On 11 February 2019 I set myself the challenging of reading 1001 Songs You Must Hear Before You Die by Robert Dimery (ed.) and following the book’s advice to the letter. I’ve previously read 1001 Films… and started 1001 Albums… but felt 1001 Songs… would be a sensible place to start for what I have in mind here.
My challenge is to read about one song per day and listen to it (YouTube and Spotify, I need you tonight!) before sharing my own thoughts. Some songs I will love, others I’ll hate, and I’m sure there will be those that leave me perplexed but listen to them I shall.
I’ll also try, and most likely fail, to pinpoint the best song from the 1001 on offer but I’m nothing if not foolhardy. Instead of one song, I’m predicting I’ll have about 100 favourites by the end and may have to resort to a Top 10 so far to maintain any semblance of sanity.
So long as I post everyday (including Christmas) then this challenge should come to an end on Wednesday 8 November 2021. Staying with the Barney Stinson theme I am hoping that the whole experience will prove to be…
Paul McCartney – Maybe I’m Amazed (1970)
We’re staying in the UK, dear reader, so we’re having plenty of time to shake off the jet lag that may have been lingering. Anyway, back to Liverpool we go to see how the post-Beatles break-up is going. We’ve had George Harrison on our list already but today we are in the company of Paul McCartney. He released his debut album, McCartney, in 1970 and from that album 1001 Songs has opted for a track that was well received, even if the album it came from wasn’t – Maybe I’m Amazed.
Maybe I’m Amazed was written by Paul McCartney as a homage to his wife, Linda McCartney. With The Beatles having split up, Paul was in the midst of adjusting to a new way of living and suffered something of a mental breakdown, drinking heavily and battling depression. It was a testing time for him. The only person he could rely on was Linda and Maybe I’m Amazed conveys that struggle he went through. The lyrics use the refrain of “maybe I’m amazed” to describe all of the things Linda does for Paul. He talks about how he is going through a tough period, he feels lost, but Linda is there by his side and he sometimes wonders why she remains with him. She is a comfort, the reassurance that he needs, and he is grateful for it but the narrator sounds confused, unsure if he deserves such support from this woman who clearly loves him.
Paul McCartney has been the most successful of The Beatles when it comes to a solo career. He also enjoyed chart popularity with the group Wings as well. Maybe I’m Amazed captures Paul in a moment between the transition from the Fab Four to being a solo artist and it is testament to his gift as a songwriter. The lyrics are full of love for Linda McCartney who was highly regarded in her own right in the UK until her tragic death from cancer in 1998 at the age of 56. The Lennon/McCartney partnership is where the diamonds are found but Paul McCartney as a solo artist is still capable of making gold.
Favourite songs so far:
The Animals – House of the Rising Sun (1964)
Simon & Garfunkel – The Sounds of Silence (1965)
The Beach Boys – God Only Knows (1966)
The Doors – The End (1967)
The Beatles – A Day in the Life (1967)
Procol Harum – A Whiter Shade of Pale (1967)
The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Voodoo Child (Slight Return) (1968)
The Kinks – Days (1968)
King Crimson – The Court of the Crimson King (1969)
Derek & The Dominos – Layla (1970)