Her Majesty

Album: Abbey Road (1969)

Songfacts®:

  • Originally intended to be an actual tribute to the Queen of England, this song was supposed to be placed in between "Mean Mr. Mustard" and "Polythene Pam" on the side two Abbey Road medley, but Paul McCartney had it removed because he didn't like it. Abbey Road studios engineer John Kurlander explains: "We did all the remixes and cross-fades to overlap the songs, Paul was there, and we heard it together for the first time. He said 'I don't like 'Her Majesty,' throw it away,' so I cut it out - but I accidentally left in the last note. He said, 'It's only a rough mix, it doesn't matter,' in other words, don't bother abut making a clean edit because it's only a rough mix. I'd been told never to throw anything away, so after he left, I picked it up off the floor, put about twenty seconds of red leader tape before it and stuck it onto the end of the edit tape. The next day, down at Apple, Malcolm Davies cut a playback lacquer of the whole sequence and, even though I'd written on the box that 'Her Majesty' was unwanted, he too thought, 'Well, mustn't throw anything away, I'll put it on at the end.' I'm only assuming this, but when Paul got that lacquer he must have liked hearing 'Her Majesty' tacked on the end... We never remixed 'Her Majesty' again, that was the mix which ended up on the finished LP. This is why 'Her Majesty' doesn't have a final guitar chord - it lays unheard, at the beginning of 'Polythene Pam.' And the jarring electric guitar chord that begins 'Her Majesty' is actually from the end of the original 'Mean Mr. Mustard.'"
  • This is the shortest Beatles song. It is 23 seconds long.
  • McCartney recorded this before the other Beatles arrived in the studio.
  • There were no references to this song on the first pressings of the Abbey Road LP, not even on the record label. It's generally agreed that the unlisted song on the earlier pressings was the first ever hidden track to grace the world of rock.

Comments: 55

  • Steve from Princeton, NjThis is one of half a dozen late 60s songs in which Paul sounds like John.
  • Danny from Bronx, NyYes, this song was originally going to follow Mean Mr. Mustard. That song ends with a reference to the Queen ("Takes him out to look at the Queen/Only place that he's ever been...") So the singer here would have been confessing his love for the Queen immediately after describing how Pam takes her brother to see her.
  • Jim from West Palm Beach, FlIt may seem out of place as the last moment of Abbey Road. But then again maybe not. :-)
  • Nikolai from Los Angeles, CaSince the starts on the last note of Mean Mr. Mustard the last note of this song is cut off, giving it that somewhat abrupt ending.
  • Dnnz from Aqp, PeruLike many of the Beatles ground breaking moments this was unintentional and ended up as the first hidden track EVER!!! aren't they the best
  • Trevor from Surrey, Bchere was gonna be the real long versoin of it.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jy-N09qbugc&feature=PlayList&p=6DA40938288B5AB0&index=27
  • Ruth from Indianapolis, InAs far as I am aware, the only long version of "Her Majesty" in existence is on the 2005 River Rhine Tapes bootleg (which also contains "The Long and Winding Road" in its earliest form as "River Rhine"). I have the bootleg, and that version is only 1m, 43sec long. It does have the proper beginning (without the end of "Mean Mister Mustard" tacked on), but the ending seems to have always cut off abruptly (without the much-needed D chord), so that's no different. It does have, as others have noted, Paul singing in a higher-pitched falsetto-type voice, with a whole verse of "do do do". Not any more special than the original version from the end of Abbey Road, really.
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxThis track tacked at the end is like the punch-line to a joke - the set up doesn't work with out it.
  • Tay from San Diego, Cafunny story bianca! only paul could come up with something like that!
  • Tyler from Phillipston, Mai wish this song was longer its so great
  • Olivia from Chicago, Ilbianca: cute story its the way i hope the beatles were
  • Olivia from Chicago, Ili would give anything in this whole world for the song to last longer. what was paul thinking? 'didn't like it' bite your tongue. paul was a genius but i dunno what happened to him here
  • Chuck from La, Cathis must be the FIRST PUNK song cause it's so short and to the point RIGHT?!!!
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiI love it. I wish this song was more than 23 seconds though.
  • Paul Bert Bilog from Los Angeles, Cai love this short little ditty...beatles genius
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmI can totally make an entire lil cartoon show thing in my head about this song, especilly the "Bellyfull of wine" It starts off with The Beatles at a Party at the Queen's palace. and theres like waitores with like trays with wine on them. so Paul keeps on taking glasses and glasses of wine until he's like drunk. then he goes up to the queen all drunk, with a glass of wine in his hand. Then he's all "I-i-i *hic hic* L-love Ha! thats funny john! oh Hehe I LOve You Queenie!" then I have an optinal ending. Either after that the Queen slaps im across the face. or Paul like passes out because of how drunk he is . or He drops the glass and covers his mouth and runs to a bathroom and throws-up. Or George and Ringo Apoligize and drag Paul outside and John just Follows blushing and laughing while shaking his head. Sorry it's so long!
  • Mary from Londonnice song
  • Mary from LondonI love the part of the song where Paul sings "I want to tell her that I love her a lot, but I got to get a belly full of wine." Is he saying that he loved the Queen? (kidding!)
  • Josh from Marshfield, MaThis song is amazing. There's something about that B7 chord at, "I want to tell her..." that just gives me chills everytime i hear the song.
  • Matt from Brisbane, AustraliaDon from Rapid City is right. The song was originally placed between "Mean Mr Mustard" and "Polythene Pam" but when it was edited out, the editor made an error and cut it off one beat too soon. That's why "Mean Mr Mustard" ends after three beats of the last bar. The final beat is found on the beginning of "Her Majesty". They were going to fix it but Paul was tired and told them to leave it like it was.
  • Sal from Bardonia , NyA Hidden track with a tape cutoff ending that ends side two and side one I Want You She So Heavy also ends with a tape cutoff ending.
    Sal,Badonia, NY
  • Nathan from Bruges, BelgiumThe Beatles were fantastic.This song is only 24 seconds long and it still has a perfect "beat".
  • Cameron from Bainsville, CanadaMike, London, England - I think that statement is absolutely true. I mean, The End would have been a perfect ending (go figure, it's called The End). But You're absolutely right. Even when they have it all figured out, they put in this 15 second song. Basically saying that they're never done. Their legacy will live on for that, their love of music, and the wonderfully crafted pieces of art that the made.
  • Chris from San Clemente, CaOf course it was not left in on accident. I believe that it was mistakenly placed at the end of the album and I guess they thought it sounded good there. I personally like it where it is. My opinion is that the placement of this song had serendipity to thank.
  • Judd from Somewhere In, Nyi HIGHLY doubt that this song was left on on accident, or was mistakenely out of order. i can bet you that this album was checked and double checked over 100 times before it was sent out all over the country, and it's very unlikely that this song went unnoticed
  • Riley from Naval Reserve, ScI, like the rest of you, like this song and like the fact it ended the album. But where are you guys getting the longer versions from? I would like to hear them. Also, Natasha, I was the same way when I heard this song. I thought is there a mistake? What's up with this?
  • Linus from Hamilton, On, CanadaI also have the longer version...but it's of much poorer quality, and you can hear the other Beatles and perhaps a producer talking in the background.
  • Dylan from Philadelphia, PaAlso in the unreleased version it has regular chords at the beginning (instead of that weerd one from the end of Polythene Pam. By regular I mean chords that sound like they could start a song.
  • Dylan from Philadelphia, PaI have an unreleased copy of it and it was originally 2 mins 20 secs long, but it was the same words over again, followed by "doo doo doo"'s Also, Paul McCartney originally sang it an octave higher (and it sounded good) but he changed it when they did their final recording.
  • Linus from Hamilton, On, CanadaIt's too bad they didn't make this song longer - they have a good tune going. It seems a shame that a lot of songs were 'ditched' by the beatles by making them shorter than they can be. 'Carry that weight' and 'Golden Slumbers' for example.
  • Jordan from Wimette, IlAlthough it doesn't say 'Her Magesty' on the song list, 'Her Magesty' is on the record.
  • Barry from New York, NcBack in the early 80s there was a comprehensive radio documentary on FM radio I think it was called "the Beatles A Day in their Life" or something to that effect. Basically that show was a complete history of the Beatles and every studio track was aired plus history and narrations and memories from the Beatles themselves. Well I remember the narrator said "next up is the final Abbey Road medley, and for the first time ever, you will hear HER MAJESTY with the missing chord." I was excited!! I was dying to hear it. Well they proceeded to play the Abbey Road medley, but following "The End" they went right to commercial break, and no "Her Majesty" at all. Following the commercial break they started up their segment on "Live Peace in Toronto." When the special got to "Imagine" and Lennon's death I gave up hope that I'd be hearing the debut of the complete "Her Majesty" with the missing chord!!!
  • Richard from Newport, Isle Of Wight, EnglandI really wanted to name our daughter after a Beatles song, but couldn't get my wife to agree to Martha, Lucy, Sadie, Eleanor or Julia and I wasn't that keen myself on Pam, Maggie, Rita or Michelle. And Madonna is just stupid! So we called her Elizabeth in the end, after this song! But if we ever have a son he's getting called John Paul George Ringo, and that's the end of it!
  • Joe from Los Angeles, Cabelieve it or not,years ago, i did hear a version that ended with the missing d-chord strum.i wonder why it's never been released in any form...
  • Ken from Louisville, KyPaul was once quoted as saying to the effect that since "The End" had such a heavy philosophical message and high orchestration, he wanted the last thing on the last Beatle album to be something short and humorous. He didn't know at the time the then-shelved "Let It Be" LP was going to be re-produced for release.
  • Mike from West Babylon, Nythis is a great short song and a perfect way to end a great album.
  • Sirpsycho85 from Ghj, Nyand i think its just a really cool idea too as a final song, the beatles took over the world, and it was a sort of, now we took her majesty too.
  • Sirpsycho85 from Ghj, Nyit did not end up on the album completely as a mistake, it was tacked on at the end because the ppl at abbey road were told never to delete the outtakes, and paul heard it there and liked it, so they left it.
  • Carly from San Diego, CaSometimes I wish the song was longer because I love it so much and i dont feel like hitting the repeat button over and over... but sometimes I'm glad it's the way it is.
  • Rich from Dayton, OhPerhaps you folks can put your ear to the test on this and tell me what you come up with... I think the first note of Her Majesty is actually the last note of Rebel Rebel by David Bowie. If it is not, then it is uncanny, because the guitar swells out of tune slighty when the chord is first struck identically in both!!!
  • Scott Baldwin from Edmonton, CanadaUm,ya, thanxs for the info, jo. But you will change your mind once you hear the 4 minute long version.
  • Jo from Toronto, CanadaI always felt this song was like playing the National Anthem ("God Save the Queen") at the end of a performance or event. Only this is Beatles-style! With all the problems they had with the government and the "Taxman" and censorship and so on, they couldn't just do a straight tribute. They did something that basically said, "It's a nice country, but..."
  • Natasha from Chico, CaThe first time i listened to Abbey Road, "Her Majesty" shocked me. I played it over and over again, thinking that maybe the rest of the song had gotten cut off on my copy or sumthin'. I found it hard to believe that it was the end, i wanted to hear more, but it's a good 23 seconds of song.
  • Qbert from Surrey, B.c., CanadaI have a alternate version of this song (thanks to the p2p networks) and it is almost 4 minutes long...oooo SHOCKER!
  • Angelica from La Puente, CaThe abrupt ending of this song always creeped me out a little. Was there meaning behind it, or was it just a joke as Yu suggests?
  • Mike from London, EnglandA nice little ditty. You think that "The End" is going to be the perfect ending to the last Beatles recording, and then "Her Majesty" comes in after 15 seconds or so, almost showing us that the Beatles legacy will never die. It's almost like they're all saying, "oh go on, one more quick song then!"
  • Paulo from New York, NyI've always thought this song could use a couple more verses.
  • Yu from Demarest, Palet's talk about the "final note" literally. notice how this song ends on the A natural note before the D-major chord that should have followed. I'm sure this is done on a purpose as well as a joke.
  • Catherine from Glasgow, EnglandIt's a good song and i like the guitar part but i wish they hadn't put it right at the end of abbey road like that. I really think "The End" should have been the last song.
    Apparantly, it was going to go in between Polythene Pam and She came in through the Bathroom window but on Playback Paul didn't like it there and it got moved to the end.
  • Brian from St. Louis, MoThis is one of my favorite songs to play on the guitar.
  • AnonymousEverything the Beatles did was for a reason. I think "Her Majesty" was made the last song of Abbey Road to almost mock the importance of the group's "last song". Everyone must have expected a masterpiece to end the album. It would've been just like them to purposely make such a simple and quarky song as "Her Majesty" as their "final note". (The Beatles did a similar thing at the end of Sgt. Peppers with the spliced studio sounds.)
  • Don from Rapid City, SdThe out-of-place sounding note at the beginning of "Her Majesty" is actually the last note of "Mean Mr. Mustard".
  • Tavers from Mesa, AzActually Paul removed the song while they were still recording the Abbey Road and at the last minute he decided to put it back in.
  • Jane from Conway, ArIs it myth or reality that the song was a mistake? It seems a GREAT ending for the Beatle's career and this album. After all the complexity, orchestras, exotic instruments, formal experimentation, technological breakthroughs (how long can this list go?), we are back to onhe man and an acoustic guitar. How retrospective can you get?
  • Jim from Chelmsford, EnglandPaul will be performing this song live for the 1st time, at The Jubilee party being held at Buckingham palace, on June 3rd.
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