He played an Epiphone Texan on many of his acoustic recordings, but also used a Martin D-28.

Electric guitar

McCartney played lead guitar on several Beatles recordings, including what MacDonald described as a “fiercely angular slide guitar solo” on “Drive My Car”, which McCartney played on an Epiphone Casino. McCartney said of the instrument: “if I had to pick one electric guitar it would be this.”[256] He contributed what MacDonald described as “a startling guitar solo” on the Harrison composition “Taxman” and the “shrieking” guitar on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” and “Helter Skelter”. MacDonald also praised McCartney’s “coruscating pseudo-Indian” guitar solo on “Good Morning Good Morning”.[257] McCartney also played lead guitar on “Another Girl”.[258]

During his years with Wings, McCartney tended to leave electric guitar work to other group members,[259] though he played most of the lead guitar on Band on the Run.[260] In 1990, when asked who his favourite guitar players were he included Eddie Van Halen, Eric Clapton and David Gilmour, stating, “but I still like Hendrix the best”.[251] He has primarily used a Gibson Les Paul for electric work, particularly during live performances.

Vocals

McCartney is known for his belting power, versatility and wide tenor vocal range, spanning over four octaves.[261][262] He was ranked the 11th greatest singer of all time by Rolling Stone,[263] voted the 8th greatest singer ever by NME readers[264] and number 10 by Music Radar readers in the list of “the 30 greatest lead singers of all time”.[265] Over the years, McCartney has been named a significant vocal influence by Chris Cornell,[266] Billy Joel,[267] Steven Tyler,[268] Brad Delp,[269] and Axl Rose.[270]

McCartney’s vocals have crossed several music genres throughout his career. On “Call Me Back Again”, according to Benitez, “McCartney shines as a bluesy solo vocalist”, while MacDonald called “I’m Down” “a rock-and-roll classic” that “illustrates McCartney’s vocal and stylistic versatility”.[271] MacDonald described “Helter Skelter” as an early attempt at heavy metal, and “Hey Jude” as a “pop/rock hybrid”, pointing out McCartney’s “use of gospel-style melismas” in the song and his “pseudo-soul shrieking in the fade-out”.[272] Benitez identified “Hope of Deliverance” and “Put It There” as examples of McCartney’s folk music efforts while musicologist Walter Everett considered “When I’m Sixty-Four” and “Honey Pie” attempts at vaudeville.[273] MacDonald praised the “swinging beat” of the Beatles’ twenty-four bar blues song, “She’s a Woman” as “the most extreme sound they had manufactured to date”, with McCartney’s voice “at the edge, squeezed to the upper limit of his chest register and threatening to crack at any moment.”[274] MacDonald described “I’ve Got a Feeling” as a “raunchy, mid-tempo rocker” with a “robust and soulful” vocal performance and “Back in the U.S.S.R.” as “the last of [the Beatles’] up-tempo rockers”, McCartney’s “belting” vocals among his best since “Drive My Car”, recorded three years earlier.[275]

McCartney also teasingly tried out classical singing, namely singing various renditions of “Besame Mucho” with the Beatles. He continued experimenting with various musical and vocal styles throughout his post-Beatles career.[276][277][278][text–source integrity?] “Monkberry Moon Delight” was described by Pitchfork’s Jayson Greene as “an absolutely unhinged vocal take, Paul gulping and sobbing right next to your inner ear”, adding that “it could be a latter-day Tom Waits performance”.

Keyboards

McCartney played piano on several Beatles songs, including “She’s a Woman”, “For No One”, “A Day in the Life”, “Hello, Goodbye”, “Lady Madonna”, “Hey Jude”, “Martha My Dear”, “Let It Be” and “The Long and Winding Road”.[280] MacDonald considered the piano part in “Lady Madonna” as reminiscent of Fats Domino, and “Let It Be” as having a gospel rhythm.[281] MacDonald called McCartney’s Mellotron intro on “Strawberry Fields Forever” an integral feature of the song’s character.[282] McCartney played a Moog synthesizer on the Beatles song “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” and the Wings track “Loup (1st Indian on the Moon)”.[283] Ingham described the Wings songs “With a Little Luck” and “London Town” as being “full of the most sensitive pop synthesizer touches”.

Drums

McCartney played drums on the Beatles’ songs “Back in the U.S.S.R.”, “Dear Prudence”, “Martha My Dear”, “Wild Honey Pie” and “The Ballad of John and Yoko”.[285] He also played all the drum parts on his first and second solo albums McCartney and McCartney II, as well as on the Wings album Band on the Run and most of the drums on his solo LP Chaos and Creation in the Backyard.[286] His other drumming contributions include Paul Jones’ rendition of “And the Sun Will Shine” (1968),[287] Steve Miller Band’s 1969 tracks “Celebration Song” and “My Dark Hour”,[288][289] and “Sunday Rain” from the Foo Fighters’ 2017 album Concrete and Gold.

Tape loops

In the mid-1960s, when visiting artist friend John Dunbar’s flat in London, McCartney brought tapes he had compiled at then-girlfriend Jane Asher’s home. They included mixes of various songs, musical pieces and comments made by McCartney that Dick James made into a demo for him.[291] Heavily influenced by American avant-garde musician John Cage, McCartney made tape loops by recording voices, guitars and bongos on a Brenell tape recorder and splicing the various loops. He referred to the finished product as “electronic symphonies”.[292] He reversed the tapes, sped them up, and slowed them down to create the desired effects, some of which the Beatles later used on the songs “Tomorrow Never Knows” and “The Fool on the Hill”.

Personal life

Creative outlets

While at school during the 1950s, McCartney thrived at art assignments, often earning top accolades for his visual work. However, his lack of discipline negatively affected his academic grades, preventing him from earning admission to art college.[294] During the 1960s, he delved into the visual arts, explored experimental cinema, and regularly attended film, theatrical and classical music performances. His first contact with the London avant-garde scene was through artist John Dunbar, who introduced McCartney to art dealer Robert Fraser.[295] At Fraser’s flat he first learned about art appreciation and met Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Peter Blake, and Richard Hamilton.[296] McCartney later purchased works by Magritte, whose painting of an apple had inspired the Apple Records logo.[297] McCartney became involved in the renovation and publicising of the Indica Gallery in Mason’s Yard, London, which Barry Miles had co-founded and where Lennon first met Yoko Ono. Miles also co-founded International Times, an underground paper that McCartney helped to start with direct financial support and by providing interviews to attract advertiser income. Miles later wrote McCartney’s official biography, Many Years from Now (1997).[298]

McCartney became interested in painting after watching artist Willem de Kooning work in de Kooning’s Long Island studio.[299] McCartney took up painting in 1983, and he first exhibited his work in Siegen, Germany, in 1999. The 70-painting show featured portraits of Lennon, Andy Warhol and David Bowie.[300] Though initially reluctant to display his paintings publicly, McCartney chose the gallery because events organiser Wolfgang Suttner showed genuine interest in McCartney’s art.[301] In September 2000, the first UK exhibition of McCartney’s paintings opened, featuring 500 canvases at the Arnolfini Gallery in Bristol, England.[302] In October 2000, McCartney’s art debuted in his hometown of Liverpool. McCartney said, “I’ve been offered an exhibition of my paintings at the Walker Art Gallery … where John and I used to spend many a pleasant afternoon. So I’m really excited about it. I didn’t tell anybody I painted for 15 years but now I’m out of the closet”.[303] McCartney is lead patron of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts, a school in the building formerly occupied by the Liverpool Institute for Boys.[304]

When McCartney was a child, his mother read him poems and encouraged him to read books. His father invited Paul and his brother Michael to solve crosswords with him, to increase their “word power”, as McCartney said.[305] In 2001, McCartney published Blackbird Singing, a volume of poems and lyrics to his songs for which he gave readings in Liverpool and New York City.[306] In the foreword of the book, he explains: “When I was a teenager … I had an overwhelming desire to have a poem published in the school magazine. I wrote something deep and meaningful—which was promptly rejected—and I suppose I have been trying to get my own back ever since”.[307] His first children’s book was published by Faber & Faber in 2005, High in the Clouds: An Urban Furry Tail, a collaboration with writer Philip Ardagh and animator Geoff Dunbar. Featuring a squirrel whose woodland home is razed by developers, it had been scripted and sketched by McCartney and Dunbar over several years, as an animated film. The Observer labelled it an “anti-capitalist children’s book”.[308] In 2018, he wrote the children’s book Hey Grandude! together with illustrator Kathryn Durst, which was published by Random House Books in September 2019. The book is about a grandpa and his three grandchildren with a magic compass on an adventure.

In 1981, McCartney asked Geoff Dunbar to direct a short animated film called Rupert and the Frog Song; McCartney was the writer and producer, and he also added some of the character voices.[311] His song “We All Stand Together” from the film’s soundtrack reached No. 3 in the UK Singles Chart. In 1992, he worked with Dunbar on an animated film about the work of French artist Honoré Daumier, which won them a BAFTA award.[312] In 2004, they worked together on the animated short film Tropic Island Hum.[313] The accompanying single, “Tropic Island Hum”/”We All Stand Together”, reached number 21 in the UK.[314]

McCartney also produced and hosted The Real Buddy Holly Story, a 1985 documentary featuring interviews with Keith Richards, Phil and Don Everly, the Holly family, and others.[315] In 1995, he made a guest appearance on the Simpsons episode “Lisa the Vegetarian” and directed a short documentary about the Grateful Dead.

Business

Since the Rich List began in 1989, McCartney has been the UK’s wealthiest musician, with an estimated fortune of £730 million in 2015.[317] In addition to an interest in Apple Corps and MPL Communications, an umbrella company for his business interests, he owns a significant music publishing catalogue, with access to over 25,000 copyrights, including the publishing rights to the musicals Guys and Dolls, A Chorus Line, Annie and Grease.[318] He earned £40 million in 2003, the highest income that year within media professions in the UK.[319] This rose to £48.5 million by 2005.[320] McCartney’s 18-date On the Run Tour grossed £37 million in 2012.[321]

McCartney signed his first recording contract, as a member of the Beatles, with Parlophone Records, an EMI subsidiary, in June 1962. In the United States, the Beatles recordings were distributed by EMI subsidiary Capitol Records. The Beatles re-signed with EMI for another nine years in 1967. After forming their own record label, Apple Records, in 1968, the Beatles’ recordings would be released through Apple although the masters were still owned by EMI.[35] Following the break-up of the Beatles, McCartney’s music continued to be released by Apple Records under the Beatles’ 1967 recording contract with EMI which ran until 1976. Following the formal dissolution of the Beatles’ partnership in 1975, McCartney re-signed with EMI worldwide and Capitol in the US, Canada and Japan, acquiring ownership of his solo catalogue from EMI as part of the deal. In 1979, McCartney signed with Columbia Records in the US and Canada—reportedly receiving the industry’s most lucrative recording contract to date, while remaining with EMI for distribution throughout the rest of the world.[322] As part of the deal, CBS offered McCartney ownership of Frank Music, publisher of the catalogue of American songwriter Frank Loesser. McCartney’s album sales were below CBS’ expectations and reportedly the company lost at least $9 million on the contract.[323] McCartney returned to Capitol in the US in 1985, remaining with EMI until 2006.[324] In 2007, McCartney signed with Hear Music, becoming the label’s first artist. He remains there as of 2012’s Kisses on the Bottom.[325]

In 1963, Dick James established Northern Songs to publish the songs of Lennon–McCartney.[326] McCartney initially owned 20% of Northern Songs, which became 15% after a public stock offering in 1965. In 1969, James sold a controlling interest in Northern Songs to Lew Grade’s Associated Television (ATV) after which McCartney and John Lennon sold their remaining shares although they remained under contract to ATV until 1973. In 1972, McCartney re-signed with ATV for seven years in a joint publishing agreement between ATV and McCartney Music. Since 1979, MPL Communications has published McCartney’s songs.

McCartney and Yoko Ono attempted to purchase the Northern Songs catalogue in 1981, but Grade declined their offer. Soon afterward, ATV Music’s parent company, Associated Communications Corp., was acquired in a takeover by businessman Robert Holmes à Court, who later sold ATV Music to Michael Jackson in 1985. McCartney has criticised Jackson’s purchase and handling of Northern Songs over the years. In 1995, Jackson merged his catalogue with Sony for a reported £59,052,000 ($95 million), establishing Sony/ATV Music Publishing, in which he retained half-ownership.[327] Northern Songs was formally dissolved in 1995, and absorbed into the Sony/ATV catalogue.[328] McCartney receives writers’ royalties which together are 33⅓ percent of total commercial proceeds in the US, and which vary elsewhere between 50 and 55 percent.[329] Two of the Beatles’ earliest songs—”Love Me Do” and “P.S. I Love You”—were published by an EMI subsidiary, Ardmore & Beechwood, before signing with James. McCartney acquired their publishing rights from Ardmore in 1978, and they are the only two Beatles songs owned by MPL Communications.

Drugs

McCartney first used drugs in the Beatles’ Hamburg days when they often used Preludin to maintain their energy while performing for long periods.[331] Bob Dylan introduced them to marijuana in a New York hotel room in 1964; McCartney recalls getting “very high” and “giggling uncontrollably”.[332] His use of the drug soon became habitual, and according to Miles, McCartney wrote the lyrics “another kind of mind” in “Got to Get You into My Life” specifically as a reference to cannabis.[333] During the filming of Help!, McCartney occasionally smoked a joint in the car on the way to the studio during filming, and often forgot his lines.[334] Director Richard Lester overheard two physically attractive women trying to persuade McCartney to use heroin, but he refused.[334] Introduced to cocaine by Robert Fraser, McCartney used the drug regularly during the recording of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and for about a year in total but stopped because of his dislike of the unpleasant melancholy he felt afterwards.[335]

Initially reluctant to try LSD, McCartney eventually did so in late 1966, and took his second “acid trip” in March 1967 with Lennon after a Sgt. Pepper studio session.[336] He later became the first Beatle to discuss the drug publicly, declaring: “It opened my eyes … [and] made me a better, more honest, more tolerant member of society.”[337] He made his attitude about cannabis public in 1967, when he, along with the other Beatles and Epstein, added his name to a July advertisement in The Times, which called for its legalisation, the release of those imprisoned for possession, and research into marijuana’s medical uses.[338]

In 1972, a Swedish court fined McCartney £1,000 for cannabis possession. Soon after, Scottish police found marijuana plants growing on his farm, leading to his 1973 conviction for illegal cultivation and a £100 fine. As a result of his drug convictions, the US government repeatedly denied him a visa until December 1973.[339] Arrested again for marijuana possession in 1975 in Los Angeles, Linda took the blame, and the court soon dismissed the charges. In January 1980, when Wings flew to Tokyo for a tour of Japan, customs officials found approximately 8 ounces (200 g) of cannabis in his luggage. They arrested McCartney and brought him to a local jail while the Japanese government decided what to do. After ten days, they released and deported him without charge.[340] In 1984, while McCartney was on holiday in Barbados, authorities arrested him for possession of marijuana and fined him $200.[341] Upon his return to England, he stated: “cannabis is … less harmful than rum punch, whiskey, nicotine and glue, all of which are perfectly legal … I don’t think … I was doing anyone any harm whatsoever.”[342] In 1997, he spoke out in support of decriminalisation of the drug: “People are smoking pot anyway and to make them criminals is wrong.”[295] He did, however, decide to quit cannabis in 2015, citing a desire to set a good example for his grandchildren.

Vegetarianism and activism

Since 1975, McCartney has been a vegetarian.[344][345] He and his wife Linda were vegetarians for most of their 29-year marriage. They decided to stop consuming meat after Paul saw lambs in a field as they were eating a meal of lamb. Soon after, the couple became outspoken animal rights activists.[346] In his first interview after Linda’s death, he promised to continue working for animal rights, and in 1999, he spent £3,000,000 to ensure Linda McCartney Foods remained free of genetically engineered ingredients.[347] In 1995, he narrated the documentary Devour the Earth, written by Tony Wardle.[348] McCartney is a supporter of the animal-rights organisation People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. He has appeared in the group’s campaigns, and in 2009, McCartney narrated a video for them titled “Glass Walls”, which was harshly critical of slaughterhouses, the meat industry, and their effect on animal welfare.[349][350][351] McCartney has also supported campaigns headed by the Humane Society of the United States, Humane Society International, World Animal Protection, and the David Shepherd Wildlife Foundation.[352][353]

Following McCartney’s marriage to Mills, he joined her in a campaign against land mines, becoming a patron of Adopt-A-Minefield.[354] In a 2003 meeting at the Kremlin with Vladimir Putin, ahead of a concert in Red Square, McCartney and Mills urged Russia to join the anti-landmine campaign.[355] In 2006, the McCartneys travelled to Prince Edward Island to raise international awareness of seal hunting. The couple debated with Danny Williams, Newfoundland’s then Premier, on Larry King Live, stating that fishermen should stop hunting seals and start seal-watching businesses instead.[356] McCartney also supports the Make Poverty History campaign.[357]

McCartney has participated in several charity recordings and performances, including the Concerts for the People of Kampuchea, Ferry Aid, Band Aid, Live Aid, Live 8, and the recording of “Ferry Cross the Mersey”.[358] In 2004, he donated a song to an album to aid the “US Campaign for Burma”, in support of Burmese Nobel Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi. In 2008, he donated a song to Aid Still Required’s CD, organised as an effort to raise funds to assist with the recovery from the devastation caused in Southeast Asia by the 2004 tsunami.[359]

In 2009, McCartney wrote to Tenzin Gyatso, the 14th Dalai Lama, asking him why he was not a vegetarian. As McCartney explained, “He wrote back very kindly, saying, ‘my doctors tell me that I must eat meat’. And I wrote back again, saying, you know, I don’t think that’s right … I think he’s now being told … that he can get his protein somewhere else … It just doesn’t seem right—the Dalai Lama, on the one hand, saying, ‘Hey guys, don’t harm sentient beings … Oh, and by the way, I’m having a steak.’”[360] In 2012, McCartney joined the anti-fracking campaign Artists Against Fracking.[361]

Save the Arctic is a campaign to protect the Arctic and an international outcry and a renewed focus concern on oil development in the Arctic, attracting the support of more than five million people. This includes McCartney, Archbishop Desmond Tutu and 11 Nobel Peace Prize winners.[362][363] In 2015, following British prime minister David Cameron’s decision to give Members of Parliament a free vote on amending the law against fox hunting, McCartney was quoted: “The people of Britain are behind this Tory government on many things but the vast majority of us will be against them if hunting is reintroduced. It is cruel and unnecessary and will lose them support from ordinary people and animal lovers like myself.”[364] During the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic, McCartney called for Chinese wet markets (which sell live animals including wild ones) to be banned. He expressed concern over both the health impacts of the practice as well as its cruelty to animals.

Meditation

In August 1967, McCartney met Maharishi Mahesh Yogi at the London Hilton and later went to Bangor in North Wales to attend a weekend initiation conference, where he and the other Beatles learned the basics of Transcendental Meditation.[366] He said, “The whole meditation experience was very good and I still use the mantra … I find it soothing.”[367] In 2009, McCartney and Starr headlined a benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall, raising three million dollars for the David Lynch Foundation to fund instruction in Transcendental Meditation for at-risk youth.

Football

McCartney has publicly professed support for Everton and has also shown favour for Liverpool.[369] In 2008, he ended speculation about his allegiance when he said: “Here’s the deal: my father was born in Everton, my family are officially Evertonians, so if it comes down to a derby match or an FA Cup final between the two, I would have to support Everton. But after a concert at Wembley Arena I got a bit of a friendship with Kenny Dalglish, who had been to the gig and I thought ‘You know what? I am just going to support them both because it’s all Liverpool.’”[

Relationships

Girlfriends

Dot Rhone

McCartney’s first serious girlfriend in Liverpool was Dot Rhone, whom he met at the Casbah club in 1959.[371] According to Spitz, Rhone felt that McCartney had a compulsion to control situations. He often chose clothes and makeup for her, encouraging her to grow her hair out like Brigitte Bardot’s, and at least once insisting she have it restyled, to disappointing effect.[372] When McCartney first went to Hamburg with the Beatles, he wrote to Rhone regularly, and she accompanied Cynthia Lennon to Hamburg when they played there again in 1962.[373] The couple had a two-and-a-half-year relationship, and were due to marry until Rhone’s miscarriage. According to Spitz, McCartney, now “free of obligation”, ended the engagement.

Jane Asher

McCartney first met British actress Jane Asher on 18 April 1963 when a photographer asked them to pose at a Beatles performance at the Royal Albert Hall in London.[375] The two began a relationship, and in November of that year he took up residence with Asher at her parents’ home at 57 Wimpole Street, London.[376] They had lived there for more than two years before the couple moved to McCartney’s own home in St. John’s Wood in March 1966.[377] He wrote several songs while living at the Ashers’, including “Yesterday”, “And I Love Her”, “You Won’t See Me” and “I’m Looking Through You”, the latter three having been inspired by their romance.[378] They had a five-year relationship and planned to marry, but Asher broke off the engagement after she discovered he had become involved with Francie Schwartz,[379] an American screenwriter who moved to London at age 23 thinking she could sell a script to the Beatles. She met McCartney and he invited her to move into his London house, where events ensued that possibly broke up him and Asher.

Wives

Linda Eastman

Linda Eastman was a music fan who once commented, “all my teen years were spent with an ear to the radio.”[381] At times, she played hooky to see artists such as Fabian, Bobby Darin and Chuck Berry.[381] She became a popular photographer with several rock groups, including the Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Grateful Dead, the Doors and the Beatles, whom she first met at Shea Stadium in 1966. She commented, “It was John who interested me at the start. He was my Beatle hero. But when I met him the fascination faded fast, and I found it was Paul I liked.”[382] The pair first met properly in 1967 at a Georgie Fame concert at The Bag O’Nails club, during her UK assignment to photograph rock musicians in London. As Paul remembers, “The night Linda and I met, I spotted her across a crowded club, and although I would normally have been nervous chatting her up, I realised I had to … Pushiness worked for me that night!”[383] Linda said this about their meeting: “I was quite shameless really. I was with somebody else [that night] … and I saw Paul at the other side of the room. He looked so beautiful that I made up my mind I would have to pick him up.”[382] The pair married in March 1969. About their relationship, Paul said, “We had a lot of fun together … just the nature of how we aren’t, our favourite thing really is to just hang, to have fun. And Linda’s very big on just following the moment.”[384] He added, “We were crazy. We had a big argument the night before we got married, and it was nearly called off … [it’s] miraculous that we made it. But we did.”[385]

After the break-up of the Beatles, the two collaborated musically and formed Wings in 1971.[386] They faced derision from some fans and critics, who questioned her inclusion. She was nervous about performing with Paul, who explained, “she conquered those nerves, got on with it and was really gutsy.”[387] Paul defended her musical ability: “I taught Linda the basics of the keyboard … She took a couple of lessons and learned some bluesy things … she did very well and made it look easier than it was … The critics would say, ‘She’s not really playing’ or ‘Look at her—she’s playing with one finger.’ But what they didn’t know is that sometimes she was playing a thing called a Minimoog, which could only be played with one finger. It was monophonic.”[387] He went on to say, “We thought we were in it for the fun … it was just something we wanted to do, so if we got it wrong—big deal. We didn’t have to justify ourselves.”[387] Former Wings guitarist McCullough said of collaborating with Linda, “trying to get things together with a learner in the group didn’t work as far as I was concerned.”[388]

They had four children—Linda’s daughter Heather (legally adopted by Paul), Mary, Stella and James—and remained married until Linda’s death from breast cancer at age 56 in 1998.[389] After Linda died, Paul said, “I got a counsellor because I knew that I would need some help. He was great, particularly in helping me get rid of my guilt [about wishing I’d been] perfect all the time … a real bugger. But then I thought, hang on a minute. We’re just human. That was the beautiful thing about our marriage. We were just a boyfriend and girlfriend having babies.”

Heather Mills

In 2002, McCartney married Heather Mills, a former model and anti-landmine campaigner.[391] In 2003, the couple had a child, Beatrice Milly, named in honour of Mills’s late mother and one of McCartney’s aunts.[174] They separated in April 2006 and divorced acrimoniously in March 2008.[392] In 2004, he commented on media animosity toward his partners: “[the British public] didn’t like me giving up on Jane Asher … I married [Linda], a New York divorcee with a child, and at the time they didn’t like that”.

Nancy Shevell

McCartney married New Yorker Nancy Shevell in a civil ceremony at Marylebone Town Hall, London, on 9 October 2011. The wedding was a modest event attended by a group of about 30 relatives and friends.[193] The couple had been together since November 2007.[394] Shevell is vice president of a family-owned transportation conglomerate which owns New England Motor Freight.[395] She is a former member of the board of the New York area’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority.[396] Shevell is about 18 years younger than McCartney.[397] They had known each other for about 20 years prior to marrying, having met because both had homes in the Hamptons.

Beatles

John Lennon

Though McCartney had a strained relationship with Lennon, they briefly became close again in early 1974, and played music together on one occasion.[398] In later years, the two grew apart.[399] McCartney often phoned Lennon, but was apprehensive about the reception he would receive. During one call, Lennon told him, “You’re all pizza and fairytales!”[400] In an effort to avoid talking only about business, they often spoke of cats, babies, or baking bread.[401]

On 24 April 1976, McCartney and Lennon were watching an episode of Saturday Night Live at Lennon’s home in the Dakota when Lorne Michaels made a $3,000 cash offer for the Beatles to reunite. While they seriously considered going to the SNL studio a few blocks away, they decided it was too late. This was their last time together.[402] VH1 fictionalised this event in the 2000 television film Two of Us.[403] McCartney’s last telephone call to Lennon, days before Lennon and Ono released Double Fantasy, was friendly: “[It is] a consoling factor for me, because I do feel it was sad that we never actually sat down and straightened our differences out. But fortunately for me, the last phone conversation I ever had with him was really great, and we didn’t have any kind of blow-up”, he said.

Reaction to Lennon’s murder

On 9 December 1980, McCartney followed the news that Lennon had been murdered the previous night; Lennon’s death created a media frenzy around the surviving members of the band.[406] McCartney was leaving an Oxford Street recording studio that evening when he was surrounded by reporters who asked him for his reaction; he responded: “It’s a drag”. The press quickly criticised him for what appeared to be a superficial response.[407] He later explained, “When John was killed somebody stuck a microphone at me and said: ‘What do you think about it?’ I said, ‘It’s a dra-a-ag’ and meant it with every inch of melancholy I could muster. When you put that in print it says, ‘McCartney in London today when asked for a comment on his dead friend said, “It’s a drag”.’ It seemed a very flippant comment to make.”[407] He described his first exchange with Ono after the murder, and his last conversation with Lennon:

 

I talked to Yoko the day after he was killed, and the first thing she said was, “John was really fond of you.” The last telephone conversation I had with him we were still the best of mates. He was always a very warm guy, John. His bluff was all on the surface. He used to take his glasses down, those granny glasses, and say, “it’s only me.” They were like a wall you know? A shield. Those are the moments I treasure.

In 1983, McCartney said: “I would not have been as typically human and standoffish as I was if I knew John was going to die. I would have made more of an effort to try and get behind his ‘mask’ and have a better relationship with him.”[407] He said that he went home that night, watched the news on television with his children and cried most of the evening. In 1997, he said that Lennon’s death made the remaining ex-Beatles nervous that they might also be murdered.[408] He told Mojo magazine in 2002 that Lennon was his greatest hero.[409] In 1981, McCartney sang backup on Harrison’s tribute to Lennon, “All Those Years Ago”, which featured Starr on drums.[410] McCartney released “Here Today” in 1982, a song Everett described as “a haunting tribute” to McCartney’s friendship with Lennon

George Harrison

Discussing his relationship with McCartney, Harrison said: “Paul would always help along when you’d done his ten songs—then when he got ’round to doing one of my songs, he would help. It was silly. It was very selfish, actually … There were a lot of tracks, though, where I played bass … because what Paul would do—if he’d written a song, he’d learn all the parts for Paul and then come in the studio and say (sometimes he was very difficult): ‘Do this’. He’d never give you the opportunity to come out with something.”[412]

After Harrison’s death in November 2001, McCartney said he was “a lovely guy and a very brave man who had a wonderful sense of humour”. He went on to say: “We grew up together and we just had so many beautiful times together – that’s what I am going to remember. I’ll always love him, he’s my baby brother.”[413] On the first anniversary of his death, McCartney played Harrison’s “Something” on a ukulele at the Concert for George; he would perform this rendition of the song on many subsequent solo tours.[414] He also performed “For You Blue” and “All Things Must Pass”, and played the piano on Eric Clapton’s rendition of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.

Ringo Starr

During a recording session for The Beatles in 1968, the two got into an argument over McCartney’s critique of Starr’s drum part for “Back in the U.S.S.R.”, which contributed to Starr temporarily leaving the band.[416] Starr later commented on working with McCartney: “Paul is the greatest bass player in the world. But he is also very determined … [to] get his own way … [thus] musical disagreements inevitably arose from time to time.”[417]

McCartney and Starr collaborated on several post-Beatles projects, starting in 1973 when McCartney contributed instrumentation and backing vocals for “Six O’Clock”, a song McCartney wrote for Starr’s album Ringo.[418] McCartney played a kazoo solo on “You’re Sixteen” from the same album.[419] Starr appeared (as a fictional version of himself) in McCartney’s 1984 film Give My Regards to Broad Street, and played drums on most tracks of the soundtrack album, which includes re-recordings of several McCartney-penned Beatles songs. Starr played drums and sang backing vocals on “Beautiful Night” from McCartney’s 1997 album Flaming Pie. The pair collaborated again in 1998, on Starr’s Vertical Man, which featured McCartney’s backing vocals on three songs, and instrumentation on one.[420] In 2009, the pair performed “With a Little Help from My Friends” at a benefit concert for the David Lynch Foundation.[421] They collaborated on Starr’s album Y Not in 2010. McCartney played bass on “Peace Dream”, and sang a duet with Starr on “Walk with You”.[422] On 7 July 2010, Starr was performing at Radio City Music Hall in New York with his All-Starr Band in a concert celebrating his seventieth birthday. After the encores, McCartney made a surprise appearance, performing the Beatles’ song “Birthday” with Starr’s band.[423] On 26 January 2014, McCartney and Starr performed “Queenie Eye” from McCartney’s new album New at the 56th Annual Grammy Awards.[424] McCartney inducted Starr into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April 2015, and played bass on his 2017 album Give More Love. On 16 December 2018, Starr and Ronnie Wood joined McCartney onstage to perform “Get Back” at his concert at London’s O2 Arena. Starr also made an appearance on the final day of McCartney’s Freshen Up tour in July 2019, performing “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)” and “Helter Skelter”.

Legacy

Achievements

McCartney was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988 as a member of the Beatles and again as a solo artist in 1999. In 1979, the Guinness Book of World Records recognised McCartney as the “most honored composer and performer in music”, with 60 gold discs (43 with the Beatles, 17 with Wings) and, as a member of the Beatles, sales of over 100 million singles and 100 million albums, and as the “most successful song writer”, he wrote jointly or solo 43 songs which sold one million or more records between 1962 and 1978.[426] In 2009, Guinness World Records again recognised McCartney as the “most successful songwriter” having written or co-written 188 charted records in the United Kingdom, of which 91 reached the top 10 and 33 made it to number one.

McCartney has written, or co-written, 32 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100: twenty with the Beatles; seven solo or with Wings; one as a co-writer of “A World Without Love”, a number-one single for Peter and Gordon; one as a co-writer on Elton John’s cover of “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds”; one as a co-writer on Stars on 45’s “Medley”; one as a co-writer with Michael Jackson on “Say Say Say”; and one as writer on “Ebony and Ivory” performed with Stevie Wonder.[428] As of 2009, he has 15.5 million RIAA certified units in the United States as a solo artist plus another 10 million with Wings.[429]

Credited with more number ones in the UK than any other artist, McCartney has participated in twenty-four chart topping singles: seventeen with the Beatles, one solo, and one each with Wings, Stevie Wonder, Ferry Aid, Band Aid, Band Aid 20 and “The Christians et al.”[430][nb 44] He is the only artist to reach the UK number one as a soloist (“Pipes of Peace”), duo (“Ebony and Ivory” with Wonder), trio (“Mull of Kintyre”, Wings), quartet (“She Loves You”, the Beatles), quintet (“Get Back”, the Beatles with Billy Preston) and as part of a musical ensemble for charity (Ferry Aid).[432]

“Yesterday” is one of the most covered songs in history with more than 2,200 recorded versions, and according to the BBC, “the track is the only one by a UK writer to have been aired more than seven million times on American TV and radio and is third in the all-time list … [and] is the most played song by a British writer [last] century in the US”.[433] His 1968 Beatles composition “Hey Jude” achieved the highest sales in the UK that year and topped the US charts for nine weeks, which is longer than any other Beatles single. It was also the longest single released by the band and, at seven minutes eleven seconds, was at that time the longest number one.[434] “Hey Jude” is the best-selling Beatles single, achieving sales of over five million copies soon after its release.[435][nb 45]

In July 2005, McCartney’s performance of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” with U2 at Live 8 became the fastest-released single in history. Available within forty-five minutes of its recording, hours later it had achieved number one on the UK Official Download Chart.

Awards and honours

  • 1971: Academy Award winner (as a member of the Beatles)
  • 18-time Grammy Award winner:
    • Nine as a member of the Beatles
    • Six as a solo artist
    • Two as a member of Wings
    • One as part of a joint collaboration
  • Two-time inductee – Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:
    • Class of 1988 as a member of the Beatles
    • Class of 1999 as a solo artist
  • 1965: Member of the Order of the British Empire
  • 1988: Honorary Doctor of the University degree from University of Sussex
  • 1997: Knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for services to music
  • 2000: Fellowship into the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors
  • 2008: BRIT Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music
  • 2008: Honorary Doctor of Music degree from Yale University
  • 2010: Gershwin Prize for his contributions to popular music
  • 2010: Kennedy Center Honors
  • 2012: Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame
  • 2012: Légion d’Honneur for his services to music
  • 2012: MusiCares Person of the Year
  • 2015: 4148 McCartney, asteroid named after him by the (International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center)
  • 2017: Appointed Member of the Order of the Companions of Honour (CH) in the 2017 Birthday Honours for services to music

 

Lyrics


Ewan MacColl

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

James Henry Miller (25 January 1915 – 22 October 1989), better known by his stage name Ewan MacColl, was a British folk singer, songwriter, folk song collector, labour activist and actor. He is known for instigating the 1960s folk revival as well as writing such songs as “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” and “Dirty Old Town”.[1]

McColl collected hundreds of traditional folk songs,[2] including the version of “Scarborough Fair” later popularised by Simon & Garfunkel,[3][4] and released dozens of albums with A.L. Lloyd, Peggy Seeger and others, mostly of traditional folk songs.[5][1] He also wrote many left-wing political songs, remaining a steadfast communist throughout his life and engaging in political activism.

Early life and early career

MacColl was born as James Henry Miller at 4 Andrew Street, in Broughton, Salford, Lancashire,[7] to Scottish parents, William Miller and Betsy (née Henry), both socialists. William Miller was an iron moulder and trade unionist who had moved to Salford with his wife, a charwoman, to look for work after being blacklisted in almost every foundry in Scotland.[8] Betsy Miller knew many traditional folk songs such as “Lord Randall”[9] and “My Bonnie Laddie’s Lang A-growing”,[10] which her son later created written and audio recordings of; he later recorded an album of traditional songs with her.[11]

James Miller was the youngest and only surviving child in the family of three sons and one daughter (one of each sex was stillborn and one son died at the age of four). They lived amongst a group of Scots and Jimmy was brought up in an atmosphere of fierce political debate interspersed with the large repertoire of songs and stories his parents had brought from Scotland. He was educated at Grecian Street School in Broughton. He left school in 1930 after an elementary education, during the Great Depression and, joining the ranks of the unemployed, began a lifelong programme of self-education whilst keeping warm in Manchester Central Library. During this period he found intermittent work in a number of jobs and also made money as a street singer.[8]

He joined the Young Communist League[12] and a socialist amateur theatre troupe, the Clarion Players. He began his career as a writer helping produce and contributing humorous verse and skits to some of the Communist Party’s factory papers. He was an activist in the unemployed workers’ campaigns and the mass trespasses of the early 1930s. One of his best-known songs, “The Manchester Rambler”, was written after the pivotal mass trespass of Kinder Scout. He was responsible for publicity in the planning of the trespass.[13]

In 1932 the British intelligence service, MI5, opened a file on MacColl, after local police asserted that he was “a communist with very extreme views” who needed “special attention”.[14] For a time the Special Branch kept a watch on the Manchester home that he shared with his first wife, Joan Littlewood. MI5 caused some of MacColl’s songs to be rejected by the BBC, and prevented the employment of Littlewood as a BBC children’s programme presenter.

Personal life

He was married three times: to theatre director Joan Littlewood (1914-2002); to Jean Mary Newlove (1923-2017),[15] with whom he had two children, a son Hamish, and a daughter, the singer/songwriter Kirsty MacColl; and to American folksinger Peggy Seeger (1935- ), with whom he had three children, Kitty, Calum and Neill. He collaborated with Littlewood in the theatre, and with Seeger in folk music.

Acting career

In 1931, with other unemployed members of the Clarion Players he formed an agit-prop theatre group, the “Red Megaphones”. During 1934 they changed the name to “Theatre of Action” and not long after were introduced to a young actress recently moved up from London. This was Joan Littlewood who became MacColl’s wife and work partner. In 1936, after a failed attempt to move to London, the couple returned to Manchester, and formed the Theatre Union. In 1940 a performance of The Last Edition – a ‘living newspaper’ – was halted by the police and MacColl and Littlewood were bound over for two years for breach of the peace. The necessities of wartime brought an end to Theatre Union. MacColl enlisted in the British Army during July 1940, but deserted in December. Why he did so, and why he was not prosecuted after the war, remain a mystery.[14] In an interview in June 1987, he said that he was expelled for “anti-fascist activity”.[16] Allan Moore and Giovanni Vacca wrote that MacColl had been subject to Special Observation whilst in the King’s Regiment, owing to his political views, and that the records show that, rather than being discharged, he was declared a deserter on 18 December 1940.[16]

In 1946 members of Theatre Union and others formed Theatre Workshop and spent the next few years touring, mostly in the north of England. In 1945, Miller changed his name to Ewan MacColl (influenced by the Lallans movement in Scotland)[clarification needed].[7][8]

In the Theatre Union roles had been shared, but now, in Theatre Workshop, they were more formalised. Littlewood was the sole producer and MacColl the dramaturge, art director and resident dramatist. The techniques that had been developed in the Theatre Union now were refined, producing the distinctive form of theatre that was the hallmark of Joan Littlewood’s Theatre Workshop, as the troupe was later known. They were an impoverished travelling troupe, but were making a name for themselves.

Music

Traditional Music

During this period MacColl’s enthusiasm for folk music grew. Inspired by the example of Alan Lomax, who had arrived in Britain and Ireland in 1950, and had done extensive fieldwork there, MacColl also began to collect and perform traditional ballads. His long involvement with Topic Records started in 1950 with his release of a single, “The Asphalter’s Song”, on that label. When, in 1953 Theatre Workshop decided to move to Stratford, London, MacColl, who had opposed that move, left the company and changed the focus of his career from acting and playwriting to singing and composing folk and topical songs.[citation needed]

In 1947, McColl visited a retired lead-miner named Mark Anderson (1874-1953) in Middleton-in-Teesdale, County Durham, England, who performed to him a song called “Scarborough Fair”; MacColl recorded the lyrics and melody in a book of Teesdale folk songs, and later included it on his and Peggy Seeger’s The Singing Island (1960).[17][18][19] Martin Carthy learnt the song from McColl’s book, before teaching it to Paul Simon; Simon & Garfunkel released the song as “Scarborough Fair/Canticle” on their album Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme, popularising the obscure and unique folk tune.[20] Ewan MacColl, a decade after collecting the song, released his own version accompanied by Peggy Seeger on guitar in 1957 on the LP “Matching Songs of the British Isles and America”[21] and an a capella rendition another decade later on “The Long Harvest” (1967).[22]

Over the years MacColl recorded and produced upwards of a hundred albums, many with English folk song collector and singer A. L. Lloyd. The pair released an ambitious series of eight LP albums of some 70 of the 305 Child Ballads. MacColl produced a number of LPs with Irish singer songwriter Dominic Behan, a brother of Irish playwright Brendan Behan.[23]

In 1956, MacColl caused a scandal when he fell in love with 21-year-old Peggy Seeger, who had come to Britain to transcribe the music for Alan Lomax’s anthology Folk Songs of North America (published in 1961). At the time MacColl, who was twenty years older than Peggy,[24] was still married to his second wife, the dancer Jean Newlove (b. 1923), the mother of two of his children, Hamish (b. 1950) and Kirsty (1959–2000).

Singer-Songwriter

Seeger and MacColl recorded several albums of searing political commentary songs. MacColl himself wrote over 300 songs, some of which have been recorded by artists (in addition to those mentioned above) such as Planxty, the Dubliners, Dick Gaughan, Phil Ochs, the Clancy Brothers, Elvis Presley, Weddings Parties Anything and Johnny Cash. In 2001, The Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook was published, which includes the words and music to 200 of his songs. Dick Gaughan, Dave Burland and Tony Capstick collaborated in The Songs of Ewan MacColl (1978; 1985).

Many of MacColl’s best-known songs were written for the theatre. For example, he wrote “The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face” very quickly at the request of Seeger, who needed it for use in a play she was appearing in. He taught it to her by long-distance telephone, while she was on tour in the United States (from where MacColl had been barred because of his Communist past). Seeger said that MacColl used to send her tapes to listen to whilst they were apart and that the song was on one of them.[25] This song, which was recorded by Roberta Flack for her debut album, First Take, which was issued by Atlantic records in June 1969, had become a No. 1 hit in 1972 and had won MacColl a Grammy Award for Song of the Year, while Flack received a Grammy Award for Record of the Year.[26]

In 1959, MacColl began releasing LP albums on Folkways Records, including several collaborative albums with Peggy Seeger. His song “Dirty Old Town”, inspired by his home town of Salford in Lancashire, was written to bridge an awkward scene change in his play Landscape with Chimneys (1949). It went on to become a folk-revival staple and was recorded by the Spinners (1964), Donovan (1964), Roger Whittaker (1968), the Dubliners (1968), Rod Stewart (1969), the Clancy Brothers (1970), the Pogues (1985), the Mountain Goats (2002), Simple Minds (2003), Ted Leo and the Pharmacists (2003), Frank Black (2006) and Bettye LaVette (2012).

MacColl’s song “The Shoals of Herring”, based on the life of Norfolk fisherman and folk singer Sam Larner was recorded by the Dubliners, the Clancey Brothers, the Corries and more. Other popular songs written and performed by MacColl include “The Machester Rambler”, “The Moving-On Song” and “The Joy of Living”.

Ewan has a short biography of his work in the accompanying book of the Topic Records 70 year anniversary boxed set Three Score and Ten.[27]:11 Five of his recordings, three of them solo, appear in the boxed set:

  • on CD #4:
    • track 2, “Come All Ye Fisher Lads”, with the Fisher Family, from their album The Fisher Family.
  • on CD #5:
    • track 4, “Go Down You Murderers”, from Chorus from the Gallows
  • on CD #6:
    • track 9, “To the Begging I Will Go”, from Manchester Angel
    • track 14, “Sixteen Tons”, with Brian Daly, from the single Sixteen Tons/The Swan Necked Valve
    • track 18, Dirty Old Town, from the single Dirty Old Town/Sheffield Apprentice.

 

Political songs

MacColl was one of the main composers of British protest songs during the folk revival of the 1950s/’60s. In the early ’50s he penned “The Ballad of Ho Chi Minh” (well known even today[when?] in Vietnam)[according to whom?] and “The Ballad of Stalin” for the British Communist Party.

 

Joe Stalin was a mighty man and a mighty man was he
He led the Soviet people on the road to victory.

When asked about the song in a 1985 interview, he said that it was “a very good song” and that “it dealt with some of the positive things that Stalin did”.[28] In 1992, after his death, Peggy Seeger included it as an annex in her Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook, saying that she had originally planned to exclude the song on the grounds that Ewan would not have wanted it included, but decided to include it as an example of his work in his early career.[29]

MacColl sang and composed numerous protest and topical songs for the nuclear disarmament movement, for example “Against the Atom Bomb”,[30] The Vandals, Nightmare, and Nuclear Means Jobs.[31]

MacColl dedicated an entire album to the lifestyle of Gypsies in his 1964 album The Travelling People. Many of the songs spoke against the prejudice against Roma Gypsies, although some would also contain derogatory remarks about “tinkers”, which is a word for Irish Travellers.

He wrote “The Ballad of Tim Evans” (also known as “Go Down You Murderer”) a song protesting against capital punishment, based on an infamous murder case in which an innocent man, Timothy Evans, was condemned and executed, before the real culprit was discovered.

MacColl was very active during the miners’ strike of 1984–85 in distributing free cassettes of songs supportive of the National Union of Mineworkers, entitled Daddy, what did you do in the strike?[32] The title song was unusually aggressive in its language towards the strikebreakers. This collection was only released on cassette and remaining copies are rare, but some of the less aggressive songs have featured on other compilations.[33] At MacColl’s 70th birthday party, he was presented by Arthur Scargill with a miner’s lamp to show appreciation for his support.[28]

In his last interview in August 1988, MacColl stated that he still believed in a socialist revolution and that the communist parties of the west had become too moderate.[34]:116–117 He stated that he had been a member of the Communist Party but left because he felt that the Soviet Union was “not communist or socialist enough”.

Radio

MacColl had been a radio actor since 1933. By the late 1930s he was writing scripts as well. In 1957 producer Charles Parker asked MacColl to collaborate in the creation of a feature programme about the heroic death of train driver John Axon. Normal procedure would have been to use the recorded field interviews only as source for writing the script. MacColl produced a script that incorporated the actual voices and so created a new form that they called the radio ballad.

Between 1957 and 1964, eight of these were broadcast by the BBC, all created by the team of MacColl and Parker together with Peggy Seeger who handled musical direction, conducted a great many field interviews, and wrote songs, either together with MacColl or alone. MacColl wrote the scripts and songs, as well as, with the others, collecting the field recordings which were the heart of the productions.

Teaching and theatre

In 1965 Ewan and Peggy formed the Critics Group around a number of young followers, with Charles Parker in attendance, frequently recording the group’s weekly sessions at MacColl and Seeger’s home. The initial aim of improving musical skills soon broadened to performing at political events, the Singers’ Club where MacColl, Seeger and Lloyd were featured artists and theatre productions.[clarification needed] Members who became performing folk singers in their own right included Frankie Armstrong, John Faulkner, Sandra Kerr, Dennis Turner, Terry Yarnell, Bob Blair, Jim Carroll, Brian Pearson and Jack Warshaw. Other members, including Michael Rosen, joined primarily for theatre productions, the Festival of Fools, a political review of the previous year.[clarification needed]

As the theatre group’s importance grew, members more interested in singing left. The productions ran until the winter of 1972–73. Members’ differences with MacColl’s vision of a full-time touring company led to the group’s breakup. The offshoot group became Combine Theatre, with a club of their own mixing traditional and original folksongs and theatrical performances based on contemporary events, into the 1980s.

Death and legacy

After many years of poor health (in 1979 he suffered the first of many heart attacks), MacColl died on 22 October 1989, in the Brompton Hospital, in London, after complications following heart surgery.[7][8] His autobiography Journeyman was published the following year. The lifetime archive of his work with Peggy Seeger and others was passed on to Ruskin College in Oxford.

There is a plaque dedicated to MacColl in Russell Square in London. The inscription includes: “Presented by his communist friends 25.1.1990 … Folk Laureate – Singer – Dramatist – Marxist … in recognition of strength and singleness of purpose of this fighter for Peace and Socialism”. In 1991 he was awarded a posthumous honorary degree by the University of Salford.

His daughter from his second marriage, Kirsty MacColl, followed him into a musical career, albeit in a different genre. She died in a boating accident in Mexico in 2000. His son from his third marriage, Neill MacColl, is the long-standing guitarist for Mancunian musician David Gray. His grandson Jamie MacColl has also developed a musical career of his own with the band Bombay Bicycle Club.

Bibliography

  • Goorney, Howard and MacColl, Ewan (eds.) (1986) Agit-Prop to Theatre Workshop, Political Playscripts, 1930–1950. Manchester: Manchester University Press ISBN 0-7190-2211-8
  • Harker, Ben (2007) Class Act: the Cultural and Political Life of Ewan MacColl. London: Pluto Press ISBN 978-0-7453-2165-3 (chapters: 1. Lower Broughton—2. Red Haze—3. Welcome, Comrade—4. Browned Off—5. A Richer, Fuller Life—6. Towards a People’s Culture—7. Croydon, Soho, Moscow, Paris—8. Bard of Beckenham—9. Let a Hundred Flowers Blossom—10. Sanctuary—11. Endgame)
  • Littlewood, Joan (1994) Joan’s Book: Joan Littlewood’s Peculiar History As She Tells It. London: Methuen ISBN 0-413-77318-3“Joan’s Book reissued”. Retrieved 23 April 2009.
  • MacColl, Ewan (1963) Ewan MacColl- Peggy Seeger Songbook. New York: Oak Publications, Inc Library of Congress Card Number, 63-14092
  • MacColl, Ewan (1990) Journeyman: an Autobiography; introduction by Peggy Seeger. London: Sidgwick & Jackson ISBN 0-283-06036-0
  • MacColl, Ewan (1998) The Essential Ewan MacColl Songbook: sixty years of songmaking; ed. Peggy Seeger. New York: Oak Publications
  • Myer, Michael Grosvenor (1972): The Radio Ballads Revisited, Folk Review magazine, September 1972
  • O’Brien, Karen (2004) Kirsty MacColl, The One and Only: the definitive biography . London: Andre Deutsch. ISBN 0-233-00070-4
  • Pegg, Carole A. (1999) British Traditional and Folk Musics, in: British Journal of Ethnomusicology, vol. 7, pp. 193–98
  • Samuel, Raphael; MacColl, Ewan; and Cosgrove, Stuart (1985) Theatres of the Left, 1880–1935: Workers’ Theatre Movements in Britain and America. London: Routledge & Kegan Paul ISBN 0-7100-0901-1
  • Vacca, Giovanni and Moore, Allan F. (2014) Legacies of Ewan MacColl – The Last Interview. Farnham: Ashgate. ISBN 978-1-4094-2431-4

 

Lyrics


Bob Dylan

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Bob Dylan (born Robert Allen Zimmerman; May 24, 1941) is an American singer-songwriter, author and visual artist. Widely regarded as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Dylan has been a major figure in popular culture for more than 50 years. Much of his most celebrated work dates from the 1960s, when songs such as “Blowin’ in the Wind” (1963) and “The Times They Are a-Changin’” (1964) became anthems for the civil rights and anti-war movements. His lyrics during this period incorporated a range of political, social, philosophical, and literary influences, defied pop music conventions and appealed to the burgeoning counterculture.

Following his self-titled debut album in 1962, which mainly comprised traditional folk songs, Dylan made his breakthrough as a songwriter with the release of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan the following year. The album features “Blowin’ in the Wind” and the thematically complex “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”. For many of these songs, he adapted the tunes and phraseology of older folk songs. He went on to release the politically charged The Times They Are a-Changin’ and the more lyrically abstract and introspective Another Side of Bob Dylan in 1964. In 1965 and 1966, Dylan drew controversy when he adopted electrically amplified rock instrumentation, and in the space of 15 months recorded three of the most important and influential rock albums of the 1960s: Bringing It All Back Home (1965), Highway 61 Revisited (1965) and Blonde on Blonde (1966). Commenting on the six-minute single “Like a Rolling Stone” (1965), Rolling Stone wrote: “No other pop song has so thoroughly challenged and transformed the commercial laws and artistic conventions of its time, for all time.”

In July 1966, Dylan withdrew from touring after a motorcycle accident. During this period, he recorded a large body of songs with members of the Band, who had previously backed him on tour. These recordings were released as the collaborative album The Basement Tapes in 1975. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dylan explored country music and rural themes in John Wesley Harding (1967), Nashville Skyline (1969), and New Morning (1970). In 1975, he released Blood on the Tracks, which many saw as a return to form. In the late 1970s, he became a born-again Christian and released a series of albums of contemporary gospel music before returning to his more familiar rock-based idiom in the early 1980s. Dylan’s 1997 album Time Out of Mind marked the beginning of a renaissance for his career. He has released five critically acclaimed albums of original material since then, the most recent being Rough and Rowdy Ways (2020). He also recorded a series of three albums in the 2010s comprising versions of traditional American standards, especially songs recorded by Frank Sinatra. Backed by a changing lineup of musicians, he has toured steadily since the late 1980s on what has been dubbed the Never Ending Tour.

Since 1994, Dylan has published eight books of drawings and paintings, and his work has been exhibited in major art galleries. He has sold more than 100 million records, making him one of the best-selling music artists of all time. He has received numerous awards, including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, ten Grammy Awards, a Golden Globe Award and an Academy Award. Dylan has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame. The Pulitzer Prize Board in 2008 awarded him a special citation for “his profound impact on popular music and American culture, marked by lyrical compositions of extraordinary poetic power”. In 2016, Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition”.

Life and career

1941–1959: Origins and musical beginnings

Bob Dylan was born Robert Allen Zimmerman (Hebrew:שבתאי זיסל בן אברהם‎ Shabtai Zisl ben Avraham) in St. Mary’s Hospital on May 24, 1941, in Duluth, Minnesota, and raised in Hibbing, Minnesota, on the Mesabi Range west of Lake Superior. Dylan’s paternal grandparents, Anna Kirghiz and Zigman Zimmerman, emigrated from Odessa in the Russian Empire (now Ukraine) to the United States following the anti-Semitic pogroms of 1905. His maternal grandparents, Florence and Ben Stone, were Lithuanian Jews who arrived in the United States in 1902. In his autobiography, Chronicles: Volume One, Dylan wrote that his paternal grandmother’s family originated from the Kağızman district of Kars Province in northeastern Turkey.

Dylan’s father Abram Zimmerman and mother Beatrice “Beatty” Stone were part of a small, close-knit Jewish community. They lived in Duluth until Dylan was six, when his father contracted polio and the family returned to his mother’s hometown, Hibbing, where they lived for the rest of Dylan’s childhood, and his father and paternal uncles ran a furniture and appliances store. In his early years he listened to the radio—first to blues and country stations from Shreveport, Louisiana, and later, when he was a teenager, to rock and roll.

Dylan formed several bands while attending Hibbing High School. In the Golden Chords, he performed covers of songs by Little Richard and Elvis Presley. Their performance of Danny & the Juniors’ “Rock and Roll Is Here to Stay” at their high school talent show was so loud that the principal cut the microphone. In 1959, Dylan’s high school yearbook carried the caption “Robert Zimmerman: to join ‘Little Richard’.” That year, as Elston Gunnn, he performed two dates with Bobby Vee, playing piano and clapping. In September 1959, Dylan moved to Minneapolis and enrolled at the University of Minnesota. His focus on rock and roll gave way to American folk music, as he explained in a 1985 interview:

 

The thing about rock’n’roll is that for me anyway it wasn’t enough… There were great catch-phrases and driving pulse rhythms… but the songs weren’t serious or didn’t reflect life in a realistic way. I knew that when I got into folk music, it was more of a serious type of thing. The songs are filled with more despair, more sadness, more triumph, more faith in the supernatural, much deeper feelings.

Living at the Jewish-centric fraternity Sigma Alpha Mu house, Dylan began to perform at the Ten O’Clock Scholar, a coffeehouse a few blocks from campus, and became involved in the Dinkytown folk music circuit. During this period, he began to introduce himself as “Bob Dylan.” In his memoir, he said he had considered adopting the surname Dillon before he unexpectedly saw poems by Dylan Thomas, and decided upon that less common variant. Explaining his change of name in a 2004 interview, he said, “You’re born, you know, the wrong names, wrong parents. I mean, that happens. You call yourself what you want to call yourself. This is the land of the free.”

1960s

Relocation to New York and record deal

In May 1960, Dylan dropped out of college at the end of his first year. In January 1961, he traveled to New York City to perform there and visit his musical idol Woody Guthrie, who was seriously ill with Huntington’s disease in Greystone Park Psychiatric Hospital. Guthrie had been a revelation to Dylan and influenced his early performances. Describing Guthrie’s impact, he wrote: “The songs themselves had the infinite sweep of humanity in them… [He] was the true voice of the American spirit. I said to myself I was going to be Guthrie’s greatest disciple.” As well as visiting Guthrie in hospital, Dylan befriended Guthrie’s protégé Ramblin’ Jack Elliott. Much of Guthrie’s repertoire was channeled through Elliott, and Dylan paid tribute to Elliott in Chronicles: Volume One. Dylan later said he was influenced by African-American poets he heard on the New York streets, especially Big Brown.

From February 1961, Dylan played at clubs around Greenwich Village, befriending and picking up material from folk singers there, including Dave Van Ronk, Fred Neil, Odetta, the New Lost City Ramblers and Irish musicians the Clancy Brothers and Tommy Makem. On April 11, Dylan commenced a two-week engagement at Gerde’s Folk City, supporting John Lee Hooker. In September, New York Times critic Robert Shelton boosted Dylan’s career with a very enthusiastic review of his performance at Gerde’s Folk City: “Bob Dylan: A Distinctive Folk-Song Stylist”. That month, Dylan played harmonica on folk singer Carolyn Hester’s third album. This brought him to the attention of the album’s producer, John Hammond, who signed Dylan to Columbia Records.

Dylan’s first album, Bob Dylan, released March 19, 1962, consisted of familiar folk, blues and gospel with two original compositions. The album sold only 5,000 copies in its first year, just enough to break even. Within Columbia Records, some referred to Dylan as “Hammond’s Folly” and suggested dropping his contract, but Hammond defended him and was supported by songwriter Johnny Cash. In March 1962, Dylan contributed harmonica and backup vocals to the album Three Kings and the Queen, accompanying Victoria Spivey and Big Joe Williams on a recording for Spivey Records. While working for Columbia, Dylan recorded under the pseudonym Blind Boy Grunt for Broadside, a folk magazine and record label. Dylan used the pseudonym Bob Landy to record as a piano player on The Blues Project, a 1964 anthology album by Elektra Records. As Tedham Porterhouse, Dylan played harmonica on Ramblin’ Jack Elliott’s 1964 album Jack Elliott.

Dylan made two important career moves in August 1962: he legally changed his name to Bob Dylan, and signed a management contract with Albert Grossman. (In June 1961, Dylan had signed an agreement with Roy Silver. In 1962, Grossman paid Silver $10,000 to become sole manager.) Grossman remained Dylan’s manager until 1970, and was known for his sometimes confrontational personality and protective loyalty. Dylan said, “He was kind of like a Colonel Tom Parker figure … you could smell him coming.” Tension between Grossman and John Hammond led to the latter suggesting Dylan work with the young African-American jazz producer Tom Wilson, who produced several tracks for the second album without formal credit. Wilson produced the next three albums Dylan recorded.

Dylan made his first trip to the United Kingdom from December 1962 to January 1963. He had been invited by television director Philip Saville to appear in a drama, Madhouse on Castle Street, which Saville was directing for BBC Television. At the end of the play, Dylan performed “Blowin’ in the Wind”, one of its first public performances. The film recording of Madhouse on Castle Street was discarded by the BBC in 1968. While in London, Dylan performed at London folk clubs, including the Troubadour, Les Cousins, and Bunjies. He also learned material from UK performers, including Martin Carthy.

By the release of Dylan’s second album, The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, in May 1963, he had begun to make his name as a singer-songwriter. Many songs on the album were labeled protest songs, inspired partly by Guthrie and influenced by Pete Seeger’s passion for topical songs. “Oxford Town”, for example, was an account of James Meredith’s ordeal as the first black student to risk enrollment at the University of Mississippi. The first song on the album, “Blowin’ in the Wind”, partly derived its melody from the traditional slave song, “No More Auction Block”, while its lyrics questioned the social and political status quo. The song was widely recorded by other artists and became a hit for Peter, Paul and Mary. Another song, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall”, was based on the folk ballad “Lord Randall”. With veiled references to an impending apocalypse, it gained resonance when the Cuban Missile Crisis developed a few weeks after Dylan began performing it. Like “Blowin’ in the Wind”, “A Hard Rain’s a-Gonna Fall” marked a new direction in songwriting, blending a stream-of-consciousness, imagist lyrical attack with traditional folk form.

Dylan’s topical songs led to his being viewed as more than just a songwriter. Janet Maslin wrote in 1980 of Freewheelin’: “These were the songs that established [Dylan] as the voice of his generation—someone who implicitly understood how concerned young Americans felt about nuclear disarmament and the growing Civil Rights Movement: his mixture of moral authority and nonconformity was perhaps the most timely of his attributes.” Freewheelin’ also included love songs and surreal talking blues. Humor was an important part of Dylan’s persona, and the range of material on the album impressed listeners, including the Beatles. George Harrison said of the album: “We just played it, just wore it out. The content of the song lyrics and just the attitude—it was incredibly original and wonderful.”

The rough edge of Dylan’s singing was unsettling to some but an attraction to others. Novelist Joyce Carol Oates wrote: “When we first heard this raw, very young, and seemingly untrained voice, frankly nasal, as if sandpaper could sing, the effect was dramatic and electrifying.”[ Many early songs reached the public through more palatable versions by other performers, such as Joan Baez, who became Dylan’s advocate and lover. Baez was influential in bringing Dylan to prominence by recording several of his early songs and inviting him on stage during her concerts. “It didn’t take long before people got it, that he was pretty damned special,” says Baez.

Others who had hits with Dylan’s songs in the early 1960s included the Byrds, Sonny & Cher, the Hollies, Peter, Paul and Mary, the Association, Manfred Mann and the Turtles. Most attempted a pop feel and rhythm, while Dylan and Baez performed them mostly as sparse folk songs. The covers became so ubiquitous that CBS promoted him with the slogan “Nobody Sings Dylan Like Dylan”.

“Mixed-Up Confusion”, recorded during the Freewheelin’ sessions with a backing band, was released as Dylan’s first single in December 1962, but then swiftly withdrawn. In contrast to the mostly solo acoustic performances on the album, the single showed a willingness to experiment with a rockabilly sound. Cameron Crowe described it as “a fascinating look at a folk artist with his mind wandering towards Elvis Presley and Sun Records.”

Protest and Another Side

In May 1963, Dylan’s political profile rose when he walked out of The Ed Sullivan Show. During rehearsals, Dylan had been told by CBS television’s head of program practices that “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” was potentially libelous to the John Birch Society. Rather than comply with censorship, Dylan refused to appear.

By this time, Dylan and Baez were prominent in the civil rights movement, singing together at the March on Washington on August 28, 1963. Dylan’s third album, The Times They Are a-Changin’, reflected a more politicized Dylan. The songs often took as their subject matter contemporary stories, with “Only a Pawn in Their Game” addressing the murder of civil rights worker Medgar Evers; and the Brechtian “The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll” the death of black hotel barmaid Hattie Carroll, at the hands of young white socialite William Zantzinger. On a more general theme, “Ballad of Hollis Brown” and “North Country Blues” addressed despair engendered by the breakdown of farming and mining communities. This political material was accompanied by two personal love songs, “Boots of Spanish Leather” and “One Too Many Mornings”.

By the end of 1963, Dylan felt both manipulated and constrained by the folk and protest movements. Accepting the “Tom Paine Award” from the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee shortly after the assassination of John F. Kennedy, an intoxicated Dylan questioned the role of the committee, characterized the members as old and balding, and claimed to see something of himself and of every man in Kennedy’s assassin, Lee Harvey Oswald.

Another Side of Bob Dylan, recorded in a single evening on June 9, 1964, had a lighter mood. The humorous Dylan reemerged on “I Shall Be Free No. 10” and “Motorpsycho Nightmare”. “Spanish Harlem Incident” and “To Ramona” are passionate love songs, while “Black Crow Blues” and “I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)” suggest the rock and roll soon to dominate Dylan’s music. “It Ain’t Me Babe”, on the surface a song about spurned love, has been described as a rejection of the role of political spokesman thrust upon him.[81] His newest direction was signaled by two lengthy songs: the impressionistic “Chimes of Freedom”, which sets social commentary against a metaphorical landscape in a style characterized by Allen Ginsberg as “chains of flashing images,”  and “My Back Pages”, which attacks the simplistic and arch seriousness of his own earlier topical songs and seems to predict the backlash he was about to encounter from his former champions as he took a new direction.

In the latter half of 1964 and into 1965, Dylan moved from folk songwriter to folk-rock pop-music star. His jeans and work shirts were replaced by a Carnaby Street wardrobe, sunglasses day or night, and pointed “Beatle boots”. A London reporter wrote: “Hair that would set the teeth of a comb on edge. A loud shirt that would dim the neon lights of Leicester Square. He looks like an undernourished cockatoo.” Dylan began to spar with interviewers. Appearing on the Les Crane television show and asked about a movie he planned, he told Crane it would be a cowboy horror movie. Asked if he played the cowboy, Dylan replied, “No, I play my mother.”

Going electric

Dylan’s late March 1965 album Bringing It All Back Home was another leap,[85] featuring his first recordings with electric instruments, under producer Tom Wilson’s guidance.[86] One influence on Dylan’s decision to go electric was The Animals’ version of “The House of the Rising Sun”. Drummer John Steel states Dylan told him when he first heard this version on his car radio, he stopped to listen, “jumped out of his car” and “banged on the bonnet”. The first single, “Subterranean Homesick Blues”, owed much to Chuck Berry’s “Too Much Monkey Business”;[ its free-association lyrics described as harking back to the energy of beat poetry and as a forerunner of rap and hip-hop. The song was provided with an early music video, which opened D. A. Pennebaker’s cinéma vérité presentation of Dylan’s 1965 tour of Great Britain, Dont Look Back. Instead of miming, Dylan illustrated the lyrics by throwing cue cards containing key words from the song on the ground. Pennebaker said the sequence was Dylan’s idea, and it has been imitated in music videos and advertisements.

The second side of Bringing It All Back Home contained four long songs on which Dylan accompanied himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica. “Mr. Tambourine Man” became one of his best-known songs when the Byrds recorded an electric version that reached number one in the US and UK. “It’s All Over Now, Baby Blue” and “It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)” were two of Dylan’s most important compositions.

In 1965, headlining the Newport Folk Festival, Dylan performed his first electric set since high school with a pickup group featuring Mike Bloomfield on guitar and Al Kooper on organ. Dylan had appeared at Newport in 1963 and 1964, but in 1965 met with cheering and booing and left the stage after three songs. One version has it that the boos were from folk fans whom Dylan had alienated by appearing, unexpectedly, with an electric guitar. Murray Lerner, who filmed the performance, said: “I absolutely think that they were booing Dylan going electric.” An alternative account claims audience members were upset by poor sound and a short set. This account is supported by Kooper and one of the directors of the festival who claims his recording proves the only boos were in response to MC Peter Yarrow’s flustered announcement that there was only enough time for a short set.

Nevertheless, Dylan’s performance provoked a hostile response from the folk music establishment. In the September issue of Sing Out!, Ewan MacColl wrote: “Our traditional songs and ballads are the creations of extraordinarily talented artists working inside disciplines formulated over time …’But what of Bobby Dylan?’ scream the outraged teenagers … Only a completely non-critical audience, nourished on the watery pap of pop music, could have fallen for such tenth-rate drivel.” On July 29, four days after Newport, Dylan was back in the studio in New York, recording “Positively 4th Street”. The lyrics contained images of vengeance and paranoia, and have been interpreted as Dylan’s put-down of former friends from the folk community he had known in clubs along West 4th Street.

Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde

In July 1965, Dylan’s six-minute single “Like a Rolling Stone” peaked at number two in the U.S. chart. In 2004 and in 2011, Rolling Stone listed it as number one of “The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time”. Bruce Springsteen, in his speech for Dylan’s inauguration into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, said that on first hearing the single, “that snare shot sounded like somebody’d kicked open the door to your mind.” The song opened Dylan’s next album, Highway 61 Revisited, named after the road that led from Dylan’s Minnesota to the musical hotbed of New Orleans. The songs were in the same vein as the hit single, flavored by Mike Bloomfield’s blues guitar and Al Kooper’s organ riffs. “Desolation Row”, backed by acoustic guitar and understated bass, offers the sole exception, with Dylan alluding to figures in Western culture in a song described by Andy Gill as “an 11-minute epic of entropy, which takes the form of a Fellini-esque parade of grotesques and oddities featuring a huge cast of celebrated characters, some historical (Einstein, Nero), some biblical (Noah, Cain and Abel), some fictional (Ophelia, Romeo, Cinderella), some literary (T. S. Eliot and Ezra Pound), and some who fit into none of the above categories, notably Dr. Filth and his dubious nurse”.

In support of the album, Dylan was booked for two U.S. concerts with Al Kooper and Harvey Brooks from his studio crew and Robbie Robertson and Levon Helm, former members of Ronnie Hawkins’s backing band the Hawks. On August 28 at Forest Hills Tennis Stadium, the group was heckled by an audience still annoyed by Dylan’s electric sound. The band’s reception on September 3 at the Hollywood Bowl was more favorable.

From September 24, 1965, in Austin, Texas, Dylan toured the U.S. and Canada for six months, backed by the five musicians from the Hawks who became known as The Band. While Dylan and the Hawks met increasingly receptive audiences, their studio efforts foundered. Producer Bob Johnston persuaded Dylan to record in Nashville in February 1966, and surrounded him with top-notch session men. At Dylan’s insistence, Robertson and Kooper came from New York City to play on the sessions. The Nashville sessions produced the double album Blonde on Blonde (1966), featuring what Dylan called “that thin wild mercury sound”. Kooper described it as “taking two cultures and smashing them together with a huge explosion”: the musical world of Nashville and the world of the “quintessential New York hipster” Bob Dylan.

On November 22, 1965, Dylan quietly married 25-year-old former model Sara Lownds. Robertson has described how he received a phone call that morning to accompany the couple to a courthouse on Long Island, and then to a reception hosted by Albert and Sally Grossman at the Algonquin Hotel. Some of Dylan’s friends, including Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, say that, immediately after the event, Dylan denied he was married. Journalist Nora Ephron made the news public in the New York Post in February 1966 with the headline “Hush! Bob Dylan is wed.”

Dylan toured Australia and Europe in April and May 1966. Each show was split in two. Dylan performed solo during the first half, accompanying himself on acoustic guitar and harmonica. In the second, backed by the Hawks, he played electrically amplified music. This contrast provoked many fans, who jeered and slow handclapped. The tour culminated in a raucous confrontation between Dylan and his audience at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in England on May 17, 1966. A recording of this concert was released in 1998: The Bootleg Series Vol. 4: Bob Dylan Live 1966. At the climax of the evening, a member of the audience, angered by Dylan’s electric backing, shouted: “Judas!” to which Dylan responded, “I don’t believe you … You’re a liar!” Dylan turned to his band and said, “Play it fucking loud!” as they launched into the final song of the night—”Like a Rolling Stone”.

During his 1966 tour, Dylan was described as exhausted and acting “as if on a death trip”. D. A. Pennebaker, the filmmaker accompanying the tour, described Dylan as “taking a lot of amphetamine and who-knows-what-else”. In a 1969 interview with Jann Wenner, Dylan said, “I was on the road for almost five years. It wore me down. I was on drugs, a lot of things … just to keep going, you know?” In 2011, BBC Radio 4 reported that, in an interview that Robert Shelton taped in 1966, Dylan said he had kicked heroin in New York City: “I got very, very strung out for a while … I had about a $25-a-day habit and I kicked it.” Some journalists questioned the validity of this confession, pointing out that Dylan had “been telling journalists wild lies about his past since the earliest days of his career”.

Motorcycle accident and reclusion

After his tour, Dylan returned to New York, but the pressures increased. ABC Television had paid an advance for a TV show. His publisher, Macmillan, was demanding a manuscript of the poem/novel Tarantula. Manager Albert Grossman had scheduled a concert tour for the latter part of the year.

On July 29, 1966, Dylan crashed his 500 cc Triumph Tiger 100 motorcycle near his home in Woodstock, New York, and was thrown to the ground. Though the extent of his injuries was never disclosed, Dylan said that he broke several vertebrae in his neck. Mystery still surrounds the circumstances of the accident since no ambulance was called to the scene and Dylan was not hospitalized. Dylan’s biographers have written that the crash offered Dylan the chance to escape the pressures around him. Dylan confirmed this interpretation in his autobiography: “I had been in a motorcycle accident and I’d been hurt, but I recovered. Truth was that I wanted to get out of the rat race.”Dylan withdrew from public and, apart from a few appearances, did not tour again for almost eight years.

Once Dylan was well enough to resume creative work, he began to edit D. A. Pennebaker’s film of his 1966 tour. A rough cut was shown to ABC Television, which rejected it as incomprehensible to a mainstream audience. The film was subsequently titled Eat the Document on bootleg copies, and it has been screened at a handful of film festivals.[135] In 1967 he began recording with the Hawks at his home and in the basement of the Hawks’ nearby house, “Big Pink”. These songs, initially demos for other artists to record, provided hits for Julie Driscoll and the Brian Auger Trinity (“This Wheel’s on Fire”), the Byrds (“You Ain’t Goin’ Nowhere”, “Nothing Was Delivered”) and Manfred Mann (“Mighty Quinn”). Columbia released selections in 1975 as The Basement Tapes. Over the years, many more songs recorded by Dylan and his band in 1967 appeared on bootleg recordings, culminating in the 2014 official Columbia release The Basement Tapes Complete which contained 138 songs and alternative takes. In the coming months, the Hawks recorded the album Music from Big Pink using songs they worked on in their basement in Woodstock, and renamed themselves the Band, beginning a long recording and performing career of their own.

In October and November 1967, Dylan returned to Nashville. Back in the studio after 19 months, he was accompanied by Charlie McCoy on bass, Kenny Buttrey on drums, and Pete Drake on steel guitar.The result was John Wesley Harding, a contemplative record of shorter songs, set in a landscape that drew on the American West and the Bible. The sparse structure and instrumentation, with lyrics that took the Judeo-Christian tradition seriously, departed from Dylan’s own work and from the psychedelic fervor of the 1960s. It included “All Along the Watchtower”, with lyrics derived from the Book of Isaiah (21:5–9). The song was later recorded by Jimi Hendrix, whose version Dylan acknowledged as definitive. Woody Guthrie died on October 3, 1967, and Dylan made his first live appearance in twenty months at a Guthrie memorial concert held at Carnegie Hall on January 20, 1968, where he was backed by the Band.

Dylan’s next release, Nashville Skyline (1969), was mainstream country featuring Nashville musicians, a mellow-voiced Dylan, a duet with Johnny Cash, and the hit single “Lay Lady Lay”. Variety wrote, “Dylan is definitely doing something that can be called singing. Somehow he has managed to add an octave to his range.” During one recording session, Dylan and Cash recorded a series of duets but only their version of Dylan’s “Girl from the North Country” was released on the album.

In May 1969, Dylan appeared on the first episode of Johnny Cash’s television show and sang a duet with Cash of “Girl from the North Country”, with solos of “Living the Blues” and “I Threw It All Away.” Dylan next traveled to England to top the bill at the Isle of Wight festival on August 31, 1969, after rejecting overtures to appear at the Woodstock Festival closer to his home.

1970s

In the early 1970s, critics charged that Dylan’s output was varied and unpredictable. Rolling Stone writer Greil Marcus asked “What is this shit?” on first listening to Self Portrait, released in June 1970. It was a double LP including few original songs, and was poorly received. In October 1970, Dylan released New Morning, considered a return to form. This album included “Day of the Locusts”, a song in which Dylan gave an account of receiving an honorary degree from Princeton University on June 9, 1970. In November 1968, Dylan had co-written “I’d Have You Anytime” with George Harrison; Harrison recorded “I’d Have You Anytime” and Dylan’s “If Not for You” for his 1970 solo triple album All Things Must Pass. Dylan’s surprise appearance at Harrison’s 1971 Concert for Bangladesh attracted media coverage, reflecting that Dylan’s live appearances had become rare.

Between March 16 and 19, 1971, Dylan reserved three days at Blue Rock, a small studio in Greenwich Village, to record with Leon Russell. These sessions resulted in “Watching the River Flow” and a new recording of “When I Paint My Masterpiece”. On November 4, 1971, Dylan recorded “George Jackson”, which he released a week later. For many, the single was a surprising return to protest material, mourning the killing of Black Panther George Jackson in San Quentin State Prison that year. Dylan contributed piano and harmony to Steve Goodman’s album, Somebody Else’s Troubles, under the pseudonym Robert Milkwood Thomas (referencing Under Milk Wood by Dylan Thomas and his own previous name) in September 1972.

In 1972, Dylan signed to Sam Peckinpah’s film Pat Garrett and Billy the Kid, providing songs and backing music for the movie, and playing “Alias”, a member of Billy’s gang with some historical basis. Despite the film’s failure at the box office, the song “Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door” became one of Dylan’s most covered songs.

Also in 1972, Dylan protested the move to deport John Lennon and Yoko Ono, who had been convicted of possessing cannabis, by sending a letter to the U.S. Immigration Service, in part: “Hurray for John & Yoko. Let them stay and live here and breathe. The country’s got plenty of room and space. Let John and Yoko stay!”

Return to touring

Dylan began 1973 by signing with a new label, David Geffen’s Asylum Records when his contract with Columbia Records expired. His next album, Planet Waves, was recorded in the fall of 1973, using the Band as his backing group as they rehearsed for a major tour. The album included two versions of “Forever Young”, which became one of his most popular songs. As one critic described it, the song projected “something hymnal and heartfelt that spoke of the father in Dylan”, and Dylan himself commented: “I wrote it thinking about one of my boys and not wanting to be too sentimental.” Columbia Records simultaneously released Dylan, a collection of studio outtakes, widely interpreted as a churlish response to Dylan’s signing with a rival record label.

In January 1974, Dylan, backed by the Band, embarked on a North American tour of 40 concerts—his first tour for seven years. A live double album, Before the Flood, was released on Asylum Records. Soon, according to Clive Davis, Columbia Records sent word they “will spare nothing to bring Dylan back into the fold.” Dylan had second thoughts about Asylum, unhappy that Geffen had sold only 600,000 copies of Planet Waves despite millions of unfulfilled ticket requests for the 1974 tour; he returned to Columbia Records, which reissued his two Asylum albums.

After the tour, Dylan and his wife became estranged. He filled a small red notebook with songs about relationships and ruptures, and recorded an album entitled Blood on the Tracks in September 1974. Dylan delayed the release and re-recorded half of the songs at Sound 80 Studios in Minneapolis with production assistance from his brother, David Zimmerman.

Released in early 1975, Blood on the Tracks received mixed reviews. In the NME, Nick Kent described “the accompaniments [as] often so trashy they sound like mere practice takes.”[174] In Rolling Stone, Jon Landau wrote that “the record has been made with typical shoddiness.” Over the years critics came to see it as one of Dylan’s greatest achievements. For the Salon website, journalist Bill Wyman wrote: “Blood on the Tracks is his only flawless album and his best produced; the songs, each of them, are constructed in disciplined fashion. It is his kindest album and most dismayed, and seems in hindsight to have achieved a sublime balance between the logorrhea-plagued excesses of his mid-1960s output and the self-consciously simple compositions of his post-accident years.” Novelist Rick Moody called it “the truest, most honest account of a love affair from tip to stern ever put down on magnetic tape.”

In the middle of that year, Dylan wrote a ballad championing boxer Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, imprisoned for a triple murder in Paterson, New Jersey, in 1966. After visiting Carter in jail, Dylan wrote “Hurricane”, presenting the case for Carter’s innocence. Despite its length—over eight minutes—the song was released as a single, peaking at 33 on the U.S. Billboard chart, and performed at every 1975 date of Dylan’s next tour, the Rolling Thunder Revue. The tour featured about one hundred performers and supporters from the Greenwich Village folk scene, including T-Bone Burnett, Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Joni Mitchell, David Mansfield, Roger McGuinn, Mick Ronson, Joan Baez and Scarlet Rivera, whom Dylan discovered walking down the street, her violin case on her back.

Running through late 1975 and again through early 1976, the tour encompassed the release of the album Desire, with many of Dylan’s new songs featuring a travelogue-like narrative style, showing the influence of his new collaborator, playwright Jacques Levy.  The 1976 half of the tour was documented by a TV concert special, Hard Rain, and the LP Hard Rain; no concert album from first half of the tour was released until 2002’s Live 1975.

he 1975 tour with the Revue provided the backdrop to Dylan’s nearly four-hour film Renaldo and Clara, a sprawling narrative mixed with concert footage and reminiscences. Released in 1978, the movie received poor, sometimes scathing, reviews.  Later in that year, a two-hour edit, dominated by the concert performances, was more widely released. More than forty years later, a documentary about the 1975 leg of the Rolling Thunder Revue, Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese was released by Netflix on June 12, 2019.

In November 1976, Dylan appeared at the Band’s “farewell” concert, with Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Muddy Waters, Van Morrison and Neil Young. Martin Scorsese’s 1978 cinematic chronicle of the concert, The Last Waltz, included about half of Dylan’s set.  In 1976, Dylan wrote and duetted on “Sign Language” for Eric Clapton’s No Reason To Cry.

In 1978, Dylan embarked on a year-long world tour, performing 114 shows in Japan, the Far East, Europe and North America, to a total audience of two million. Dylan assembled an eight-piece band and three backing singers. Concerts in Tokyo in February and March were released as the live double album, Bob Dylan at Budokan.  Reviews were mixed. Robert Christgau awarded the album a C+ rating, giving the album a derisory review,  while Janet Maslin defended it in Rolling Stone, writing: “These latest live versions of his old songs have the effect of liberating Bob Dylan from the originals.”  When Dylan brought the tour to the U.S. in September 1978, the press described the look and sound as a ‘Las Vegas Tour’.  The 1978 tour grossed more than $20 million, and Dylan told the Los Angeles Times that he had debts because “I had a couple of bad years. I put a lot of money into the movie, built a big house … and it costs a lot to get divorced in California.”

In April and May 1978, Dylan took the same band and vocalists into Rundown Studios in Santa Monica, California, to record an album of new material: Street-Legal.  It was described by Michael Gray as, “after Blood On The Tracks, arguably Dylan’s best record of the 1970s: a crucial album documenting a crucial period in Dylan’s own life.” However, it had poor sound and mixing (attributed to Dylan’s studio practices), muddying the instrumental detail until a remastered CD release in 1999 restored some of the songs’ strengths.

Christian period

n the late 1970s, Dylan converted to Evangelical Christianity, undertaking a three-month discipleship course run by the Association of Vineyard Churches; and released three albums of contemporary gospel music. Slow Train Coming (1979) featured the guitar accompaniment of Mark Knopfler (of Dire Straits) and was produced by veteran R&B producer Jerry Wexler. Wexler said that Dylan had tried to evangelize him during the recording. He replied: “Bob, you’re dealing with a 62-year-old Jewish atheist. Let’s just make an album.” Dylan won the Grammy Award for Best Male Rock Vocal Performance for the song “Gotta Serve Somebody.” His second Christian-themed album, Saved (1980), received mixed reviews, described by Michael Gray as “the nearest thing to a follow-up album Dylan has ever made, Slow Train Coming II and inferior”. His third overtly Christian album was Shot of Love in 1981. When touring in late 1979 and early 1980, Dylan would not play his older, secular works, and he delivered declarations of his faith from the stage, such as:

Years ago they … said I was a prophet. I used to say, “No I’m not a prophet”, they say “Yes you are, you’re a prophet.” I said, “No it’s not me.” They used to say “You sure are a prophet.” They used to convince me I was a prophet. Now I come out and say Jesus Christ is the answer. They say, “Bob Dylan’s no prophet.” They just can’t handle it.

Dylan’s Christianity was unpopular with some fans and musicians. Shortly before his murder, John Lennon recorded “Serve Yourself” in response to Dylan’s “Gotta Serve Somebody.” By 1981, Stephen Holden wrote in The New York Times that “neither age (he’s now 40) nor his much-publicized conversion to born-again Christianity has altered his essentially iconoclastic temperament.”

1980s

In late 1980, Dylan briefly played concerts billed as “A Musical Retrospective”, restoring popular 1960s songs to the repertoire. Shot of Love, recorded early the next year, featured his first secular compositions in more than two years, mixed with Christian songs. “Every Grain of Sand” reminded some of William Blake’s verses.

In the 1980s, reception of Dylan’s recordings varied, from the well-regarded Infidels in 1983 to the panned Down in the Groove in 1988. Michael Gray condemned Dylan’s 1980s albums for carelessness in the studio and for failing to release his best songs. As an example of the latter, the Infidels recording sessions, which again employed Knopfler on lead guitar and also as the album’s producer, resulted in several notable songs that Dylan left off the album. Best regarded of these were “Blind Willie McTell”, a tribute to the dead blues musician and an evocation of African American history,  “Foot of Pride” and “Lord Protect My Child.” These three songs were released on The Bootleg Series Volumes 1–3 (Rare & Unreleased) 1961–1991.

Between July 1984 and March 1985, Dylan recorded Empire Burlesque.[213] Arthur Baker, who had remixed hits for Bruce Springsteen and Cyndi Lauper, was asked to engineer and mix the album. Baker said he felt he was hired to make Dylan’s album sound “a little bit more contemporary.”

In 1985 Dylan sang on USA for Africa’s famine relief single “We Are the World”. He also joined Artists United Against Apartheid providing vocals for their single “Sun City”. On July 13, 1985, he appeared at the climax at the Live Aid concert at JFK Stadium, Philadelphia. Backed by Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood, he performed a ragged version of “Hollis Brown”, his ballad of rural poverty, and then said to the worldwide audience exceeding one billion people: “I hope that some of the money … maybe they can just take a little bit of it, maybe … one or two million, maybe … and use it to pay the mortgages on some of the farms and, the farmers here, owe to the banks.”[215] His remarks were widely criticized as inappropriate, but they did inspire Willie Nelson to organize a series of events, Farm Aid, to benefit debt-ridden American farmers.

In April 1986, Dylan made a foray into rap music when he added vocals to the opening verse of “Street Rock”, featured on Kurtis Blow’s album Kingdom Blow. Dylan’s next studio album, Knocked Out Loaded, in July 1986 contained three covers (by Little Junior Parker, Kris Kristofferson and the gospel hymn “Precious Memories”), plus three collaborations (with Tom Petty, Sam Shepard and Carole Bayer Sager), and two solo compositions by Dylan. One reviewer commented that “the record follows too many detours to be consistently compelling, and some of those detours wind down roads that are indisputably dead ends. By 1986, such uneven records weren’t entirely unexpected by Dylan, but that didn’t make them any less frustrating.” It was the first Dylan album since The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan (1963) to fail to make the Top 50. Since then, some critics have called the 11-minute epic that Dylan co-wrote with Sam Shepard, “Brownsville Girl”, a work of genius.

In 1986 and 1987, Dylan toured with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, sharing vocals with Petty on several songs each night. Dylan also toured with the Grateful Dead in 1987, resulting in a live album Dylan & The Dead. This received negative reviews; AllMusic said it was “Quite possibly the worst album by either Bob Dylan or the Grateful Dead.”Dylan then initiated what came to be called the Never Ending Tour on June 7, 1988, performing with a back-up band featuring guitarist G. E. Smith. Dylan would continue to tour with a small, changing band for the next 30 years.

In 1987, Dylan starred in Richard Marquand’s movie Hearts of Fire, in which he played Billy Parker, a washed-up rock star turned chicken farmer whose teenage lover (Fiona) leaves him for a jaded English synth-pop sensation played by Rupert Everett. Dylan also contributed two original songs to the soundtrack—”Night After Night”, and “I Had a Dream About You, Baby”, as well as a cover of John Hiatt’s “The Usual”. The film was a critical and commercial flop.

Dylan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in January 1988, with Bruce Springsteen’s introduction declaring, “Bob freed your mind the way Elvis freed your body. He showed us that just because music was innately physical did not mean that it was anti-intellectual.”

The album Down in the Groove in May 1988 sold even more poorly than his previous studio album.[226] Michael Gray wrote: “The very title undercuts any idea that inspired work may lie within. Here was a further devaluing of the notion of a new Bob Dylan album as something significant.” The critical and commercial disappointment of that album was swiftly followed by the success of the Traveling Wilburys. Dylan co-founded the band with George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, Roy Orbison and Tom Petty, and in late 1988 their multi-platinum Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 reached three on the US album chart,  featuring songs that were described as Dylan’s most accessible compositions in years.  Despite Orbison’s death in December 1988, the remaining four recorded a second album in May 1990 with the title Traveling Wilburys Vol. 3.

Dylan finished the decade on a critical high note with Oh Mercy produced by Daniel Lanois. Michael Gray wrote that the album was: “Attentively written, vocally distinctive, musically warm, and uncompromisingly professional, this cohesive whole is the nearest thing to a great Bob Dylan album in the 1980s.” The track “Most of the Time”, a lost love composition, was later prominently featured in the film High Fidelity, while “What Was It You Wanted?” has been interpreted both as a catechism and a wry comment on the expectations of critics and fans. The religious imagery of “Ring Them Bells” struck some critics as a re-affirmation of faith.

1990s

Dylan’s 1990s began with Under the Red Sky (1990), an about-face from the serious Oh Mercy. It contained several apparently simple songs, including “Under the Red Sky” and “Wiggle Wiggle”. The album was dedicated to “Gabby Goo Goo”, a nickname for the daughter of Dylan and Carolyn Dennis, Desiree Gabrielle Dennis-Dylan, who was four.  Musicians on the album included George Harrison, Slash from Guns N’ Roses, David Crosby, Bruce Hornsby, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and Elton John. The record received bad reviews and sold poorly.

In 1990 and 1991 Dylan was described by his biographers as drinking heavily, impairing his performances on stage. In an interview with Rolling Stone, Dylan dismissed allegations that drinking was interfering with his music: “That’s completely inaccurate. I can drink or not drink. I don’t know why people would associate drinking with anything I do, really.”

Defilement and remorse were themes Dylan addressed when he received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award from American actor Jack Nicholson in February 1991.  The event coincided with the start of the Gulf War against Saddam Hussein and Dylan performed “Masters of War”. He then made a short speech: “My daddy once said to me, he said, ‘Son, it is possible for you to become so defiled in this world that your own mother and father will abandon you. If that happens, God will believe in your ability to mend your own ways.’”  The sentiment was subsequently revealed to be a quote from 19th-century German Jewish intellectual Rabbi Samson Raphael Hirsch.

Over the next few years Dylan returned to his roots with two albums covering traditional folk and blues songs: Good as I Been to You (1992) and World Gone Wrong (1993), backed solely by his acoustic guitar.  Many critics and fans commented on the quiet beauty of the song “Lone Pilgrim”,  written by a 19th-century teacher. In November 1994 Dylan recorded two live shows for MTV Unplugged. He said his wish to perform traditional songs was overruled by Sony executives who insisted on hits. The album from it, MTV Unplugged, included “John Brown”, an unreleased 1962 song of how enthusiasm for war ends in mutilation and disillusionment.

With a collection of songs reportedly written while snowed in on his Minnesota ranch, Dylan booked recording time with Daniel Lanois at Miami’s Criteria Studios in January 1997. The subsequent recording sessions were, by some accounts, fraught with musical tension.[246] Before the album’s release Dylan was hospitalized with a life-threatening heart infection, pericarditis, brought on by histoplasmosis. His scheduled European tour was cancelled, but Dylan made a speedy recovery and left the hospital saying, “I really thought I’d be seeing Elvis soon.” He was back on the road by mid-year, and performed before Pope John Paul II at the World Eucharistic Conference in Bologna, Italy. The Pope treated the audience of 200,000 people to a homily based on Dylan’s lyric “Blowin’ in the Wind”.

In September Dylan released the new Lanois-produced album, Time Out of Mind. With its bitter assessment of love and morbid ruminations, Dylan’s first collection of original songs in seven years was highly acclaimed. One critic wrote: “the songs themselves are uniformly powerful, adding up to Dylan’s best overall collection in years.” This collection of complex songs won him his first solo “Album of the Year” Grammy Award.

In December 1997, U.S. President Bill Clinton presented Dylan with a Kennedy Center Honor in the East Room of the White House, paying this tribute: “He probably had more impact on people of my generation than any other creative artist. His voice and lyrics haven’t always been easy on the ear, but throughout his career Bob Dylan has never aimed to please. He’s disturbed the peace and discomforted the powerful.”

2000s

Dylan commenced the 2000s by winning the Polar Music Prize in May 2000 and his first Oscar; his song “Things Have Changed”, written for the film Wonder Boys, won an Academy Award for Best Song in 2001.  The Oscar, by some reports a facsimile, tours with him, presiding over shows atop an amplifier.

“Love and Theft” was released on September 11, 2001. Recorded with his touring band, Dylan produced the album himself under the pseudonym Jack Frost. The album was critically well received and earned nominations for several Grammy awards.  Critics noted that Dylan was widening his musical palette to include rockabilly, Western swing, jazz, and even lounge ballads.  “Love and Theft” generated controversy when The Wall Street Journal pointed out similarities between the album’s lyrics and Japanese author Junichi Saga’s book Confessions of a Yakuza.

In 2003, Dylan revisited the evangelical songs from his Christian period and participated in the CD project Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan. That year Dylan also released the film Masked & Anonymous, which he co-wrote with director Larry Charles under the alias Sergei Petrov.[261] Dylan played the central character in the film, Jack Fate, alongside a cast that included Jeff Bridges, Penélope Cruz and John Goodman. The film polarised critics: many dismissed it as an “incoherent mess”;  a few treated it as a serious work of art.

In October 2004, Dylan published the first part of his autobiography, Chronicles: Volume One. Confounding expectations,  Dylan devoted three chapters to his first year in New York City in 1961–1962, virtually ignoring the mid-1960s when his fame was at its height. He also devoted chapters to the albums New Morning (1970) and Oh Mercy (1989). The book reached number two on The New York Times’ Hardcover Non-Fiction best seller list in December 2004 and was nominated for a National Book Award.[

No Direction Home, Martin Scorsese’s acclaimed film biography of Dylan,[268] was first broadcast on September 26–27, 2005, on BBC Two in the UK and PBS in the US.  The documentary focuses on the period from Dylan’s arrival in New York in 1961 to his motorcycle crash in 1966, featuring interviews with Suze Rotolo, Liam Clancy, Joan Baez, Allen Ginsberg, Pete Seeger, Mavis Staples and Dylan himself. The film received a Peabody Award in April 2006  and a Columbia-duPont Award in January 2007.[  The accompanying soundtrack featured unreleased songs from Dylan’s early career.

Dylan earned another distinction when a 2007 study of US legal opinions found his lyrics were quoted by judges and lawyers more than those of any other songwriter, 186 times versus 74 by the Beatles, who were second. Among those quoting Dylan were US Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Antonin Scalia, both conservatives. The most widely cited lines included “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” from “Subterranean Homesick Blues” and “when you ain’t got nothing, you got nothing to lose” from “Like a Rolling Stone”.

Modern Times

Dylan’s career as a radio presenter commenced on May 3, 2006, with his weekly radio program, Theme Time Radio Hour for XM Satellite Radio, with song selections on chosen themes. Dylan played classic and obscure records from the 1920s to the present day, including contemporary artists as diverse as Blur, Prince, L.L. Cool J and the Streets. The show was praised by fans and critics, as Dylan told stories and made eclectic references, commenting on his musical choices. In April 2009, Dylan broadcast the 100th show in his radio series; the theme was “Goodbye” and the final record played was Woody Guthrie’s “So Long, It’s Been Good to Know Yuh”.

Dylan resurrected his Theme Time Radio Hour format when he broadcast a two-hour special on the theme of “Whiskey” on Sirius Radio on September 21, 2020.

Dylan released his Modern Times album in August 2006. Despite some coarsening of Dylan’s voice (a critic for The Guardian characterised his singing on the album as “a catarrhal death rattle” ) most reviewers praised the album, and many described it as the final installment of a successful trilogy, embracing Time Out of Mind and “Love and Theft”.  Modern Times entered the U.S. charts at number one, making it Dylan’s first album to reach that position since 1976’s Desire.[  The New York Times published an article exploring similarities between some of Dylan’s lyrics in Modern Times and the work of the Civil War poet Henry Timrod.

Nominated for three Grammy Awards, Modern Times won Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album and Bob Dylan also won Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance for “Someday Baby.” Modern Times was named Album of the Year, 2006, by Rolling Stone magazine,  and by Uncut in the UK.  On the same day that Modern Times was released the iTunes Music Store released Bob Dylan: The Collection, a digital box set containing all of his albums (773 tracks in total), along with 42 rare and unreleased tracks.

In August 2007, the award-winning film biography of Dylan I’m Not There, written and directed by Todd Haynes, was released—bearing the tagline “inspired by the music and many lives of Bob Dylan.”[ The movie used six different actors to represent different aspects of Dylan’s life: Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Marcus Carl Franklin, Richard Gere, Heath Ledger and Ben Whishaw. Dylan’s previously unreleased 1967 recording from which the film takes its name was released for the first time on the film’s original soundtrack; all other tracks are covers of Dylan songs, specially recorded for the movie by a diverse range of artists, including Sonic Youth, Eddie Vedder, Mason Jennings, Stephen Malkmus, Jeff Tweedy, Karen O, Willie Nelson, Cat Power, Richie Havens and Tom Verlaine.

On October 1, 2007, Columbia Records released the triple CD retrospective album Dylan, anthologising his entire career under the Dylan 07 logo.  The sophistication of the Dylan 07 marketing campaign was a reminder that Dylan’s commercial profile had risen considerably since the 1990s. This became evident in 2004, when Dylan appeared in a TV advertisement for Victoria’s Secret lingerie.  Three years later, in October 2007, he participated in a multi-media campaign for the 2008 Cadillac Escalade. Then, in 2009, he gave the highest profile endorsement of his career, appearing with rapper will.i.am in a Pepsi ad that debuted during the telecast of Super Bowl XLIII.  The ad, broadcast to a record audience of 98 million viewers, opened with Dylan singing the first verse of “Forever Young” followed by will.i.am doing a hip hop version of the song’s third and final verse.

The Bootleg Series Vol. 8 – Tell Tale Signs was released in October 2008, as both a two-CD set and a three-CD version with a 150-page hardcover book. The set contains live performances and outtakes from selected studio albums from Oh Mercy to Modern Times, as well as soundtrack contributions and collaborations with David Bromberg and Ralph Stanley.  The pricing of the album—the two-CD set went on sale for $18.99 and the three-CD version for $129.99—led to complaints about “rip-off packaging” from some fans and commentators.  The release was widely acclaimed by critics.  The abundance of alternative takes and unreleased material suggested to one reviewer that this volume of old outtakes “feels like a new Bob Dylan record, not only for the astonishing freshness of the material, but also for the incredible sound quality and organic feeling of everything here.”
Together Through Life and Christmas in the Heart

Bob Dylan released his album Together Through Life on April 28, 2009. In a conversation with music journalist Bill Flanagan, published on Dylan’s website, Dylan explained that the genesis of the record was when French film director Olivier Dahan asked him to supply a song for his new road movie, My Own Love Song; initially only intending to record a single track, “Life Is Hard,” “the record sort of took its own direction.” Nine of the ten songs on the album are credited as co-written by Bob Dylan and Robert Hunter. The album received largely favorable reviews, although several critics described it as a minor addition to Dylan’s canon of work.

In its first week of release, the album reached number one in the Billboard 200 chart in the U.S.,  making Bob Dylan (67 years of age) the oldest artist to ever debut at number one on that chart.[ It also reached number one on the UK album chart, 39 years after Dylan’s previous UK album chart topper New Morning. This meant that Dylan currently holds the record for the longest gap between solo number one albums in the UK chart.

Dylan’s album, Christmas in the Heart, was released in October 2009, comprising such Christmas standards as “Little Drummer Boy”, “Winter Wonderland” and “Here Comes Santa Claus.”[310] Critics pointed out that Dylan was “revisiting yuletide styles popularized by Nat King Cole, Mel Tormé, and the Ray Conniff Singers.” Dylan’s royalties from the sale of this album were donated to the charities Feeding America in the USA, Crisis in the UK, and the World Food Programme.

The album received generally favorable reviews.  The New Yorker wrote that Dylan had welded a pre-rock musical sound to “some of his croakiest vocals in a while”, and speculated that his intentions might be ironic: “Dylan has a long and highly publicized history with Christianity; to claim there’s not a wink in the childish optimism of ‘Here Comes Santa Claus’ or ‘Winter Wonderland’ is to ignore a half-century of biting satire.” In an interview published in The Big Issue, journalist Bill Flanagan asked Dylan why he had performed the songs in a straightforward style, and Dylan responded: “There wasn’t any other way to play it. These songs are part of my life, just like folk songs. You have to play them straight too.”

2010s

Tempest

Volume 9 of Dylan’s Bootleg Series, The Witmark Demos was issued in October 18, 2010. It comprised 47 demo recordings of songs taped between 1962 and 1964 for Dylan’s earliest music publishers: Leeds Music in 1962, and Witmark Music from 1962 to 1964. One reviewer described the set as “a hearty glimpse of young Bob Dylan changing the music business, and the world, one note at a time.”[316] The critical aggregator website Metacritic awarded the album a Metascore of 86, indicating “universal acclaim.”[317] In the same week, Sony Legacy released Bob Dylan: The Original Mono Recordings, a box set that for the first time presented Dylan’s eight earliest albums, from Bob Dylan (1962) to John Wesley Harding (1967), in their original mono mix in the CD format. The CDs were housed in miniature facsimiles of the original album covers, replete with original liner notes. The set was accompanied by a booklet featuring an essay by music critic Greil Marcus.[318][319]

On April 12, 2011, Legacy Recordings released Bob Dylan in Concert – Brandeis University 1963, taped at Brandeis University on May 10, 1963, two weeks prior to the release of The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan. The tape was discovered in the archive of music writer Ralph J. Gleason, and the recording carries liner notes by Michael Gray, who says it captures Dylan “from way back when Kennedy] was President and the Beatles hadn’t yet reached America. It reveals him not at any Big Moment but giving a performance like his folk club sets of the period… This is the last live performance we have of Bob Dylan before he becomes a star.”[320]

The extent to which his work was studied at an academic level was demonstrated on Dylan’s 70th birthday on May 24, 2011, when three universities organized symposia on his work. The University of Mainz,[321] the University of Vienna,[322] and the University of Bristol[323] invited literary critics and cultural historians to give papers on aspects of Dylan’s work. Other events, including tribute bands, discussions and simple singalongs, took place around the world, as reported in The Guardian: “From Moscow to Madrid, Norway to Northampton and Malaysia to his home state of Minnesota, self-confessed ‘Bobcats’ will gather today to celebrate the 70th birthday of a giant of popular music.”

On May 29, 2012, U.S. President Barack Obama awarded Dylan a Presidential Medal of Freedom in the White House. At the ceremony, Obama praised Dylan’s voice for its “unique gravelly power that redefined not just what music sounded like but the message it carried and how it made people feel.”[325]

Dylan’s 35th studio album, Tempest was released on September 11, 2012.[326] The album features a tribute to John Lennon, “Roll On John”, and the title track is a 14-minute song about the sinking of the Titanic.[327] Reviewing Tempest for Rolling Stone, Will Hermes gave the album five out of five stars, writing: “Lyrically, Dylan is at the top of his game, joking around, dropping wordplay and allegories that evade pat readings and quoting other folks’ words like a freestyle rapper on fire.”[328] The critical aggregator website Metacritic awarded the album a score of 83 out of 100, indicating “universal acclaim.”[329]

Volume 10 of Dylan’s Bootleg Series, Another Self Portrait (1969–1971), was released in August 2013.[330] The album contained 35 previously unreleased tracks, including alternative takes and demos from Dylan’s 1969–1971 recording sessions during the making of the Self Portrait and New Morning albums. The box set also included a live recording of Dylan’s performance with the Band at the Isle of Wight Festival in 1969. Another Self Portrait received favorable reviews, earning a score of 81 on the critical aggregator, Metacritic, indicating “universal acclaim.”[331] AllMusic critic Thom Jurek wrote, “For fans, this is more than a curiosity, it’s an indispensable addition to the catalog.”[332]

Columbia Records released a boxed set containing all 35 Dylan studio albums, six albums of live recordings, and a collection, entitled Sidetracks, of non-album material, Bob Dylan: Complete Album Collection: Vol. One, in November 2013.[333][334] To publicize the 35 album box set, an innovative video of the song “Like a Rolling Stone” was released on Dylan’s website. The interactive video, created by director Vania Heymann, allowed viewers to switch between 16 simulated TV channels, all featuring characters who are lip-synching the lyrics of the 48-year-old song.[335][336]

Dylan appeared in a commercial for the Chrysler 200 car which was screened during the 2014 Super Bowl American football game played on February 2, 2014. At the end of the commercial, Dylan says: “So let Germany brew your beer, let Switzerland make your watch, let Asia assemble your phone. We will build your car.” Dylan’s Super Bowl commercial generated controversy and op-ed pieces discussing the protectionist implications of his words, and whether the singer had “sold out” to corporate interests.[337][338][339][340][341]

In 2013 and 2014, auction house sales demonstrated the high cultural value attached to Dylan’s mid-1960s work and the record prices that collectors were willing to pay for artefacts from this period. In December 2013, the Fender Stratocaster which Dylan had played at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival fetched $965,000, the second highest price paid for a guitar.[342][343] In June 2014, Dylan’s hand-written lyrics of “Like a Rolling Stone”, his 1965 hit single, fetched $2 million dollars at auction, a record for a popular music manuscript.[344][345]

A massive 960 page, thirteen and a half pound edition of Dylan’s lyrics, The Lyrics: Since 1962 was published by Simon & Schuster in the fall of 2014. The book was edited by literary critic Christopher Ricks, Julie Nemrow and Lisa Nemrow, to offer variant versions of Dylan’s songs, sourced from out-takes and live performances. A limited edition of 50 books, signed by Dylan, was priced at $5,000. “It’s the biggest, most expensive book we’ve ever published, as far as I know,” said Jonathan Karp, Simon & Schuster’s president and publisher.[346][347]

A comprehensive edition of the Basement Tapes, songs recorded by Dylan and the Band in 1967, was released as The Basement Tapes Complete in November 2014. These 138 tracks in a six-CD box form Volume 11 of Dylan’s Bootleg Series. The 1975 album, The Basement Tapes, had contained just 24 tracks from the material which Dylan and the Band had recorded at their homes in Woodstock, New York in 1967. Subsequently, over 100 recordings and alternate takes had circulated on bootleg records. The sleeve notes for the new box set are by Sid Griffin, author of Million Dollar Bash: Bob Dylan, the Band, and the Basement Tapes.[348][349] The box set earned a score of 99 on the critical aggregator, Metacritic.

Shadows in the Night, Fallen Angels and Triplicate

In February 2015, Dylan released Shadows in the Night, featuring ten songs written between 1923 and 1963,[351][352] which have been described as part of the Great American Songbook.[353] All the songs on the album were recorded by Frank Sinatra but both critics and Dylan himself cautioned against seeing the record as a collection of “Sinatra covers.”[351][354] Dylan explained, “I don’t see myself as covering these songs in any way. They’ve been covered enough. Buried, as a matter a fact. What me and my band are basically doing is uncovering them. Lifting them out of the grave and bringing them into the light of day.”[355] In an interview, Dylan said he had been thinking about making this record since hearing Willie Nelson’s 1978 album Stardust.[356] Dylan’s first foray into this material was in 2001 when he recorded Dean Martin’s “Return to Me” for the third season of The Sopranos.[357]

Shadows In the Night received favorable reviews, scoring 82 on the critical aggregator Metacritic, which indicates “universal acclaim”.[358] Critics praised the restrained instrumental backings and the quality of Dylan’s singing.[353][359] Bill Prince in GQ commented: “A performer who’s had to hear his influence in virtually every white pop recording made since he debuted his own self-titled album back in 1962 imagines himself into the songs of his pre-rock’n’roll early youth.”[354] The album debuted at number one in the UK Albums Chart in its first week of release.[360]

The Bootleg Series Vol. 12: The Cutting Edge 1965–1966, consisting of previously unreleased material from the three albums Dylan recorded between January 1965 and March 1966: Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited and Blonde on Blonde was released in November 2015. The set was released in three formats: a 2-CD “Best Of” version, a 6-CD “Deluxe edition”, and an 18-CD “Collector’s Edition” in a limited edition of 5,000 units. On Dylan’s website the “Collector’s Edition” was described as containing “every single note recorded by Bob Dylan in the studio in 1965/1966.”[361][362] The critical aggregator website Metacritic awarded Cutting Edge a score of 99, indicating universal acclaim.[363] The Best of the Cutting Edge entered the Billboard Top Rock Albums chart at number one on November 18, based on its first-week sales.[364]

The sale of Dylan’s extensive archive of about 6,000 items of memorabilia to the George Kaiser Family Foundation and the University of Tulsa was announced on March 2, 2016. It was reported the sale price was “an estimated $15 million to $20 million”. The archive comprises notebooks, drafts of Dylan lyrics, recordings, and correspondence.[365] The archive will be housed at Helmerich Center for American Research, a facility at the Gilcrease Museum.[366]

Dylan released Fallen Angels—described as “a direct continuation of the work of ‘uncovering’ the Great Songbook that he began on last year’s Shadows In the Night”—in May.[367] The album contained twelve songs by classic songwriters such as Harold Arlen, Sammy Cahn and Johnny Mercer, eleven of which had been recorded by Sinatra.[367] Jim Farber wrote in Entertainment Weekly: “Tellingly, [Dylan] delivers these songs of love lost and cherished not with a burning passion but with the wistfulness of experience. They’re memory songs now, intoned with a present sense of commitment. Released just four days ahead of his 75th birthday, they couldn’t be more age-appropriate.”[368] The album received a score of 79 on critical aggregator website Metacritic, denoting “generally favorable reviews”.[369]

A massive 36-CD collection, The 1966 Live Recordings, including every known recording of Bob Dylan’s 1966 concert tour was released in November 2016.[370] The recordings commence with the concert in White Plains New York on February 5, 1966, and end with the Royal Albert Hall concert in London on May 27.[371][372] The New York Times reported most of the concerts had “never been heard in any form”, and described the set as “a monumental addition to the corpus”.[373]

Dylan released a triple album of a further 30 recordings of classic American songs, Triplicate, in March 2017. Dylan’s 38th studio album was recorded in Hollywood’s Capitol Studios and features his touring band.[374] Dylan posted a long interview on his website to promote the album, and was asked if this material was an exercise in nostalgia. “Nostalgic? No I wouldn’t say that. It’s not taking a trip down memory lane or longing and yearning for the good old days or fond memories of what’s no more. A song like “Sentimental Journey” is not a way back when song, it doesn’t emulate the past, it’s attainable and down to earth, it’s in the here and now.”[375] The album was awarded a score of 84 on critical aggregator website Metacritic, signifying “universal acclaim”. Critics praised the thoroughness of Dylan’s exploration of the great American songbook, though, in the opinion of Uncut: “For all its easy charms, Triplicate labours its point to the brink of overkill. After five albums’ worth of croon toons, this feels like a fat full stop on a fascinating chapter.”[376]

The next edition of Dylan’s Bootleg Series revisited Dylan’s “Born Again” Christian period of 1979 to 1981, which was described by Rolling Stone as “an intense, wildly controversial time that produced three albums and some of the most confrontational concerts of his long career”.[377] Reviewing the box set, The Bootleg Series Vol. 13: Trouble No More 1979–1981, comprising 8 CDs and 1 DVD.[377] in The New York Times, Jon Pareles wrote, “Decades later, what comes through these recordings above all is Mr. Dylan’s unmistakable fervor, his sense of mission. The studio albums are subdued, even tentative, compared with what the songs became on the road. Mr. Dylan’s voice is clear, cutting and ever improvisational; working the crowds, he was emphatic, committed, sometimes teasingly combative. And the band tears into the music.”[378] Trouble No More includes a DVD of a film directed by Jennifer Lebeau consisting of live footage of Dylan’s gospel performances interspersed with sermons delivered by actor Michael Shannon. The box set album received an aggregate score of 84 on the critical website Metacritic, indicating “universal acclaim”.[379]

Dylan made a contribution to the compilation EP Universal Love, a collection of reimagined wedding songs for the LGBT community in April 2018.[380] The album was funded by MGM Resorts International and the songs are intended to function as “wedding anthems for same-sex couples”.[381] Dylan recorded the 1929 song “She’s Funny That Way”, changing the gender pronoun to “He’s Funny That Way”. The song has previously been recorded by Billie Holiday and Frank Sinatra.[381][382]

Also in April 2018, The New York Times announced that Dylan was launching Heaven’s Door, a range of three whiskeys: a straight rye, a straight bourbon and a “double-barreled” whiskey. Dylan has been involved in both the creation and the marketing of the range. The Times described the venture as “Mr. Dylan’s entry into the booming celebrity-branded spirits market, the latest career twist for an artist who has spent five decades confounding expectations.”[383]

On November 2, 2018, Dylan released More Blood, More Tracks as Volume 14 in the Bootleg Series. The set comprises all Dylan’s recordings for his 1975 album Blood On the Tracks, and was issued as a single CD and also as a six-CD Deluxe Edition.[384] The box set album received an aggregate score of 93 on the critical website Metacritic, indicating “universal acclaim”.[385]

Netflix released the movie Rolling Thunder Revue: A Bob Dylan Story by Martin Scorsese on June 12, 2019, describing the film as “Part documentary, part concert film, part fever dream”.[386][187] The Scorsese film received an aggregate score of 88 on critical website Metacritic, indicating “universal acclaim”.[387] The film sparked controversy because of the way it deliberately mixed documentary footage filmed during the Rolling Thunder Revue in the fall of 1975 with fictitious characters and invented stories.[388]

Coinciding with the film release, a box set of 14 CDs, The Rolling Thunder Revue: The 1975 Live Recordings, was released by Columbia Records. The set comprises five full Dylan performances from the tour and recently discovered tapes from Dylan’s tour rehearsals.[389] The box set received an aggregate score of 89 on the critical website Metacritic, indicating “universal acclaim”.[390]

The next instalment of Dylan’s Bootleg Series, Bob Dylan (featuring Johnny Cash) – Travelin’ Thru, 1967 – 1969: The Bootleg Series Vol. 15, was released on November 1. The 3-CD set comprises outtakes from Dylan’s albums John Wesley Harding and Nashville Skyline, and songs that Dylan recorded with Johnny Cash in Nashville in 1969 and with Earl Scruggs in 1970.[391][392] Travelin’ Thru received an aggregate score of 88 on the critical website Metacritic, indicating “universal acclaim”.

2020s

Rough and Rowdy Ways

On March 26, 2020, Dylan released a seventeen-minute track “Murder Most Foul” on his YouTube channel, revolving around the assassination of President Kennedy.[394] Dylan posted a statement: “This is an unreleased song we recorded a while back that you might find interesting. Stay safe, stay observant and may God be with you.”[395] Billboard reported on April 8 that “Murder Most Foul” had topped the Billboard Rock Digital Song Sales Chart. This was the first time that Dylan had scored a number one song on a pop chart under his own name.[396] Three weeks later, on April 17, 2020, Dylan released another new song, “I Contain Multitudes”.[397][398] The title is a quote from Section 51 of Walt Whitman’s poem “Song of Myself”.[399] On May 7, Dylan released a third single, “False Prophet”, accompanied by the news that “Murder Most Foul”, “I Contain Multitudes” and “False Prophet” would all appear on a forthcoming double album.

Rough and Rowdy Ways, Dylan’s 39th studio album and his first album of original material since 2012, was released on June 19 to favorable reviews.[400] Alexis Petridis wrote in The Guardian, “For all its bleakness, Rough and Rowdy Ways might well be Bob Dylan’s most consistently brilliant set of songs in years: the die-hards can spend months unravelling the knottier lyrics, but you don’t need a PhD in Dylanology to appreciate its singular quality and power.”[401] Rolling Stone critic Rob Sheffield wrote: “While the world keeps trying to celebrate him as an institution, pin him down, cast him in the Nobel Prize canon, embalm his past, this drifter always keeps on making his next escape. On Rough and Rowdy Ways, Dylan is exploring terrain nobody else has reached before—yet he just keeps pushing on into the future.”[402] Critical aggregator Metacritic gave the album a score of 95, indicating “universal acclaim”.[400] In its first week of release Rough and Rowdy Ways reached number one on the U.K. album chart, making Dylan “the oldest artist to score a No. 1 of new, original material”.[403]

To accompany the album, Dylan gave a rare interview to historian Douglas Brinkley, published in The New York Times on June 12. Dylan commented on the killing of George Floyd: “It was beyond ugly. Let’s hope that justice comes swift for the Floyd family and for the nation.” He said of the COVID-19 pandemic, “Maybe we are on the eve of destruction. There are numerous ways you can think about this virus. I think you just have to let it run its course.”

Never Ending Tour

The Never Ending Tour commenced on June 7, 1988,[405] and Dylan has played roughly 100 dates a year for the entirety of the 1990s and 2000s—a heavier schedule than most performers who started out in the 1960s.[406] By April 2019, Dylan and his band had played more than 3,000 shows,[407] anchored by long-time bassist Tony Garnier, multi-instrumentalist Donnie Herron and guitarist Charlie Sexton.[408] In October 2019, drummer Matt Chamberlain joined the band.[408] To the dismay of some of his audience,[409] Dylan’s performances remain unpredictable as he alters his arrangements and changes his vocal approach night after night.[410] Critical opinion about Dylan’s shows remains divided. Critics such as Richard Williams and Andy Gill have argued that Dylan has found a successful way to present his rich legacy of material.[411][412] Others have criticized his live performances for mangling and spitting out “the greatest lyrics ever written so that they are effectively unrecognisable”, and giving so little to the audience that “it is difficult to understand what he is doing on stage at all.”[413]

Dylan’s performances in China in April 2011 generated controversy. Some criticised him for not making any explicit comment on the political situation in China, and for, allegedly, allowing the Chinese authorities to censor his set list.[414][415] Others defended Dylan’s performances, arguing that such criticism represented a misunderstanding of Dylan’s art, and that no evidence for the censorship of Dylan’s set list existed.[416][417] In response to these allegations, Dylan posted a statement on his website: “As far as censorship goes, the Chinese government had asked for the names of the songs that I would be playing. There’s no logical answer to that, so we sent them the set lists from the previous 3 months. If there were any songs, verses or lines censored, nobody ever told me about it and we played all the songs that we intended to play.”[418]

In 2019, Dylan undertook two tours in Europe. The first commenced in Düsseldorf, Germany, on March 31, and ended in Valencia, Spain, on May 7. He played his 3000th show of the Never Ending Tour on April 19, 2019, in Innsbruck, Austria.[419] Dylan’s second tour began in Bergen, Norway, on June 21, and ended in Kilkenny, Ireland, on July 14.[420][421] In the fall of 2019 Dylan toured the USA, commencing in Irvine, California on October 11 and ending in Washington D.C. on December 8.[422]

In October 2019, Dylan’s touring company indicated that he would play 14 concerts in Japan in April 2020.[423] However, on March 12, 2020, it was announced that these scheduled shows had been canceled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Visual art

The cover of Dylan’s album Self Portrait (1970) is a reproduction of a painting of a face by Dylan.[425] Another of his paintings is reproduced on the cover of the 1974 album Planet Waves. In 1994 Random House published Drawn Blank, a book of Dylan’s drawings.[426] In 2007, the first public exhibition of Dylan’s paintings, The Drawn Blank Series, opened at the Kunstsammlungen in Chemnitz, Germany;[427] it showcased more than 200 watercolors and gouaches made from the original drawings. The exhibition coincided with the publication of Bob Dylan: The Drawn Blank Series, which includes 170 reproductions from the series.[427][428] From September 2010 until April 2011, the National Gallery of Denmark exhibited 40 large-scale acrylic paintings by Dylan, The Brazil Series.[429]

In July 2011, a leading contemporary art gallery, Gagosian Gallery, announced their representation of Dylan’s paintings.[430] An exhibition of Dylan’s art, The Asia Series, opened at the Gagosian Madison Avenue Gallery on September 20, displaying Dylan’s paintings of scenes in China and the Far East.[431] The New York Times reported that “some fans and Dylanologists have raised questions about whether some of these paintings are based on the singer’s own experiences and observations, or on photographs that are widely available and were not taken by Mr. Dylan.” The Times pointed to close resemblances between Dylan’s paintings and historic photos of Japan and China, and photos taken by Dmitri Kessel and Henri Cartier-Bresson.[432] Art critic Blake Gopnik has defended Dylan’s artistic practice, arguing: “Ever since the birth of photography, painters have used it as the basis for their works: Edgar Degas and Edouard Vuillard and other favorite artists—even Edvard Munch—all took or used photos as sources for their art, sometimes barely altering them.”[433] The Magnum photo agency confirmed that Dylan had licensed the reproduction rights of these photographs.[434]

Dylan’s second show at the Gagosian Gallery, Revisionist Art, opened in November 2012. The show consisted of thirty paintings, transforming and satirizing popular magazines, including Playboy and Babytalk.[435][436] In February 2013, Dylan exhibited the New Orleans Series of paintings at the Palazzo Reale in Milan.[437] In August 2013, Britain’s National Portrait Gallery in London hosted Dylan’s first major UK exhibition, Face Value, featuring twelve pastel portraits.[438]

In November 2013, the Halcyon Gallery in London mounted Mood Swings, an exhibition in which Dylan displayed seven wrought iron gates he had made. In a statement released by the gallery, Dylan said, “I’ve been around iron all my life ever since I was a kid. I was born and raised in iron ore country, where you could breathe it and smell it every day. Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways there is no difference.”[439][440]

In November 2016, the Halcyon Gallery featured a collection of drawings, watercolors and acrylic works by Dylan. The exhibition, The Beaten Path, depicted American landscapes and urban scenes, inspired by Dylan’s travels across the USA.[441] The show was reviewed by Vanity Fair and Asia Times Online.[442][443][444] In October 2018, the Halcyon Gallery mounted an exhibition of Dylan’s drawings, Mondo Scripto. The works consisted of Dylan hand-written lyrics of his songs, with each song illustrated by a drawing.[445]

Since 1994, Dylan has published eight books of paintings and drawings.

Lyrics


Ennio Morricone

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Ennio Morricone, OMRI (Italian: [ˈɛnnjo morriˈkoːne]; 10 November 1928 – 6 July 2020) was an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor, and trumpet player who wrote music in a wide range of styles. With more than 400 scores for cinema and television, as well as more than 100 classical works, Morricone is widely considered as one of the most prolific and greatest film composers of all time. His filmography includes more than 70 award-winning films, all Sergio Leone’s films since A Fistful of Dollars, all Giuseppe Tornatore’s films since Cinema Paradiso, The Battle of Algiers, Dario Argento’s Animal Trilogy, 1900, Exorcist II, Days of Heaven, several major films in French cinema, in particular the comedy trilogy La Cage aux Folles I, II, III and Le Professionnel, as well as The Thing, Once Upon a Time in America, The Mission, The Untouchables, Mission to Mars, Bugsy, Disclosure, In the Line of Fire, Bulworth, Ripley’s Game, and The Hateful Eight. His score to The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966) is regarded as one of the most recognizable and influential soundtracks in history. It was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

After playing the trumpet in jazz bands in the 1940s, he became a studio arranger for RCA Victor and in 1955 started ghost writing for film and theatre. Throughout his career, he composed music for artists such as Paul Anka, Mina, Milva, Zucchero, and Andrea Bocelli. From 1960 to 1975, Morricone gained international fame for composing music for Westerns and—with an estimated 10 million copies sold—Once Upon a Time in the West is one of the best-selling scores worldwide. From 1966 to 1980, he was a main member of Il Gruppo, one of the first experimental composers collectives, and in 1969 he co-founded Forum Music Village, a prestigious recording studio. From the 1970s, Morricone excelled in Hollywood, composing for prolific American directors such as Don Siegel, Mike Nichols, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, Oliver Stone, Warren Beatty, John Carpenter, and Quentin Tarantino. In 1977, he composed the official theme for the 1978 FIFA World Cup. He continued to compose music for European productions, such as Marco Polo, La piovra, Nostromo, Fateless, Karol, and En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait. Morricone’s music has been reused in television series, including The Simpsons and The Sopranos, and in many films, including Inglourious Basterds and Django Unchained. He also scored seven Westerns for Sergio Corbucci, Duccio Tessari’s Ringo duology and Sergio Sollima’s The Big Gundown and Face to Face. Morricone worked extensively for other film genres with directors such as Bernardo Bertolucci, Mauro Bolognini, Giuliano Montaldo, Roland Joffé, Roman Polanski, Henri Verneuil, Lucio Fulci, Umberto Lenzi, and Pier Paolo Pasolini. His acclaimed soundtrack for The Mission (1986), was certified gold in the United States. The album Yo-Yo Ma Plays Ennio Morricone stayed for 105 weeks on the Billboard Top Classical Albums.

Morricone’s best-known compositions include “The Ecstasy of Gold”, “Se Telefonando”, “Man with a Harmonica”, “Here’s to You”, the UK No. 2 single “Chi Mai”, “Gabriel’s Oboe”, and “E Più Ti Penso”. In 1971, he received a “Targa d’Oro” for worldwide sales of 22 million,[11] and by 2016 Morricone had sold more than 70 million records worldwide. In 2007, he received the Academy Honorary Award “for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music”. He was nominated for a further six Oscars, and in 2016, received his only competitive Academy Award for his score to Quentin Tarantino’s film The Hateful Eight, at the time becoming the oldest person ever to win a competitive Oscar. His other achievements include three Grammy Awards, three Golden Globes, six BAFTAs, ten David di Donatello, eleven Nastro d’Argento, two European Film Awards, the Golden Lion Honorary Award, and the Polar Music Prize in 2010. Morricone influenced many artists from film scoring to other styles and genres, including Hans Zimmer, Danger Mouse, Dire Straits, Muse, Metallica, and Radiohead.

Early life and education

Morricone was born in Rome, the son of Libera Ridolfi and Mario Morricone, a musician. At the time of his birth Italy was under fascist rule. His family came from Arpino, near Frosinone. Morricone had four siblings — Adriana, Aldo,[nb 1] Maria, and Franca — and lived in Trastevere in the centre of Rome. His father was a professional trumpet player who performed in light-music orchestras while his mother set up a small textile business.

Morricone’s father first taught him to read music and to play several instruments. He entered the National Academy of Saint Cecilia to take trumpet lessons under the guidance of Umberto Semproni. He formally entered the conservatory in 1940 at age 12, enrolling in a four-year harmony program that he completed within six months. He studied the trumpet, composition, and choral music under the direction of Goffredo Petrassi, to whom Morricone would later dedicate concert pieces.
In 1941 Morricone was chosen among the students of the National Academy of Saint Cecilia to be a part of the Orchestra of the Opera, directed by Carlo Zecchi on the occasion of a tour of the Veneto region. He received his diploma in trumpet in 1946, continuing to work in classical composition and arrangement. Morricone received the Diploma in Instrumentation for Band Arrangement with a mark of 9/10 in 1952. His studies concluded at the Conservatory of Santa Cecilia in 1954 when he obtained a final 9.5/10 in his Diploma in Composition under Petrassi.

Career

First compositions

Morricone wrote his first compositions when he was six years old and he was encouraged to develop his natural talents.[24] In 1946, he composed “Il Mattino” (“The Morning”) for voice and piano on a text by Fukuko, first in a group of seven “youth” Lieder.

In the following years, he continued to write music for the theatre as well as classical music for voice and piano, such as “Imitazione”, based on a text by Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi, “Intimità”, based on a text by Olinto Dini, “Distacco I” and “Distacco II” with words by R. Gnoli, “Oboe Sommerso” for baritone and five instruments with words by poet Salvatore Quasimodo, and “Verrà la Morte”, for alto and piano, based on a text by novelist Cesare Pavese.

In 1953, Morricone was asked by Gorni Kramer and Lelio Luttazzi to write an arrangement for some medleys in an American style for a series of evening radio shows. The composer continued with the composition of other ‘serious’ classical pieces, thus demonstrating the flexibility and eclecticism that always has been an integral part of his character. Many orchestral and chamber compositions date, in fact, from the period between 1954 and 1959: Musica per archi e pianoforte (1954), Invenzione, Canone e Ricercare per piano; Sestetto per flauto, oboe, fagotto, violino, viola, e violoncello (1955), Dodici Variazione per oboe, violoncello, e piano; Trio per clarinetto, corno, e violoncello; Variazione su un tema di Frescobaldi (1956); Quattro pezzi per chitarra (1957); Distanze per violino, violoncello, e piano; Musica per undici violini, Tre Studi per flauto, clarinetto, e fagotto (1958); and the Concerto per orchestra (1957), dedicated to his teacher Goffredo Petrassi.

Morricone soon gained popularity by writing his first background music for radio dramas and quickly moved into film.

Composing for radio, television, and pop artists

Morricone’s career as an arranger began in 1950, by arranging the piece Mamma Bianca (Narciso Parigi). On occasion of the “Anno Santo” (Holy Year), he arranged a long group of popular songs of devotion for radio broadcasting.

In 1956, Morricone started to support his family by playing in a jazz band and arranging pop songs for the Italian broadcasting service RAI. He was hired by RAI in 1958, but quit his job on his first day at work when he was told that broadcasting of music composed by employees was forbidden by a company rule. Subsequently, Morricone became a top studio arranger at RCA Victor, working with Renato Rascel, Rita Pavone, Domenico Modugno, and Mario Lanza.

Throughout his career, Morricone composed songs for several national and international jazz and pop artists, including Gianni Morandi (Go Kart Twist, 1962), Alberto Lionello (La donna che vale, 1959), Edoardo Vianello (Ornella, 1960; Cicciona cha-cha, 1960; Faccio finta di dormire, 1961; T’ho conosciuta, 1963; ), Nora Orlandi (Arianna, 1960), Jimmy Fontana (Twist no. 9; Nicole, 1962), Rita Pavone (Come te non-ce nessuno and Pel di carota from 1962, arranged by Luis Bacalov), Catherine Spaak (Penso a te; Questi vent’anni miei, 1964), Luigi Tenco (Quello che conta; Tra tanta gente; 1962), Gino Paoli (Nel corso from 1963, written by Morricone with Paoli), Renato Rascel (Scirocco, 1964), Paul Anka (Ogni Volta), Amii Stewart, Rosy Armen (L’Amore Gira), Milva (Ridevi, Metti Una Sera A Cena), Françoise Hardy (Je changerais d’avis, 1966), Mireille Mathieu (Mon ami de toujours; Pas vu, pas pris, 1971; J’oublie la pluie et le soleil, 1974), and Demis Roussos (I Like The World, 1970).[

In 1963, the composer co-wrote (with Roby Ferrante) the music for the composition “Ogni volta” (“Every Time”), a song that was performed by Paul Anka for the first time during the Festival di Sanremo in 1964. This song was arranged and conducted by Morricone and sold more than three million copies worldwide, including one million copies in Italy alone.

Another success was his composition “Se telefonando”. Performed by Mina, it was a standout track of Studio Uno 66, the fifth-best-selling album of the year 1966 in Italy.  Morricone’s sophisticated arrangement of “Se telefonando” was a combination of melodic trumpet lines, Hal Blaine–style drumming, a string set, a 1960s Europop female choir, and intensive subsonic-sounding trombones. The Italian Hitparade No. 7 song had eight transitions of tonality building tension throughout the chorus. During the following decades, the song was recorded by several performers in Italy and abroad including covers by Françoise Hardy and Iva Zanicchi (1966), Delta V (2005), Vanessa and the O’s (2007), and Neil Hannon (2008). Françoise Hardy – Mon amie la rose site in the reader’s poll conducted by the newspaper la Repubblica to celebrate Mina’s 70th anniversary in 2010, 30,000 voters picked the track as the best song ever recorded by Mina.

In 1987, Morricone co-wrote It Couldn’t Happen Here with the Pet Shop Boys. Other compositions for international artists include: La metà di me and Immagina (1988) by Ruggero Raimondi, Libera l’amore (1989) performed by Zucchero, Love Affair (1994) by k.d. lang, Ha fatto un sogno (1997) by Antonello Venditti, Di Più (1997) by Tiziana Tosca Donati, Come un fiume tu (1998), Un Canto (1998) and Conradian (2006) by Andrea Bocelli, Ricordare (1998) and Salmo (2000) by Angelo Branduardi, and My heart and I (2001) by Sting.

First film scores

After graduation in 1954, Morricone started to write and arrange music as a ghost writer for films credited to already well-known composers, while also arranging for many light music orchestras of the RAI television network, working especially with Armando Trovajoli, Alessandro Cicognini, and Carlo Savina. He occasionally adopted Anglicized pseudonyms, such as Dan Savio and Leo Nichols.

In 1959, Morricone was the conductor (and uncredited co-composer) for Mario Nascimbene’s score to Morte di un amico (Death of a Friend), an Italian drama directed by Franco Rossi. In the same year, he composed music for the theatre show Il lieto fine by Luciano Salce.

1961 marked his real film debut with Luciano Salce’s Il Federale (The Fascist). In an interview with American composer Fred Karlin, Morricone discussed his beginnings, stating, “My first films were light comedies or costume movies that required simple musical scores that were easily created, a genre that I never completely abandoned even when I went on to much more important films with major directors”.

With Il Federale Morricone began a long-run collaboration with Luciano Salce. In 1962, Morricone composed the jazz-influenced score for Salce’s comedy La voglia matta (Crazy Desire). That year Morricone also arranged Italian singer Edoardo Vianello’s summer hit “Pinne, fucile, e occhiali”, a cha-cha song, peppered with added water effects, unusual instrumental sounds and unexpected stops and starts.

Morricone wrote works for the concert hall in a more avant-garde style. Some of these have been recorded, such as Ut, a trumpet concerto dedicated to Mauro Maur.

The Group and New Consonance

From 1964 up to their eventual disbandment in 1980, Morricone was part of Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza (G.I.N.C.), a group of composers who performed and recorded avant-garde free improvisations. The Rome-based avant-garde ensemble was dedicated to the development of improvisation and new music methods. The ensemble functioned as a laboratory of sorts, working with anti-musical systems and sound techniques in an attempt to redefine the new music ensemble and explore “New Consonance”.

Known as “The Group” or “Il Gruppo”, they released seven albums across the Deutsche Grammophon, RCA, and Cramps labels: Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza (1966), The Private Sea of Dreams (1967), Improvisationen (1968), The Feed-back (1970), Improvvisazioni a Formazioni Variate (1973), Nuova Consonanza (1975), and Musica su Schemi (1976). Perhaps the most famous of these is their album entitled The Feed-back, which combines free jazz and avant-garde classical music with funk; the album frequently is sampled by hip hop DJs and is considered to be one of the most collectable records in existence, often fetching more than $1,000 at auction.

Morricone played a key role in The Group and was among the core members in its revolving line-up; in addition to serving as their trumpet player, he directed them on many occasions and they can be heard on a large number of his scores.[45] Held in high regard in avant-garde music circles, they are considered to be the first experimental composers collective, their only peers being the British improvisation collective AMM. Their influence can be heard in free improvising ensembles from the European movements including the Evan Parker Electro-Acoustic Ensemble, the Swiss electronic free improvisation group Voice Crack, John Zorn,[46] and in the techniques of modern classical music and avant-garde jazz groups. The ensemble’s groundbreaking work informed their work in composition. The ensemble also performed in varying capacities with Morricone, contributing to some of his 1960s and 1970s Italian soundtracks, including A Quiet Place in the Country (1969) and Cold Eyes of Fear (1971).

Film music genres

Comedy

Morricone’s earliest scores were Italian light comedy and costume pictures, where he learned to write simple, memorable themes. During the nineteen sixties and seventies he composed the scores for comedies such as Eighteen in the Sun (Diciottenni al sole, 1962), Il Successo (1963), Lina Wertmüller’s I basilischi (The Basilisks/The Lizards, 1963),[39] Slalom (1965), Menage all’italiana (Menage Italian Style, 1965), How I Learned to Love Women (Come imparai ad amare le donne, 1966), Her Harem (L’harem, 1967), A Fine Pair (Ruba al prossimo tuo, 1968), L’Alibi (1969), This Kind of Love (Questa specie d’amore, 1972), Winged Devils (Forza “G”, 1972), and Fiorina la vacca (1972).

His best-known scores for comedies includes La Cage aux Folles (1978) and La Cage aux Folles II (1980), both directed by Édouard Molinaro, Il ladrone (The Good Thief, 1980), Georges Lautner’s La Cage aux Folles 3: The Wedding (1985), Pedro Almodóvar’s Tie Me Up! Tie Me Down! (1990) and Warren Beatty’s Bulworth (1998). Morricone never ceased to arrange and write music for comedies. In 2007, he composed a lighthearted score for the Italian romantic comedy Tutte le Donne della mia Vita by Simona Izzo, the director who co-wrote the Morricone-scored religious mini-series Il Papa Buono.

Westerns

Although his first films were undistinguished,[clarification needed] Morricone’s arrangement of an American folk song intrigued director and former schoolmate Sergio Leone. Before being associated with Leone, Morricone already had composed some music for less-known western movies such as Duello nel Texas (aka Gunfight at Red Sands) (1963). In 1962, Morricone met American folksinger Peter Tevis, with the two collaborating on a version of Woody Guthrie’s Pastures of Plenty. Tevis is credited with singing the lyrics of Morricone’s songs such as “A Gringo Like Me” (from Gunfight at Red Sands) and “Lonesome Billy” (from Bullets Don’t Argue). Tevis later recorded a vocal version of A Fistful of Dollars that was not used in the film.

Association with Sergio Leone

The turning point in Morricone’s career took place in 1964, the year in which his third child, Andrea Morricone, who would also become a film composer, was born. Film director Sergio Leone hired Morricone, and together they created a distinctive score to accompany Leone’s different version of the Western, A Fistful of Dollars (1964).

The Dollars Trilogy

Because budget strictures limited Morricone’s access to a full orchestra, he used gunshots, cracking whips, whistle, voices, jew’s harp, trumpets, and the new Fender electric guitar, instead of orchestral arrangements of Western standards à la John Ford. Morricone used his special effects to punctuate and comically tweak the action—cluing in the audience to the taciturn man’s ironic stance.

As memorable as Leone’s close-ups, harsh violence, and black comedy, Morricone’s work helped to expand the musical possibilities of film scoring. Initially, Morricone was billed on the film as Dan Savio. A Fistful of Dollars came out in Italy in 1964 and was released in America three years later, greatly popularising the so-called Spaghetti Western genre. For the American release, Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone decided to adopt American-sounding names, so they called themselves respectively, Bob Robertson and Dan Savio. Over the film’s theatrical release, it grossed more than any other Italian film up to that point.[51] The film debuted in the United States in January 1967, where it grossed US$4.5 million for the year.[51] It eventually grossed $14.5 million in its American release, against its budget of US$200,000.

With the score of A Fistful of Dollars, Morricone began his 20-year collaboration with his childhood friend Alessandro Alessandroni and his Cantori Moderni.[54] Alessandroni provided the whistling and the twanging guitar on the film scores, while his Cantori Moderni were a flexible troupe of modern singers. Morricone specifically exploited the solo soprano of the group, Edda Dell’Orso, at the height of her powers “an extraordinary voice at my disposal”.

The composer subsequently scored Leone’s other two Dollars Trilogy (or Man with No Name Trilogy) spaghetti westerns: For a Few Dollars More (1965) and The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly (1966). All three films starred the American actor Clint Eastwood as The Man With No Name and depicted Leone’s own intense vision of the mythical West. Morricone commented in 2007: “Some of the music was written before the film, which was unusual. Leone’s films were made like that because he wanted the music to be an important part of it; he kept the scenes longer because he did not want the music to end.” According to Morricone this explains “why the films are so slow”.

Despite the small film budgets, the Dollars Trilogy was a box-office success. The available budget for The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly was about US$1.2 million, but it became the most successful film of the Dollars Trilogy, grossing US$25.1 million in the United States and more than 2,3 billion lire (1,2 million EUR) in Italy alone. Morricone’s score became a major success and sold more than three million copies worldwide. On 14 August 1968 the original score was certified by the RIAA with a golden record for the sale of 500,000 copies in the United States alone.

The main theme to The Good, the Bad, and The Ugly, also titled “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, was a hit in 1968 for Hugo Montenegro, whose rendition was a No.2 Billboard pop single in the U.S. and a U.K. No.1 single (for four weeks from mid-November that year).

“The Ecstasy of Gold” became one of Morricone’s best-known compositions. The opening scene of Jeff Tremaine’s Jackass Number Two (2006), in which the cast is chased through a suburban neighbourhood by bulls, is accompanied by this piece. While punk rock band the Ramones used “The Ecstasy of Gold” as closing theme during their live performances, Metallica uses “The Ecstasy of Gold” as the introductory music for its concerts since 1983. This composition is also included on Metallica’s live symphonic album S&M as well as the live album Live Shit: Binge & Purge. An instrumental metal cover by Metallica (with minimal vocals by lead singer James Hetfield) appeared on the 2007 Morricone tribute album We All Love Ennio Morricone. This metal version was nominated for a Grammy Award in the category of Best Rock Instrumental Performance. In 2009, the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop artist Coolio extensively sampled the theme for his song “Change”.

Once Upon a Time in the West and others

Subsequent to the success of the Dollars trilogy, Morricone also composed the scores for Once Upon a Time in the West (1968) and Leone’s last credited western film A Fistful of Dynamite (1971), as well as the score for My Name Is Nobody (1973).

Morricone’s score for Once Upon a Time in the West is one of the best-selling original instrumental scores in the world today, with as many as 10 million copies sold, including one million copies in France, and more than 800,000 copies in the Netherlands. One of the main themes from the score, “A Man with Harmonica” (L’uomo Dell’armonica), became known worldwide and sold more than 1,260,000 copies in France.

The collaboration with Leone is considered one of the exemplary collaborations between a director and a composer. Morricone’s last score for Leone was for his last film, the gangster drama Once Upon a Time in America (1984). Leone died on 30 April 1989 of a heart attack at the age of 60. Before his death in 1989, Leone was part-way through planning a film on the Siege of Leningrad, set during World War II. By 1989, Leone had been able to acquire US$100 million in financing from independent backers for the war epic. He had convinced Morricone to compose the film score. The project was cancelled when Leone died two days before he was to officially sign on for the film.

In early 2003, Italian filmmaker Giuseppe Tornatore announced he would direct a film called Leningrad. The film has yet to go into production and Morricone was cagey as to details on account of Tornatore’s superstitious nature.

Association with Sergio Corbucci and Sergio Sollima

Two years after the start of his collaboration with Sergio Leone, Morricone also started to score music for another Spaghetti Western director, Sergio Corbucci. The composer wrote music for Corbucci’s Navajo Joe (1966), The Hellbenders (1967), The Mercenary/The Professional Gun (1968), The Great Silence (1968), Compañeros (1970), Sonny and Jed (1972), and What Am I Doing in the Middle of the Revolution? (1972).

In addition, Morricone composed music for the western films by Sergio Sollima, The Big Gundown (with Lee Van Cleef, 1966), Face to Face (1967), and Run, Man, Run (1968), as well as the 1970 crime thriller Violent City (with Charles Bronson) and the poliziottesco film Revolver (1973).

Other westerns

Other relevant scores for less popular Spaghetti Westerns include Duello nel Texas (1963), Bullets Don’t Argue (1964), A Pistol for Ringo (1965), The Return of Ringo (1965), Seven Guns for the MacGregors (1966), The Hills Run Red (1966), Giulio Petroni’s Death Rides a Horse (1967) and Tepepa (1968), A Bullet for the General (1967), Guns for San Sebastian (with Charles Bronson and Anthony Quinn, 1968), A Sky Full of Stars for a Roof (1968), The Five Man Army (1969), Don Siegel’s Two Mules for Sister Sara (1970), Life Is Tough, Eh Providence? (1972), and Buddy Goes West (1981).

Dramas and political movies

With Leone’s films, Ennio Morricone’s name had been put firmly on the map. Most of Morricone’s film scores of the 1960s were composed outside the Spaghetti Western genre, while still using Alessandroni’s team. Their music included the themes for Il Malamondo (1964), Slalom (1965), and Listen, Let’s Make Love (1967). In 1968, Morricone reduced his work outside the movie business and wrote scores for 20 films in the same year. The scores included psychedelic accompaniment for Mario Bava’s superhero romp Danger: Diabolik (1968).

Morricone collaborated with Marco Bellocchio (Fists in the Pocket, 1965), Gillo Pontecorvo (The Battle of Algiers (1966), and Queimada! (1969) with Marlon Brando), Roberto Faenza (H2S, 1968), Giuliano Montaldo (Sacco e Vanzetti, 1971), Giuseppe Patroni Griffi (‘Tis Pity She’s a Whore, 1971), Mauro Bolognini (Drama of the Rich, 1974), Umberto Lenzi (Almost Human, 1974), Pier Paolo Pasolini (Salò, or the 120 Days of Sodom, 1975), Bernardo Bertolucci (Novecento, 1976), and Tinto Brass (The Key, 1983).[1

In 1970, Morricone wrote the score for Violent City. That same year, he received his first Nastro d’Argento for the music in Metti, una sera a cena (Giuseppe Patroni Griffi, 1969) and his second only a year later for Sacco e Vanzetti (Giuliano Montaldo, 1971), in which he collaborated with the legendary American folk singer and activist Joan Baez. His soundtrack for Sacco e Vanzetti contains another well-known composition by Morricone, the folk song “Here’s to You”, sung by Joan Baez. For the writing of the lyrics, Baez was inspired by a letter from Bartolomeo Vanzetti: “Father, yes, I am a prisoner / Fear not to relay my crime”. The song became a hit in several countries, selling more than 790,000 copies in France only. The song was later included in movies such as The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou.

In the beginning of the 1970s, Morricone achieved success with other singles, including A Fistful of Dynamite (1971) and God With Us (1974), having sold respectively 477,000 and 378,000 copies in France only.

Horror

Morricone’s eclecticism found its way to films in the horror genre, such as the baroque thrillers of Dario Argento, from The Bird with the Crystal Plumage (1969), The Cat o’ Nine Tails (1970), and Four Flies on Grey Velvet (1971) to The Stendhal Syndrome (1996) and The Phantom of the Opera (1998). His other horror scores include Nightmare Castle (1965), A Quiet Place in the Country (1968), The Antichrist (1974), Autopsy (1975), and Night Train Murders (1975).

In addition, Morricone’s music has also been featured in many popular and cult Italian giallo films, such as Senza sapere niente di lei (1969), Forbidden Photos of a Lady Above Suspicion (1970), A Lizard in a Woman’s Skin (1971), Cold Eyes of Fear (1971), The Fifth Cord (1971), Short Night of Glass Dolls (1971), My Dear Killer (1972), What Have You Done to Solange? (1972), Black Belly of the Tarantula (1972), Who Saw Her Die? (1972), and Spasmo (1974).

In 1977 Morricone scored John Boorman’s Exorcist II: The Heretic and Alberto De Martino’s apocalyptic horror film Holocaust 2000, starring Kirk Douglas. In 1982 he composed the score for John Carpenter’s science fiction horror movie The Thing.[81] Morricone’s main theme for the film was reflected in Marco Beltrami’s film’s score of prequel of the 1982 film, which was released in 2011.

Hollywood career

The Dollars Trilogy was not released in the United States until 1967 when United Artists, who had already enjoyed success distributing the British-produced James Bond films in the United States, decided to release Sergio Leone’s Spaghetti Westerns. The American release gave Morricone an exposure in America and his film music became quite popular in the United States.

One of Morricone’s first contributions to an American director concerned his music for the religious epic film The Bible: In the Beginning… by John Huston. According to Sergio Miceli’s book Morricone, la musica, il cinema, Morricone wrote about 15 or 16 minutes of music, which were recorded for a screen test and conducted by Franco Ferrara. At first Morricone’s teacher Goffredo Petrassi had been engaged to write the score for the great big budget epic, but Huston preferred another composer. RCA Records then proposed Morricone who was under contract with them, but a conflict between the film’s producer Dino De Laurentiis and RCA occurred. The producer wanted to have the exclusive rights for the soundtrack, while RCA still had the monopoly on Morricone at that time and did not want to release the composer. Subsequently, Morricone’s work was rejected because he did not get the permission by RCA to work for Dino De Laurentiis alone. The composer reused the parts of his unused score for The Bible: In the Beginning in such films as The Return of Ringo (1965) by Duccio Tessari and Alberto Negrin’s The Secret of the Sahara (1987).

Morricone never left Rome to compose his music and never learned to speak English. But given that the composer always worked in a wide field of composition genres, from “absolute music”, which he always produced, to “applied music”, working as orchestrator as well as conductor in the recording field, and then as a composer for theatre, radio, and cinema, the impression arises that he never really cared that much about his standing in the eyes of Hollywood.

1970–1985: from Two Mules to Red Sonja

In 1970, Morricone composed the music for Don Siegel’s Two Mules for Sister Sara, an American-Mexican western film starring Shirley MacLaine and Clint Eastwood. The same year the composer also delivered the title theme The Men from Shiloh for the American Western television series The Virginian.

In 1974–1975 Morricone wrote music for Spazio 1999, an Italian-produced compilation movie made to launch the Italian-British television series Space: 1999, while the original episodes featured music by Barry Gray. A soundtrack album was only released on CD in 2016 and on LP in 2017. In 1975 he scored the George Kennedy revenge thriller The “Human” Factor, which was the final film of director Edward Dmytryk. Two years later he composed the score for the sequel to William Friedkin’s 1973 film The Exorcist, directed by John Boorman: Exorcist II: The Heretic. The horror film was a major disappointment at the box office. The film grossed US$30,749,142 in the United States.

In 1978, the composer worked with Terrence Malick for Days of Heaven starring Richard Gere, for which he earned his first nomination at the Oscars for Best Original Score.

Despite the fact that Morricone had produced some of the most popular and widely imitated film music ever written throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Days of Heaven earned him his first Oscar nomination for Best Original Score, with his score up against Jerry Goldsmith’s The Boys from Brazil, Dave Grusin’s Heaven Can Wait, Giorgio Moroder’s Midnight Express (the eventual winner), and John Williams’s Superman: The Movie at the Oscar ceremonies in 1979.

1986 onward: from The Mission to The Hateful Eight

Association with Roland Joffé

The Mission, directed by Joffé, was about a piece of history considerably more distant, as Spanish Jesuit missionaries see their work undone as a tribe of Paraguayan natives fall within a territorial dispute between the Spanish and Portuguese. At one point the score was one of the world’s best-selling film scores, selling over 3 million copies worldwide.

Morricone finally received a second Oscar nomination for The Mission. Morricone’s original score lost out to Herbie Hancock’s coolly arranged jazz on Bertrand Tavernier’s Round Midnight. It was considered as a surprising win and a controversial one, given that much of the music in the film was pre-existing. Morricone stated the following during a 2001 interview with The Guardian: “I definitely felt that I should have won for The Mission. Especially when you consider that the Oscar-winner that year was Round Midnight, which was not an original score. It had a very good arrangement by Herbie Hancock, but it used existing pieces. So there could be no comparison with The Mission. There was a theft!” His score for The Mission was ranked at number 1 in a poll of the all-time greatest film scores. The top 10 list was compiled by 40 film composers such as Michael Giacchino and Carter Burwell. The score is ranked 23rd on the AFI’s list of 25 greatest film scores of all time.

Association with De Palma and Levinson

On three occasions, Brian De Palma worked with Morricone: The Untouchables (1987), the 1989 war drama Casualties of War and the science fiction film Mission to Mars (2000).[81] Morricone’s score for The Untouchables resulted in his third nomination for Academy Award for Best Original Score.

In a 2001 interview with The Guardian, Morricone stated that he had good experiences with De Palma: “De Palma is delicious! He respects music, he respects composers. For The Untouchables, everything I proposed to him was fine, but then he wanted a piece that I didn’t like at all, and of course we didn’t have an agreement on that. It was something I didn’t want to write – a triumphal piece for the police. I think I wrote nine different pieces for this in total and I said, ‘Please don’t choose the seventh!’ because it was the worst. And guess what he chose? The seventh one. But it really suits the movie.”

Another American director, Barry Levinson, commissioned the composer on two occasions. First, for the crime-drama Bugsy, starring Warren Beatty, which received ten Oscar nominations, winning two for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration (Dennis Gassner, Nancy Haigh) and Best Costume Design.

“He doesn’t have a piano in his studio, I always thought that with composers, you sit at the piano, and you try to find the melody. There’s no such thing with Morricone. He hears a melody, and he writes it down. He hears the orchestration completely done,” said Levinson in an interview.

Other notable Hollywood scores

During his career in Hollywood, Morricone was approached for numerous other projects, including the Gregory Nava drama A Time of Destiny (1988), Frantic by Polish-French director Roman Polanski (1988, starring Harrison Ford), Franco Zeffirelli’s 1990 drama film Hamlet (starring Mel Gibson and Glenn Close), the neo-noir crime film State of Grace by Phil Joanou (1990, starring Sean Penn and Ed Harris),[103] Rampage (1992) by William Friedkin, and the romantic drama Love Affair (1994) by Warren Beatty.

Association with Quentin Tarantino

In 2009, Tarantino originally wanted Morricone to compose the film score for Inglourious Basterds. Morricone was unable to, because the film’s sped-up production schedule conflicted with his scoring of Giuseppe Tornatore’s Baarìa. However, Tarantino did use eight tracks composed by Morricone in the film, with four of them included on the soundtrack. The tracks came originally from Morricone’s scores for The Big Gundown (1966), Revolver (1973) and Allonsanfàn (1974).

In 2012, Morricone composed the song “Ancora Qui” with lyrics by Italian singer Elisa for Tarantino’s Django Unchained, a track that appeared together with three existing music tracks composed by Morricone on the soundtrack. “Ancora Qui” was one of the contenders for an Academy Award nomination in the Best Original Song category, but eventually the song was not nominated.On 4 January 2013 Morricone presented Tarantino with a Life Achievement Award at a special ceremony being cast as a continuation of the International Rome Film Festival. In 2014, Morricone was misquoted, as claiming that he would “never work” with Tarantino again, and later agreed to write an original film score for Tarantino’s The Hateful Eight, which won an Academy Award in 2016 in the Best Original Score category.

Composer for Giuseppe Tornatore

In 1988, Morricone started an ongoing and very successful collaboration with Italian director Giuseppe Tornatore. His first score for Tornatore was for the drama film Cinema Paradiso. The international version of the film won the Special Jury Prize at the 1989 Cannes Film Festival[115] and the 1989 Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Morricone received a BAFTA award with his son Andrea, and a David di Donatello for his score. In 2002, the director’s cut 173-minute version was released (known in the US as Cinema Paradiso: The New Version). After the success of Cinema Paradiso, the composer wrote the music for all subsequent films by Tornatore: the drama film Everybody’s Fine (Stanno Tutti Bene, 1990), A Pure Formality (1994) starring Gérard Depardieu and Roman Polanski, The Star Maker (1995), The Legend of 1900 (1998) starring Tim Roth, the 2000 romantic drama Malèna (which featured Monica Bellucci) and the psychological thriller mystery film La sconosciuta (2006). Morricone also composed the scores for Baarìa (2009), The Best Offer (2013) starring Geoffrey Rush, Jim Sturgess and Donald Sutherland and the romantic drama The Correspondence (2015)

The composer won several music awards for his scores to Tornatore’s movies. So, Morricone received a fifth Academy Award nomination and a Golden Globe nomination for Malèna. For Legend of 1900, he won a Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score.

Television series and last works

Morricone wrote the score for the Mafia television series La piovra seasons 2 to 10 from 1985 to 2001, including the themes “Droga e sangue” (“Drugs and Blood”), “La Morale”, and “L’Immorale”. Morricone worked as the conductor of seasons 3 to 5 of the series. He also worked as the music supervisor for the television project La bibbia (“The Bible”). In the late 1990s, he collaborated with his son Andrea on the Ultimo crime dramas, resulting in Ultimo (1998), Ultimo 2 – La sfida (1999), Ultimo 3 – L’infiltrato (2004) and Ultimo 4 – L’occhio del falco (2013). For Canone inverso (2000) based on the music-themed novel of the same name by the Paolo Maurensig, directed by Ricky Tognazzi and starring Hans Matheson, Morricone won Best Score awards in the David di Donatello Awards and Silver Ribbons.

In the 2000s, Morricone continued to compose music for successful television series such as Il Cuore nel Pozzo (2005), Karol: A Man Who Became Pope (2005), La provinciale (2006), Giovanni Falcone (2007), Pane e libertà (2009) and Come Un Delfino 1–2 (2011–2013).

Morricone provided the string arrangements on Morrissey’s “Dear God Please Help Me” from the album Ringleader of the Tormentors in 2006.

In 2008, the composer recorded music for a Lancia commercial, featuring Richard Gere and directed by Harald Zwart (known for directing The Pink Panther 2).

In spring and summer 2010, Morricone worked with Hayley Westenra for a collaboration on her album Paradiso. The album features new songs written by Morricone, as well as some of his best-known film compositions of the last 50 years. Hayley recorded the album with Morricone’s orchestra in Rome during the summer of 2010.

Since 1995, he composed the music for several advertising campaigns of Dolce & Gabbana. The commercials were directed by Giuseppe Tornatore

In 2013, Morricone collaborated with Italian singer-songwriter Laura Pausini on a new version of her hit single “La solitudine” for her 20 years anniversary greatest hits album 20 – The Greatest Hits.

Morricone composed the music for The Best Offer (2013) by Giuseppe Tornatore.

He wrote the score for Christian Carion’s En mai, fais ce qu’il te plait (2015) and the most recent movie by Tornatore: The Correspondence (2016), featuring Jeremy Irons and Olga Kurylenko. In July 2015, Quentin Tarantino announced after the screening of footage of his movie The Hateful Eight at the San Diego Comic-Con International that Morricone would score the film, the first Western that Morricone scored since 1981. The score was critically acclaimed and won several awards including the Golden Globe Award for Best Original Score and the Academy Award for Best Original Score.

Live performances

Before receiving his diplomas in trumpet, composition and instrumentation from the conservatory, Morricone was already active as a trumpet player, often performing in an orchestra that specialised in music written for films. After completing his education at Saint Cecilia, the composer honed his orchestration skills as an arranger for Italian radio and television. In order to support himself, he moved to RCA in the early sixties and entered the front ranks of the Italian recording industry. Since 1964, Morricone was also a founding member of the Rome-based avant-garde ensemble Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza. During the existence of the group (until 1978), Morricone performed several times with the group as trumpet player.

To ready his music for live performance, he joined smaller pieces of music together into longer suites. Rather than single pieces, which would require the audience to applaud every few minutes, Morricone thought the best idea was to create a series of suites lasting from 15 to 20 minutes, which form a sort of symphony in various movements – alternating successful pieces with personal favourites. In concert, Morricone normally had 180 to 200 musicians and vocalists under his baton, performing multiple genre-crossing collections of music. Rock, symphonic and ethnic instruments share the stage.

On 20 September 1984 Morricone conducted the Orchestre national des Pays de la Loire at Cinésymphonie ’84 (“Première nuit de la musique de film/First night of film music”) in the French concert hall Salle Pleyel in Paris. He performed some of his best-known compositions such as Metti, una sera a cena, Novecento and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly. Michel Legrand and Georges Delerue performed on the same evening.

On 15 October 1987 Morricone gave a concert in front of 12,000 people in the Sportpaleis in Antwerp, Belgium, with the Dutch Metropole Orchestra and the Italian operatic soprano Alide Maria Salvetta. A live-album with a recording of this concert was released in the same year.

On 9 June 2000 Morricone went to the Flanders International Film Festival Ghent to conduct his music together with the National Orchestra of Belgium. During the concert’s first part, the screening of The Life and Death of King Richard III (1912) was accompanied with live music by Morricone. It was the very first time that the score was performed live in Europe. The second part of the evening consisted of an anthology of the composer’s work. The event took place on the eve of Euro 2000, the European Football Championship in Belgium and the Netherlands.

Morricone performed over 250 concerts as of 2001. The composer started a world tour in 2001, the latter part sponsored by Giorgio Armani, with the Orchestra Roma Sinfonietta, touring London (Barbican 2001; 75th birthday Concerto, Royal Albert Hall 2003), Paris, Verona, and Tokyo. Morricone performed his classic film scores at the Gasteig in Munich in 2004.

He made his North American concert debut on 3 February 2007 at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. The previous evening, Morricone had already presented at the United Nations a concert comprising some of his film themes, as well as the cantata Voci dal silenzio to welcome the new Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon. A Los Angeles Times review bemoaned the poor acoustics and opined of Morricone: “His stick technique is adequate, but his charisma as a conductor is zero.”

On 22 December 2012 Morricone conducted the 85-piece Belgian orchestra “Orkest der Lage Landen” and a 100-piece choir during a two-hour concert in the Sportpaleis in Antwerp.

In November 2013 Morricone began a world tour to coincide with the 50th anniversary of his film music career and performed in locations such as the Crocus City Hall in Moscow, Santiago, Chile, Berlin, Germany (O2 World, Germany), Budapest, Hungary, and Vienna (Stadhalle). Back in June 2014, Morricone had to cancel a US tour in New York (Barclays Center) and Los Angeles (Nokia Theatre LA Live) due to a back procedure on 20 February. Morricone postponed the rest of his world tour.

In November 2014 Morricone stated that he would resume his European tour starting from February 2015.

Personal life

On 13 October 1956, Morricone married Maria Travia, whom he had met in 1950. Travia wrote lyrics to complement her husband’s pieces. Her works include the Latin texts for The Mission. They had three sons and a daughter: Marco (1957), Alessandra (1961), the conductor and film composer Andrea (1964), and Giovanni Morricone (1966), a filmmaker, who lives in New York City.

Morricone lived in Italy his entire life and never desired to live in Hollywood. The New York Times Magazine listed him among hundreds of artists whose material was reportedly destroyed in the 2008 Universal fire.

Morricone described himself as a Christian leftist, stating that he voted for the Christian Democracy (DC) for more than 40 years and then, after its dissolution in 1994, he approached the centre-left coalition.

Morricone loved chess, having learned the game when he was 11. Before his musical career took off, he played in club tournaments in Rome in the mid-1950s. His first official tournament was in 1964, where he won a prize in the third category for amateurs. He was even coached by 12-time Italian champion IM Stefano Tatai [it] for a while. Soon he got too busy for chess, but he would always keep a keen interest in the game. It is not clear how strong Morricone was as a player. His Elo rating was estimated to be 1700. He did hold GM Boris Spassky to a draw once in a simultaneous competition. It took place in 2000 in Turin with 27 players and included Morricone’s son Andrea and Paolo Fresco, CEO of Fiat at the time. Morricone was the last player standing in that game, and Spassky had to concede the half point. Over the years, Morricone played chess with many big names including GMs Garry Kasparov, Anatoly Karpov, Judit Polgar, and Peter Leko. In a Paris Review  interview he said “If I were not a musician I would wish to be a chessplayer. But a great chessplayer, one of those about whom history is written; like Fischer, Karpov, Kasparov and many GMs of the past. It is just a dream; one that arrives, on time, when I lose a game.”

On 6 July 2020, Morricone died at the Università Campus Bio-Medico in Rome, aged 91, as a result of injuries sustained during a fall.

 

Lyrics


Blue Valentines

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

2 4 (3) (3”) (3”’)(3”)(3)
She sends me blue valentines

2 2 (3”) 2 22(3)(3”)(3)
all the way from philadelphia

2 (3”) 2 22(3)(3”)(3)
to mark the anniversary

2 (3”)(3”) (3”) 2 (3”) (3) (4′)
of someone that I used to be

(3”) (3”) (4) (4) 4 4o (4)
and it feels just like there’s

4 4o (4) 4 4 (3”) (3”)
a warrant out for my arrest

(3”) (3”) (3”) (3”) (4) (4) (4) 4 4o(4)4o(4)4 4(3”)
baby you got me checkin’ in my rearview mirror

(3”) (3”) (3”) (4) (4) (2) (2”) 2
thats why I’m always on the run

(3”) 4 (3”) 4 (3”) (3”)
thats why I change my name

(3”) (3”) (3)(3) (3) (3) (3) (3”) (3”’) (3”)(3)
and I didn’t think you’d ever find me here

to send me blue valentines
like half forgotten dreams
like a pebble in my shoe
as I walk these streets
and the ghost of your memory
is the thistle in the kiss
and the burgler that that can break a roses neck
it’s the tattooed broken promise
that I hide beneath my sleeve
and I see you every time I turn my back

she sends me blue valentines
though I try to remain at large
they’re insisting that our love
must have a culogy
why do I save all of this madness
in the nightstand drawer
there to haunt upon my shoulders
baby I know
I’d be luckier to walk around everywhere I go
with a blind and broken heart
that sleeps beneath my lapel

she sends me blue valentines
to remind me of my cardinal sin
I can never wash the guilt
or get these bloodstains off my hands
and it takes a lot of whiskey
to make these nightmares go away
and I cut my bleedin’ heart out every nite
and I die a little more on each st. valentine day
remember that I promised I would
write you…

4 (3”) (3”’)(3”)(3)
these blue valentines

(3”) (3”’)(3”)(3)
blue valentines

(3”) (3)(3”’)(3”)
blue valentines

Lyrics


Comes Love

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

By Lew Brown, Sam Stept, Charlie Tobias
Artie Shaw, Joni Mitchell, Billie Holiday
Key: Bb

-1 -1 3 -3*
Comes a rain storm
-1 -1 3 3 -3* -3* 3
Put your rub-bers on your feet
-1 -1 -2* -3
Comes a snow storm
-1 -1 -2*-2* -3 -3 -2*
You can get a lit-tle heat
-1 -5 5 5 -3* -3 3
Comes love noth-ing can be done

-1 -1 3-3*
Comes a fire
-1 -1 3 3 -3* -3* 3
Then you know just what to do
-1 -1 -2*-3
Blow a tire
-1 -1 -2* -2* -3 -3 -2*
You can buy an-oth-er shoe
-1 -5 5 5 -3* -3 3
Comes love noth-ing can be done

-5 -4 -5 -4
Don’t try hid-in’
-5* -5 -5* -5 5 -4 4
‘Cause there is-n’t an-y use
4 -3 4 -3
You’ll start slid-in’
-5 -5 -5 -5 -5 -1 -1
When your heart turns on the juice
-1 -1 3 -3*
Comes a head-ache
-1 -1 3 3 -3*-3* 3
You can lose it in a day
-1 -1 -2* -3
Comes a tooth-ache
-1 -1 -2* -2* -3 -3 -2*
See your den-tist right a-way
-1 -5 5 5 -3* -3 3
Comes love noth-ing can be done

Comes a heat wave
You can hurry to the shore*
Come a summons
Hide yourself behind a door
Comes love
Nothing can be done

Comes the measles
You can quarrantine the room
Comes a mousie
You can chase it with a broom
Comes love
Nothing can be done

That’s all brother
If you’ve ever been in love
That’s all brother
And you know just what I’m speakin’ of

Comes a nightmare
You can always stay awake
Comes depression
You could get another break
Comes love
Nothing can be done
Nothing can be done

Lyrics


Everything You Ever (Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog)

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

-3 -3 -3 -3” 4
Here lies everything
-3 -3 -4 4 -3 -3” 2 5
The world I wanted at my feet
4 -4 5 -4 4 5
My victory’s complete
4 -4 5 -4 4 -3
So hai-l to the king
-3 -3 -3 3 3-3” 3
(Everything you e-v-er…)
3 3 3 -4 -4’
Arise and si-ng

-3 -3 -3 -3” 2 4
So your wor-ld’s benign
-3 -3 -4 4 -3 -3” 2 5
So you think justice has a voice
3 -4 5 -4 4 5 -4 4
And we all have a ch-o-ice
3 -4 5 -4 4 -3
Well, now your world is mine
-3 -3 -3 3 3-3” 3
(Everything you e-v-er…)
3 3 3 -4 5 -4 4
And I am fiiiinnee

-3 -3 -3 -3” 4
Now the nightmare’s real
-3 -3 -4 4 -3 -3” 2 5
Now Doctor Horrible is here
4 -4 5 -4 4 5 -4 4
To make you quake with fe-a-r
-3” -4 5 -4 4 -3
To make the whole world kneel
-3 -3 -3 3 3-3” 3
(Everything you e-v-er…)
3 3 3 -4
And I won’t feel
-4 -4’
A thing

Lyrics


I miss you

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

i havent done it yet it will be finished soon
here is a bit of it..

12 Hole C Chromatic
mark I MISS YOU
<5 <5 -4 -4 <5 <-5 <5 <-5 <5 -4 Hello there the angel from my nightmare <3 <5 <-5 <5 -4 <5 <-5 <5 -4 <5 The shadow in the backround of the morgue <-3 <5 <-5<5<-5 <5 -4 <3 <5 <-5 <5 <-5 <5 -4 The unsespecting victim of darkness in the valley <3 -4 <5 <-5 <5 <-5 <5 -4 <3 -4 <5 We can live like Jack and Sally if we want Where you can always find me And we'll have Halloween on Christmas And in the night we'll wish this never ends We'll wish this never end pre chorus -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 i miss you miss you Tom verse 2 <-9 <9 -8 -8 <9 <-9 <9 -8 Where are you and im so sorry <7 <9 <-9 -8 <7 <9 <-9 <9 -8 <9 i cannot sleep I cannot dream tonight <7 <9 <-9 <9 <-9 <9 -8 <9 i need somebody and allways more same pattern This sick strange darkness comes creeping on so haunting everytime And as I stared I counted the webs from all the spiders catching things and eating their insides Like indecision to call you And hear your voice of treason Will you come home and stop this pain tonight stop this pain tonight

Lyrics


My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

3 4 4 -4 4 3
I grew up a-dreamin’

3 5 5 -5 5 4
Of being a cowboy

3 4 4 -4 4 3 3
And lovin’ the cowboy way.

4 4 4 -4 5
Persuin’ the lives

4 4 -6 6 -5 5 4
Of my high-riding heroes

-4 -4 -4 5 -4 -4
Burned up my childhood days.

3 4 4 -4 4 3
I learned all the rules of

4 6 6 -6 6 5
A modern-day drifter:

3 3 4 4 -4 4 4 3 3 3
Don’t ya hold on to nothin’ for to long.

3 4 4 -4 5
Just take what you need

4 -4 -6 6 -5 5 4
From the ladies and leave them

4 4 5 3 3 -4 5 -4 4
With the words of a sad country song.

3 4 4 4 -4 4 -4 5 4
My Heroes have always been cowboys,

4 4 4 -4 4 3
And they still are it seems.

4 4 -4 5 4
Sadly in search of

-4 -6 6 -5 5 4
And one step in back of

4 5 3 3 -4 5 -4 4
Themselves and their slow moving dreams.

Cowboys are special,
With their own brand of mis’ry
From being alone for too long.
Lyin’ in the cold
In the arms of a nightmare
Knowing well that your best days are done.
Pickin’ up hookers
Instead of my pen
I let the words of my youth slip away.
And old broke down saddles
And old worn out mem’ries
With no one, and no place to stay.

Lyrics


Run Through The Jungle

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Verse 1.
6 -6 -6 6 -6 -6 6 -6 -6 7 -6
Thought it was a nightmare, Lo,it`s all so true
6 -6 -6 -6 -6 -6-6 -6 5
They told me, “Don`t go walkin` slow `Cause
6-6 -6 7 -6
Devil`s on the loose,”
Chorus
6 6 6 -6 -6 -6-6
Better Run Through The Jungle
6 6 6 -6 -6 -6-6
Better Run Through The Jungle
6 6 6 -6 -6 -6-6
Better Run Through The Jungle
-6 -6 5 -4 4 b-3
Woa, Don`t look back to see
2.
Thought I heard a rumblin` Callin` to my name
Two hundred million guns are loaded
Satan cries “Take aim”
REPEAT CHORUS
3.
Over on the mountain thunder magic spoke
“Let the people know my wisdome
Fill the land with smoke”
REPEAT CHORUS (a few times)

Lyrics


Sonora’s Death Row

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Me and the boys, we cinched up our sad-dles
5 5 5 5 4 5 5 5 5 4d

And rode to So-nor-a last night
4 4 4 4 4 4 4d 5

Guns hangin’ proud, and darin’ out loud
5 5 5 5 4d 5 5 5 5

To an-y-one look-in’ to fight.
4 4d 4 4 4 4d 4 5

Card cheats and outlaws would run for their holes
6d 6d 6d 6d 6 5d 6d 6 6 6

When the boys from the old Broken O
5 5 5d 5d 5d 5d 5d 5d 5-4d

Rode up and reined on the streets
5 5 5 5 4d 4 5

that they called So-nor-a’s Death row
4 4 4 4 4 4 4d 4

2. Mescal is free at Amanda’s Saloon
For the boys of the Old Broken O
Saturday night in the town of Sonora
Are best in Old Mexico.
They got guitars and trumpets and sweet senoritas
That won’t want to let you go
You’d never believe such a gay happy time
In a place called Sonora’s Death Row.

3. Inside Amanda’s we was a dancin’
With all of Amanda’s gals.
I won some silver at seven card stud,
So I was outdoin’ my pals.
But the whiskey and mescal, peso cigars,
Drove me outside for some air.
Somebody whispered “Your life or your money”
I reached but my gun wasn’t there.

4. I woke up facedown in Amanda’s back alley
Aware of the fool I had been.
Rushed to my pony, grabbed my Winchester,
And entered Amanda’s again.
Where I saw my partners twirlin my sixguns
And throwing my money around.
Blinded by anger, I jacked the lever
And one of them fell to the ground

5. Amanda’s got silent, like night in the desert
My friends stared in pure disbelief.
Amanda was kneeling by the dead cowboy,
Plainly expressing her grief.
As I bowed my head, a tremble shot threw me
My sixgun was still at my side
I felt my pockets and there was my money,
I fell to my knees and I cried.

6. A nightmare of mescal was all that it was
For no one had robbed me at all.
I wish I was dreaming the sound of the gallows,
They’re testing just outside this wall.
The mescal’s still free at Amanda’s Saloon
For the boys of the Old Broken O
I’d give a ransom to drink there today,
Be free of Sonora’s Death Row.

Yes I’d give a ransom to drink there today
Be free of Sonora’s Death Row.

Lyrics


Son’s of

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

6 -5 6 -5 5 5 -5 -5
Sons of the thief, sons of the saint
6 6 -5 -5 6 -5 5 5
Who is the child with no complaint
6 -5 6 -5 6 -5 5 5
Sons of the great or sons unknown
5 5 -5 5 5 -4 -4
All were children like your own
6 6 -5 -5 6 -5 5 5
The same sweet smiles, the same sad tears
6 6 -5 -5 -6 -6 6 6
The cries at night, the nightmare fears
-6 6 -6 6 6 -5 -5
Sons of the great, sons unknown
-5 -5 5 -5 6 -5 -5
All were children like your own…

But sons of tycoons or sons of the farms
All of the children ran from your arms
Through fields of gold, through fields of ruin
All of the children vanished too soon
In tow’ring waves, in walls of flesh
Among dying birds trembling with death
Sons of tycoons or sons of the farms
All of the children ran from your arms…

But sons of your sons or sons passing by
Children we lost in lullabies
Sons of true love or sons of regret
All of the sons you cannot forget
Some built the roads, some wrote the poems
Some went to war, some never came home
Sons of your sons or sons passing by
Children we lost in lullabies…

Lyrics


This Is Halloween (hi-lo)

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

By: Danny Elfman
From: Tim Burton’s
“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
Key: Cm
Harp: Eb

5 5 5 5 5 -5-4 -4
8 8 8 8 8 -9-8 -8
Boys and girls of ev-er-y age

-4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 -4 5 -5 5
-8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8 -8 8 -9 8
Would-n’t you like to see some-thing strange

5 5 5 5-5 6 -5 5 -4
8 8 8 8-9 9 -9 8 -8
Come with us and you will see

-4 -4 -4 5 -5 5 4 -35
-8 -8 -8 8 -9 8 7 -78
This, our town of Hal-low-een

Lyrics


This Is Halloween (chrom)

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

By: Danny Elfman
From: Tim Burton’s
“The Nightmare Before Christmas”
Key: Cm

3 3 3 3 3 3*-2 -2
Boys and girls of ev-er-y age
-2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 -2 3 3* 3
Would-n’t you like to see some-thing strange
3 3 3 33* -3* 3* 3 -2
Come with us and you will see
-2 -2 -2 3 3* 3 -1* -13
This, our town of Hal-low-een

Lyrics


This is for Real

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

[Enter Verse]
I’ve got emotion
4 4 -4 5 4

Dripping out my pores and I
-5 -5 -5 6 -6 7 6

Thought I would let you know
5 5 5 5 4 -4~(5~-4~4)

You are the night light,
4 4 -4 5 4
[End Verse]

Ripping through my wicked world
-5 -5 -5 6 -6 7 6

How you make it sparkle and glow
5 5 5 4 -4 5 -5 6

Before I lose control
7 6 8 -8 7 6~-5~5

There’s just one thing you should know
6 7 8 -8 7 8 -8~8

[Enter Chorus]
This is for real, this time I mean it
8 8 -8 8 7 -9 -9 9 8 7

I’m coming clean, please don’t let go
-9 -9 9 8 7 7 7 7~-8

I said from the start,
8 8 8 8 8

that you could take it or leave it
7 7 7 -9 -9 9 8 7

(I’d) prefer that you keep it
-9 -9 -9 -9 8 7
[End Chorus]

Don’t let go
7 8 -8~8

Don’t let go
7 8 -8~8

Don’t let go
8 7 -8~7

[Verse]
I had some nightmares,
Clawing at my skin and bones
I nearly did explode
You smoked the demons
[End Verse]

Gave me back my feelings
-5 -5 -5 6 -6 7

Now I am good to go
8 -8 6 8 -8 7~6

Before my face hits the floor
7 6 7 8 -8 7 6~-5~5

There’s just one thing you should know
6 7 8 -8 7 8 -8~8

[Chorus]

Don’t let go
7 8 -8

This is the best thing
8 8 8 8 7

that I’ve ever had for real
7 8 -8 7 -7 7 -8 7

This is the best thing
8 8 8 8 7

that I’ve ever had for real
7 8 -8 7 -7 7 -8 7

For a physical challenge I’m notoriously bored
5 5 5 -4 5 -5 5 4 5 8 7 6 5 4

Intravenous delivery, electrolytes and more
5 5 5 -4 5 -5 5 4 5 8 7 6 7 -8

Everytime it’s the same routine
-8 -8 -8 7 -7 -6 7 -8

Out with the bad, in with the clean
7 -7 -6 6 7 -8 7 8

Before I lose all motor skills
5 5 5 -4 5 -5 5 4

There’s one thing you should know
6 -9 8 7 -7 6

[Chorus]

Don’t let go
7 8 -8

(x4)This is the best thing
8 8 8 8 7

that I’ve ever had for real.
7 8 -8 7 -7 7 -8 7

Lyrics


Welcome Home (Radical Face)

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

3 4 4 -3 3, 2 3 -3 3 2, 2 3 -3 3 2 3 3
Sleep don’t visit, so I choke on sun, and the days blur into one
3 3 -3 3 3 2 2 3 -3 3 2 3 3
And the backs of my eyes hum with things I’ve never done

4 4 -3 3 2 3 -3 3 2
Sheets are swaying from an old clothesline
2 3 -3 3 2 3 3 3 3 -3 3 3
Like a row of captured ghosts over old dead grass
2 2 3 -3, 3 3 2 3 3
Was never much, but we’ve made the most
4 -3 -2 5 6 -6 6 5, 6 6 4 5 -4 4 4
Welcome home, oh
-3 -2 5 6 -6 6 5, 6 6 4 5 -4 4 4

4 4 -3 3 -3 3 2
Ships are launching from my chest
2 3 -3 3 2 3 3
Some have names but most do not
2 3 -3 3, 2 2 3 -3 3 2 3 3
If you find one, please let me know what piece I’ve lost

4 4 -3 3 -3 3 2
Peel the scars from off my back
2 3 -3 3 2 3 3
I don’t need them anymore
2 3 -3 3 2 2 2 3 -3 3 2 3 3
You can throw them out or keep them in your mason jars
4 -3 -2 5 6 -6 6 5, 6 6 4 5 -4 4 4
I’ve come home, oh
-3 -2 5 6 -6 6 5, 6 6 4 5 -4 4 4

4 -3 -2 5 6 -6 6 5
All my nightmares escape my head
6 6 6 4, 4 5 -4 4 4
Bar the door, please don’t let them in
4 -3 -2 5 6 -6 6 5
You were never supposed to leave
6 6 6 4 4 5 -4 4 4
Now my head’s splitting at the seams
5 -4 4 4 5 -4 6
And I don’t know if I can

Lyrics


Santa Never Made It To Darwin

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

1.
3 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 6 5 5 -4
On Christmas eve of seventy four the warning
-4 5 -4
sounded out
3 -4 -4 -4 -4 5 -4 -4 -4 4 4
On all the broadcast stations a great storm was
4 b-3 4
near about
3 5 5 5 5 6 6 6 5 5 -4 -4
The boys and girls asleep in bed Tomorrow was
5 -4
their day
3 -4 -4 -4 -4 5 -4 -4 -4 4
Their mums and dads all prayed the mighty storm
4 4 b-3 4
would turn away
CHORUS
-6-6 -6-6 -6 -6 6-5 6 5
Santa Never Made It into Darwin
4 -6-6 -6 -6 -5 -5 6 -6 6
Disaster struck at dawn on Christmas day
-6-6 -6-6 7 7 -7-6 6 5
Santa Never Made It into Darwin
3 -5 -5 -5 5 -4 4 5 -4 4
A big wind came and blew the town away
2.
Christmas morning was a nightmare as Cyclone
Tracy struck
It ripped apart the buildings like an atom bomb
had struck
It twisted iron girders and flattened all the trees
The might of such a cyclone must be seen to be
believed
7 7 7 7 -8 7 7 -7-7 -7 -7 6
Many boats put out to sea Very few returned
-6 -6 -6 -5 6 5 5 5 -4 -4 -4
Boats were pounded on the rocks or in the huge
-4 5 b6 6
seas over-turned
REPEAT CHORUS
3.
Australia was shocked and saddened as the news
came through
A devastated city that must be built anew
For suffering and heartbreak to happen in this way
A natural disaster to come on Christmas day
REPEAT CHORUS

Lyrics


Back to December

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Nice to meet you, where you been?
I could show you incredible things
Magic, madness, heaven sin
Saw you there and I thought
Oh my God, look at that face
You look like my next mistake
Love’s a game, want to play?
New money, suit and tie
I can read you like a magazine
Ain’t it funny, rumors, lie
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends
Grab your passport and my hand
I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Cherry lips, crystal skies
I could show you incredible things
Stolen kisses, pretty lies
You’re the king baby I’m your Queen
Find out what you want
Be that girl for a month
Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no
Screaming, crying, perfect storm
I can make all the tables turn
Rose gardens filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
“Oh my God, who is she?”
I get drunk on jealousy
But you’ll come back each time you leave
‘Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane (Insane)
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya
Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Lyrics


Our Song

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Nice to meet you, where you been?
I could show you incredible things
Magic, madness, heaven sin
Saw you there and I thought
Oh my God, look at that face
You look like my next mistake
Love’s a game, want to play?
New money, suit and tie
I can read you like a magazine
Ain’t it funny, rumors, lie
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends
Grab your passport and my hand
I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Cherry lips, crystal skies
I could show you incredible things
Stolen kisses, pretty lies
You’re the king baby I’m your Queen
Find out what you want
Be that girl for a month
Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no
Screaming, crying, perfect storm
I can make all the tables turn
Rose gardens filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
“Oh my God, who is she?”
I get drunk on jealousy
But you’ll come back each time you leave
‘Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane (Insane)
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya
Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Lyrics


Red

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Nice to meet you, where you been?
I could show you incredible things
Magic, madness, heaven sin
Saw you there and I thought
Oh my God, look at that face
You look like my next mistake
Love’s a game, want to play?
New money, suit and tie
I can read you like a magazine
Ain’t it funny, rumors, lie
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends
Grab your passport and my hand
I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Cherry lips, crystal skies
I could show you incredible things
Stolen kisses, pretty lies
You’re the king baby I’m your Queen
Find out what you want
Be that girl for a month
Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no
Screaming, crying, perfect storm
I can make all the tables turn
Rose gardens filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
“Oh my God, who is she?”
I get drunk on jealousy
But you’ll come back each time you leave
‘Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane (Insane)
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya
Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Lyrics


I Wish You Would

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Nice to meet you, where you been?
I could show you incredible things
Magic, madness, heaven sin
Saw you there and I thought
Oh my God, look at that face
You look like my next mistake
Love’s a game, want to play?
New money, suit and tie
I can read you like a magazine
Ain’t it funny, rumors, lie
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends
Grab your passport and my hand
I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Cherry lips, crystal skies
I could show you incredible things
Stolen kisses, pretty lies
You’re the king baby I’m your Queen
Find out what you want
Be that girl for a month
Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no
Screaming, crying, perfect storm
I can make all the tables turn
Rose gardens filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
“Oh my God, who is she?”
I get drunk on jealousy
But you’ll come back each time you leave
‘Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane (Insane)
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya
Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Lyrics


This Love

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Nice to meet you, where you been?
I could show you incredible things
Magic, madness, heaven sin
Saw you there and I thought
Oh my God, look at that face
You look like my next mistake
Love’s a game, want to play?
New money, suit and tie
I can read you like a magazine
Ain’t it funny, rumors, lie
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends
Grab your passport and my hand
I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Cherry lips, crystal skies
I could show you incredible things
Stolen kisses, pretty lies
You’re the king baby I’m your Queen
Find out what you want
Be that girl for a month
Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no
Screaming, crying, perfect storm
I can make all the tables turn
Rose gardens filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
“Oh my God, who is she?”
I get drunk on jealousy
But you’ll come back each time you leave
‘Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane (Insane)
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya
Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Lyrics


Clean

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Nice to meet you, where you been?
I could show you incredible things
Magic, madness, heaven sin
Saw you there and I thought
Oh my God, look at that face
You look like my next mistake
Love’s a game, want to play?
New money, suit and tie
I can read you like a magazine
Ain’t it funny, rumors, lie
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends
Grab your passport and my hand
I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Cherry lips, crystal skies
I could show you incredible things
Stolen kisses, pretty lies
You’re the king baby I’m your Queen
Find out what you want
Be that girl for a month
Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no
Screaming, crying, perfect storm
I can make all the tables turn
Rose gardens filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
“Oh my God, who is she?”
I get drunk on jealousy
But you’ll come back each time you leave
‘Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane (Insane)
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya
Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Lyrics


Mean

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Nice to meet you, where you been?
I could show you incredible things
Magic, madness, heaven sin
Saw you there and I thought
Oh my God, look at that face
You look like my next mistake
Love’s a game, want to play?
New money, suit and tie
I can read you like a magazine
Ain’t it funny, rumors, lie
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends
Grab your passport and my hand
I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Cherry lips, crystal skies
I could show you incredible things
Stolen kisses, pretty lies
You’re the king baby I’m your Queen
Find out what you want
Be that girl for a month
Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no
Screaming, crying, perfect storm
I can make all the tables turn
Rose gardens filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
“Oh my God, who is she?”
I get drunk on jealousy
But you’ll come back each time you leave
‘Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane (Insane)
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya
Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Lyrics


Love Story

Key: C

Genre: General

Harp Type: Diatonic

Skill: Any

Nice to meet you, where you been?
I could show you incredible things
Magic, madness, heaven sin
Saw you there and I thought
Oh my God, look at that face
You look like my next mistake
Love’s a game, want to play?
New money, suit and tie
I can read you like a magazine
Ain’t it funny, rumors, lie
And I know you heard about me
So hey, let’s be friends
I’m dying to see how this one ends
Grab your passport and my hand
I can make the bad guys good for a weekend

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Cherry lips, crystal skies
I could show you incredible things
Stolen kisses, pretty lies
You’re the king baby I’m your Queen
Find out what you want
Be that girl for a month
Wait the worst is yet to come, oh no
Screaming, crying, perfect storm
I can make all the tables turn
Rose gardens filled with thorns
Keep you second guessing like
“Oh my God, who is she?”
I get drunk on jealousy
But you’ll come back each time you leave
‘Cause darling I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane (Insane)
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya
Boys only want love if it’s torture
Don’t say I didn’t say I didn’t warn ya

So it’s gonna be forever
Or it’s gonna go down in flames
You can tell me when it’s over
If the high was worth the pain
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
‘Cause you know I love the players
And you love the game

‘Cause we’re young and we’re reckless
We’ll take this way too far
It’ll leave you breathless
Or with a nasty scar
Got a long list of ex-lovers
They’ll tell you I’m insane
But I’ve got a blank space baby
And I’ll write your name

Lyrics