Suggest a Songfact / Artistfact
Album: Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club BandReleased: 1967
Paul McCartney wrote this as if he fell for a meter maid while she was taking his plate number. Said Paul: "I was bopping about on the piano in Liverpool when someone told me that in America, they call parking-meter women meter maids. I thought that was great, and it got to 'Rita Meter Maid' and then "Lovely Rita Meter Maid' and I was thinking vaguely that it should be a hate song: 'You took my car away and I'm so blue today' and you wouldn't be liking her; but then I thought it would be better to love her and if she was very freaky too, like a military man, with a bag on her shoulder. A foot stomper, but nice. The song was imagining if somebody was there taking down my number and I suddenly fell for her, and the kind of person I'd be, to fall for a meter maid, would be a shy office clerk and I'd say, 'May I inquire discreetly when you are free to take some tea with me.' Tea, not pot. It's like saying 'Come and cut the grass' and then realizing that could be pot, or the old teapot could be something about pot. But I don't mind pot and I leave the words in. They're not consciously introduced just to say pot and be clever." (from Beatles In Their Own Words
McCartney and Beatles producer George Martin both played pianos. Martin played the honky-tonk style in the middle.
Combs and paper were used to create odd background noises.
McCartney's vocal was sped-up a bit - one of the many studio tricks employed on the Sgt. Pepper album.
Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys told Q magazine that this is his favorite Paul McCartney song. He recalled: "I had a sneak preview of Sgt. Pepper when Paul came to visit me in 1967 and Lovely Rita made me laugh my head of. I love the way it comes floating in. The bassline is great and the lyrics are kind of funny too."