Paul McCartney might be one of the most famous and prolific songwriters of all time. His genius as a songwriter was finding inspiration almost anywhere. He gave the world some heartfelt lyrics, too. Still, Paul calling out Donovan for trying to help write the lyrics for The Beatles’ song “I Will” is hysterical and hypocritical.
Paul McCartney said Donovan’s suggested lyrics for The Beatles’ song ‘I Will’ didn’t make the grade
The Beatles weren’t the only musicians who traveled to Maharishi Mahesh Yogi’s compound in Rishikesh, India. Scottish singer-songwriter Donovan attended the same 1968 retreat as the Fab Four.
Unsurprisingly, Paul continued writing songs while on what was supposed to be a spiritual retreat. He and Donovan got together to work on “I Will,” a Macca tune that ended up on The White Album. The “Hurdy Gurdy Man” singer offered his help with the lyrics, which the Beatle eventually ignored.
Paul said Donovan’s help writing the lyrics to “I Will” consisted of moon and June rhyming couplets that “didn’t pass muster.” Hearing Paul criticize Donovan for his lyrics is hilarious and hypocritical.
Paul calling out Donovan’s lyrics is hilarious and hypocritical
We’ll never claim Paul didn’t know his way around a song. He crafted pretty and catchy melodies in equal measure. It might be why a smattering of his songs, both anthems and ballads, have been used in so many movies.
Still, Paul calling out Donovan is hilarious and hypocritical. Has he heard some of his own songs? Paul’s lyrics weren’t necessarily miles better than Donovan’s suggested words for “I Will.”
Macca helped establish The Beatles on the English charts with “Love Me Do.” That despite his lyrics consisting of a seemingly endless string of do-you-true rhymes. It’s a helluva catchy song, but the words aren’t any better than a moon-June rhyme. He brought back the true-you rhyming couplet on “Eight Days a Week” a couple of years later.
Those were early songs, but Paul’s lyrics could still be just as basic years later.
The White Album featured several meh lyrical moments. “Rocky Raccoon,” Paul’s attempt at country-folk and one of the most boring Beatles songs, rhymes raccoon with room at one point. Hardly inspired. “Birthday,” though an infectious throwback to early rock ‘n’ roll, isn’t one of Paul’s finest lyrical moments.
“I Will” became a beautiful ballad without Donovan’s help, but Paul’s lyrics aren’t too far off from rhyming moon and June. He called out his fellow musician for his lyrical input on the song, but where Paul landed wasn’t too far away from what Donovan suggested.
We love us some Paul McCartney songs, but him calling out Donovan’s lyrical assistance is just funny and hypocritical.
Macca’s lyrics never impacted his success as a songwriter
We’re not expecting dense poetic imagery from a three-minute pop song, but Paul’s lyrics weren’t always the strongest part of his songs. That never affected his success as a songwriter.
Paul and John Lennon combined to write most of The Beatles No. 1 hits. The pair worked together closely but also had a friendly rivalry to see who could be more successful. The final tally shows Paul writing more chart-toppers than John.
The success continued when The Beatles broke up. Paul penned nine Billboard No. 1 songs in the 1970s and 1980s with Wings as well as when collaborating with Linda McCartney, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder.
He called out Donovan’s input on “I Will,” but Paul McCartney’s lyrics were never his strongest trait as a songwriter. Still, Macca had talent in spades, and it came through with several No. 1 hits with and without The Beatles.
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