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Paul McCartney’s Poetic License ::

Reported by Ben Stroud on November 21, 2008

Paul McCartney chatted explicitly about his song-writing techniques this week in a revealing interview with the Daily Telegraph about his new Firemen album Electric Arguments.

The 60 something ex Beatle teamed up again with erstwhile trance DJ/ Killing Joke/ uber-producer Youth again to Firemen’s third album and was unusually candid about his latest lyrical inspiration.

"I'd get out poetry books and just kind of scour them and find phrases, then stick them to a phrase from another book, so I wasn't nicking somebody's whole poem,” the multi-millionaire song-writer confessed, “And I'd go on like that until I had enough to sing. I still don't know the lyrics myself,” he added.

Narcotic Thrust song-writer Stuart Crichton, who’s co wrote tracks for the Pet Shop Boys, Kylie, Sugababes and Danny Tenaglia chatted to Skrufff about his own techniques several years ago and cited Paul McCartney as one of his key inspirations.

“Somebody once told me that when McCartney first wrote ‘Yesterday’ he went around asking everybody if they had heard this song, because he was sure that he’d ripped it off somebody,” said Stuart. “I think it’s fantastic, it’s now the world’s most covered song, there’s 2000 different versions of ‘Yesterday’ or something. It’s on many a karaoke machine around the world. Everybody would love to write a song like that.”

“Writing lyrics is a real $64000 question,” he added.

“I think lyrics can be basic and fun, but equally sometimes you get people that write complex lyrics and they are equally as fun. There are a lot of people that aren’t successful as lyricists because they write stuff that’s pretty obvious and rhyming all the time. You don’t have to rhyme all the time and you don’t have to be obvious,” he said.

Coincidentally, LCD Soundsystem man James Murphy chatted about his own writing techniques this week, as he responded (and denied) reported rumours that LCD Soundsystem has finished.

"I write all my music in my head, I never demo,” he told NME.

“I get to a point where there are too many songs and I have to get them recorded. I recently felt that. I've got eight in my head - that's critical mass. When I start recording I don't tell anyone, not even my manager. I'll go away for a month to a studio outside [New York] and do it", he added.

Jonty Skrufff (