The Life of a Song

The Life of a Song

The stories behind 100 of the world's best-loved songs

Jan Dalley, David Cheal


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Discover the stories behind the songs
THE LIFE OF A SONG contains the stories of 100 songs exploring each song's biography and how they took on a new life following their release. Packed with intriguing factoids, these bite-sized essays will delight music fans and send you scurrying back to listen to the songs in all their beauty and mystery.

Who knew that Paul McCartney originally referred to Yesterday as 'Scrambled Eggs' because he couldn't think of any lyrics for his heart-breaking tune? Or that Patti LaBelle didn't know what 'Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?' actually meant? These and countless other back stories fill this book.

Each 600-word piece gives a mini-biography of a single song, from its earliest form through the various covers and changes, often morphing from one genre to another, always focusing on the 'biography' of the song itself while including the many famous artists who have performed or recorded it.

This book collects 100 of the best pieces from the highly successful The Life of a Song columns from the FT Weekend every Saturday. Inside you'll find rock, pop, folk, jazz and more. Each piece is pithy, sparkily written, knowledgeable, entertaining, full of anecdotes and surprises. They combine deep musical knowledge with the vivid background of the performers and musicians, and of course the often intriguing social and political background against which the songs were created.


Jan Dalley: