Paul McCartney has revealed that he was originally inspired by the iconic British playwright William Shakespeare, after being introduced to the writer by his English teacher.
Also revealed that a teacher also taught about the ‘dirty bits’ from poet Geoffrey Chaucer, which helped spark his love for writing some of the greatest songs of all time.
Paul said on the Clear + Vivid podcast that he was one of only three students to pass his 11-Plus exam, which meant he could attend the Liverpool Institute Grammar School.
He explained: ‘You really got a great education for free, it was a state school. I had this one guy who was English Literature teacher and he turned me on. He just showed me some things.’
Paul added: ‘He showed me actually the dirty bits in Chaucer. And for a 16-year-old boy (it was) ”wow, I’m loving this. I said are you sure I should be reading this?”
‘He says it’s not in the curriculum but. With him as my teacher I did ok. It’s the only exam I did well in.’
Paul added that he was eventually introduced to some of Shakespeare’s most iconic works, adding: ‘I think during that little period of a couple of years at school a lot was going into the data base – these great writers. I’m getting the cadences of these great writers too.
‘So I think, it’s just a theory, that when I left school and then started getting into music, I think that kind of stayed with me and I thought I naturally produced these words and rhythms that were better than what I done before.
‘When we first started off it was just ‘thank you girl.’ It really was a message to the fans with The Beatles. We kind of grew out of that.’
Of course Paul McCartney has written some of the most iconic tracks in music history, including the legendary Beatles song Hey Jude, and the Bond theme Live And Let Die.
Paul also discussed George Harrison and the Beatles’ songwriting, admitting they never really learned how to interpret written music.
He said: ‘We didn’t really learn music in the Beatles. John [Lennon] and I, neither of us could read or write music. The same with George or Ringo* We just made it up.’
‘When writing songs, we looked at where everyone else did and that’s how you wrote them.’
‘There was no dots,’ he said. ‘You’re not looking at that. You’re thinking it, so I think it comes a bit more from your heart* I think that directness was quite a good thing for us.’
‘We didn’t actually understand how to do things…..so everything, therefore, was exciting.’