Songs about Writing

Writing about writing might seem like a tedious, repetitive task, but writing a song about writing is a fun way of broaching the subject from a new angle. This is nothing new, bands like Rush, David Bowie, and Iron Maiden have all written songs about writing or writers.

Take, for example, Paperback Writer by The Beatles:

Dear Sir or Madam, will you read my book?
It took me years to write, will you take a look?
It’s based on a novel by a man named Lear
And I need a job, so I want to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

 

 

It’s the dirty story of a dirty man
And his clinging wife doesn’t understand
His son is working for the Daily Mail
It’s a steady job but he wants to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

 

Paperback writer

 

 

It’s a thousand pages, give or take a few
I’ll be writing more in a week or two
I can make it longer if you like the style
I can change it round and I want to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

 

 

If you really like it you can have the rights
It could make a million for you overnight
If you must return it, you can send it here
But I need a break and I want to be a paperback writer
Paperback writer

 

Paperback writer

In this song, The Beatles record the frantic life of what its like (or was like, back when the song was written in 1966 – digital publishing has changed the game, now) to try to get attention for a novel.

Does this song still represent a writer’s struggles? I don’t know, but it is a really fun song about writing and publishing.

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