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Paul McCartney said that this song is a tribute to women everywhere. It was inspired by a picture of an African woman suckling her kid, over the caption "Mountain Madonna." (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA)
The piano arrangement was lifted from a '50s jazz classic - "Bad Penny Blues" by Humphrey Lyttleton.
British Jazz musicians were brought in on short notice to play the saxophone parts.
John Lennon, Paul McCartney and George Harrison faked a brass solo by singing through their cupped hands.
The Beatles recorded "Lady Madonna
" at the same time they were recording the promotional film for this. In the video for this song, The Beatles are actually singing "Hey Bulldog" (for the most part). They went in to shoot "Lady Madonna" and John changed it at the last minute to "Hey Bulldog." If you watch the video montage for "Madonna" closely, there's even footage from the Get Back
sessions thrown in.
This was one of 5 Beatles songs McCartney performed on his Wings Over America tour in 1976.
McCartney designed the ads for the single.
This was the last Beatles release on Capitol Records (US), or Parlophone (UK). All future releases were on Apple Records, the label The Beatles created.
A version sung by Aretha Franklin was used as the theme song for TV show Grace Under Fire. The show starred comedian Brett Butler and ran on ABC from 1993-1997. For the last season, they used a different theme song.
Fats Domino released a version of this later in 1968.
Every day of the week is mentioned in the lyrics except Saturday. (thanks, Mike - Mountlake Terrace, WA)
McCartney stated in the book The Love You Make
that while singing "Lady Madonna" he used what he characterized as his "Elvis voice." (thanks, Mike - cambridge, MA)
Brad Smith of Blind Melon
The Blind Melon bassist/songwriter tells the story of "No Rain," which he wrote before the band was formed.
Gary Louris of The Jayhawks
The Jayhawks' song "Big Star" has special meaning to Gary, who explains how longevity and inspiration have trumped adulation.
Songs Discussed in Movies
, Reservoir Dogs
, Willy Wonka
. Just a few of the flicks where characters discuss specific songs, sometimes as a prelude to murder.