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Paul McCartney claims he wrote ‘A Day In The Life’, not John Lennon

Paul McCartney also said the song was inspired by the car crash that killed Guinness heir Tara Browne

By Grace Almond

Paul McCartney smiles wearing a suit in front of a white background
The comments were made in Paul McCartney’s upcoming book ‘The Lyrics’. Credit: YouTube

Sir Paul McCartney has claimed that he wrote the lyrics to ‘A Day In The Life’, rather than John Lennon. 

‘A Day In The Life’ was released as the final track on The Beatles’ 1967 album, ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’, and has been credited to both musicians, with Lennon previously reported to have written the song’s verses.

Now, McCartney has claimed that he wrote the lyrics, and that the inspiration behind the song was the 1966 car crash that killed 21-year-old Guinness heir Tara Browne. Previously, McCartney claimed the song’s inspiration was a drugged-up politician who “blew his mind out in a car”, with Lennon contradicting this, claiming it was about Browne’s death.

In his upcoming book, ‘The Lyrics’, McCartney described Browne as the premise for The Beatles‘ song, explaining: “I wrote about him in A Day in the Life. ‘He blew his mind in a car/he didn’t notice that the lights had changed.’”

In 1997, a biography called ‘Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now’ by Barry Miles quoted McCartney in his denial that the lyrics were inspired by Browne.

In the book, McCartney said the lyrics have “been attributed to Tara Browne, the Guinness heir, which I don’t believe is the case. In my head I was imagining a politician bombed out on drugs who’d stopped at some traffic lights and didn’t notice that the lights had changed”.

‘The Lyrics’ is Paul McCartney’s look at his life from boyhood to the present day. The book will look at “his life and art through the prism of 154 songs from all stages of his career”, according to McCartney’s website. 

The book has already been shortlisted for the annual Waterstones Book Of The Year award. In the foreword for ‘The Lyrics’, McCartney wrote: “More often than I can count, I’ve been asked if I would write an autobiography, but the time has never been right.”

He added: “The one thing I’ve always managed to do, whether at home or on the road, is to write new songs. I know that some people, when they get to a certain age, like to go to a diary to recall day-to-day events from the past, but I have no such notebooks. What I do have are my songs, hundreds of them, which I’ve learned serve much the same purpose. And these songs span my entire life.”

‘The Lyrics’ will be released on November 2 2021.