McCartney ‘The Lyrics’ – How Many Translations?

While looking around the web shopping for Paul McCartney’s fabulous new book The Lyrics, we stumbled across a couple of different translations, and it got us wondering how many countries were getting versions of the book in their own language?

There are of course two main English editions. The two most common of these are the US edition in the green outer box:

And there’s the UK edition – which has exactly the same content as the US, but externally is quite different in design:

Also worthy of mention is a third English language version of the book: the Limited Edition. This one is actually signed by Sir Paul. There have reportedly been just 175 copies made available worldwide, though as one reader points out there have been two different signed books with the number #95 sold on eBay. Each had a different publishing logo, raising doubt on the accuracy of “175 worldwide”. Maybe it is 175 in the US, and 175 in the UK. Either way, it comes in a distinctive bright orange box with blue lettering. The design inside is quite unique too – including the two volumes inside which are also in that distinctive orange binding:

Then we get onto the translations, and those we’ve been able to uncover (to date) all seem to have the same outer box and book binding as the US green version above.

Here is the German:

And the Dutch language edition:

Next up is the Spanish:

And close by (in terms of geography) there is the Portuguese:

There is a French language edition too, and it seems to come with an outer box re-design as well:

The Italian translation has only just been released (9 November). There aren’t any great images of how it is packaged yet – but we’ve asked one of the translators and can confirm that this is the cover:

As you can see, like the French edition, the Italians have gone for a white outer box. The translation has been done by Franco Zanetti and Luca Parasi, who is author of the highly regarded Paul McCartney reference book Recording Sessions (1969-2013).

A further confirmation that this is the way the Italian edition is presented are the images in this advertisement that the publishers, Rizzoli Libri, was running on Amazon:

And finally, two unexpected translations – one in Finnish:

And the other in Swedish (thanks to reader Ole for sending this one in). Interesting that the front covers of the two books inside appear to have the images and super-imposed lyrics used for the rear covers of the books in the rest of the world:

Is that all? Do you know of any others?

Let us know using the ‘Leave a Reply’ link below if you have any updates and we’ll publish them here.

6 thoughts on “McCartney ‘The Lyrics’ – How Many Translations?

  1. I was the buyer of the ebay UK signed #95, and my heart sank when I saw the US listing with the same number – I thought someone was being scammed (possibly me), until I noticed the signatures, publisher imprint and surroundings in which the photos were taken were all distinct across the two listings. I too was under the impression it was to be 175 copies worldwide, but should have expected as much with all of last year’s shenanigans surrounding McCartney III and its many variations and purported quantities in different markets.


    • Hi Michael, Thank you so much for making contact and providing this first-hand information. From what you experienced it
      definitely looks like there are two distinct streams for the signed Limited Editions in the orange boxes. One of 175 editions for the
      UK market (published by Allen Lane/Penguin), and one of 175 editions for the US market (published by Liveright Books). Well done
      in securing a copy for yourself! You definitely have a collectors item!


      • I ask that you contact publisher to find out if all the various translations will also have “Limited Editions” and signed. With all due respect first it seemed 175 then another 175 heck how many languages exist and could there be 1,750 signed copies. We need the truth!


  2. Is there any confirmation by publishers about the exact number of the special editions? It would be a very interesting follow-up story. And were any translated copies signed or in special editions. I read only 3 were in all of Australia. Please follow up.


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