A Conversation for The Lennon-McCartney Songwriting Partnership
bawimeko Started conversation Nov 4, 2005
Compliments on this entry..I'm a bit jealous because I was planning a piece like this but it never took off because it would be overlong.
It would be nice if anyone could solve some riddles about this partnership; did Paul write the melody of "In My Life". Who wrote Eleanor Rigby? Paul did some Lennonesque things in his songs (Why don't we do it in the Road, I've got a feeling), Lennon could be sweet and lovely too (Goodnight).
Researcher 1300304 Posted Sep 23, 2006
mac cartney has in recent times suggested the melody is his. no source sorry. given the melody itself, i personally find this hard to believe, unless paul was deliberately trying to do a john type tune. unfortunately all the protaganists seem to have spent a lot of the last 40 plus years telling fibs and half truths, and now a lot of them are gone so we can't reliably expect a balanced picture.
bawimeko Posted Oct 13, 2006
Ian MacDonald has a nice theory about this; Lennon had more 'horizontal'/repetative melody-lines (the verses of Help, I Am the Walrus), McCartney had more melodic diversity. In that light it would be logical that In My Life had a Macca-melody, the lyrics are very much Lennon's. But you're right; the witnesses themselves are vague and contradictory.
joshua320 Posted Jul 9, 2007
Well, with 'In my Life', to believe that Macca wrote the tune out from beginning to end like he said means believing that John, who thought the song his first serious peice of work, would allow Paul to just take the song from him and set the music. This seems extraordinarily unlikely to me, considering the competition between the two of them. The whole horizontal/vertical melody hypothesis from MacDonald is a bit exagerrated I've always felt, Lennon was capable of writing some lovely tunes as Macca was of creating hard edged, harmonically ambiguous stuff. For me In my Life is closer to Lennon's 'If I Fell' or even 'Because' than anything McCartney wrote...though I would be bet that Paul wrote the six-note guitar lick that pervades the peice.
sussexMike Posted Nov 20, 2007
i don't understand why people keep debating which is the better writer. Here i would like to raise a new point: apart from differences in personality and attitude towards life, they have 2 different voices. Which version would you take if john sang i'm down? Their voice their key determines the writing style, that's all. Personally i like john's stuff more cos he turned what he had on his mind into songs which made his song more special (or more weird) while paul was a brilliant song "creator".
Researcher 1300304 Posted Nov 22, 2007
lennon's catalogue is crammed with stuff he could barely sing. not a criticism of his voice, merely a rebuttal to the notion that he wrote and performed songs to fit his own register. i find the idea that his music lacked dynamic range to be...well...ignorant.
the old maxim that a labourer works with his hands; a craftsman with his mind; and an artist with his heart, comes into play here. in his last decade or so lennon, consumate songsmith that he was, nonetheless 'allowed' his music to go where it needed to be musically. throughout the 70s this was a constant criticism from music journalists and reviewers and disgruntled fans alike. it was seen as self indulgent and lacking in discipline.
in these days of musical poverty, how valuable would such courageous and inventive music making be...
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