Musicians' Handwritten Lyrics to Famous Songs

Messy first drafts of some classic rock-and-roll sonnets by Prince, Michael Jackson, and the Boss

georgeharrison_BANNER.jpg

Before the vocals and melodies of some of our favorite tunes are ever recorded, the maestros behind the music put pen to paper and construct songs. Whether these working drafts are scribbled on legal pads, neatly spelled out in ink, or scribed alongside silly doodles, the ritual of writing out lyrics unites everyone from The Beatles to Lykke Li. We've rounded up a collection of hand-scrawled lyrics to beloved songs, in all their first-draft glory.

This post also appears on Flavorpill, an Atlantic partner site.

Presented by

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Entertainment

Just In