Paul Williams (songwriter)

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We've only just begun.

Paul Hamilton Williams (born 19 September 1940) is an American musician, composer, songwriter and actor.


  • Before the rising sun we fly,
    So many roads to choose
    We start out walking and learn to run.
    • "We've Only Just Begun" (1970)
  • Sharing horizons that are new to us,
    Watching the signs along the way,
    Talking it over just the two of us,
    Working together day to day
    • "We've Only Just Begun" (1970)
  • So much of life ahead
    We'll find a place where there's room to grow,
    And yes, we've just begun.
    • "We've Only Just Begun" (1970)
  • Why are there so many songs about rainbows
    And what's on the other side?

    Rainbows are visions, but only illusions,
    And rainbows have nothing to hide.
    So we've been told and some choose to believe it
    I know they're wrong, wait and see.
    Someday we'll find it, the rainbow connection,
    The lovers, the dreamers and me.

Phantom of the Paradise (1974)

  • Our love is an old love, baby.
    It's older than all our years.

    I have seen in strange young eyes
    Familiar tears.
  • We're old souls in a new life baby.
    They gave us a new life
    To live and learn.
    • "Old Souls"
  • Our paths have crossed and parted,
    This love affair was started
    Long, long ago.

    This love survives the ages
    In its story lives are pages
    Fill them up, may ours turn slow.
    • "Old Souls"
  • Our love is a strong love, baby.
    We give it all
    And still receive.
    • "Old Souls"
  • All souls last forever
    So we need never fear goodbye.
    • "Old Souls"
  • In time, we kiss — hello!
    • "Old Souls"

Songfacts interview (2007)

Songfacts Interview
  • The best part of being a songwriter — beyond being able to make a living at it — is what I call the "heart payment" of a song. That's when somebody comes up after a concert and says, "My mom was a single mom, and 'You And Me Against The World' was a really important song to us." Or "We got married to 'We've Only Just Begun'" or 'Evergreen.' Or "'I Won't Last A Day Without You' got me through some hard times.'" That's heart payment for a songwriter.
  • I think the trick for any songwriter is authenticity. For the young songwriter coming up who is connected to his generation, as I was connected to mine, write honestly about what's going on in the center of your life. You know, when "We've Only Just Begun" was a Number 1 record, I think the Number 1 album in the country was "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida." So it was as far away from what was happening in the music scene as you can get. And yet it was a hit. I think it was a hit because of, obviously, Karen [Carpenter]'s amazing vocal, but I think that any time we write authentically and honestly about what's going on in the center of our chest, because people are so much alike, there's a big a chance that it's going on in the center of your chest, too.
  • Relating to the specifics of relationships, and writing love songs, I tapped into something that seemed to work for my generation. I love the fact that some of the songs continue to survive, but I think that there's a window of opportunity for a time when you really, really relate to your generation. And I think a lot of us pass through that as songwriters.

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