Maggie Mae

Album: Let It Be (1970)
Play Video

Songfacts®:

  • This is a traditional song about Liverpool prostitutes ("Maggie" is British slang for prostitute). Many British groups have recorded it.
  • The Beatles used to play this when they were still known as The Quarrymen, including at the church fair when John Lennon met Paul McCartney.
  • This was one of the songs they would use to warm up at recording sessions.
  • The Beatles recorded this between takes of "Two Of Us." The album was supposed to be a return to The Beatles early days when they played live, so this was left on. The album was delayed until after The Beatles broke up, so Phil Spector was brought in to produce it from the tapes.
  • This was left off the album when it was released in 2003 without Phil Spector's orchestrations.
  • This was the first song on a Beatles album since Help that was not written by any members of the band. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Adrian - Wilmington, DE
  • Lime Street is a famous street in Liverpool where prostitutes were known to work. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Loretta - Liverpool, England
  • When The Beatles released their Let It Be... Naked album in 2003, this song and "Dig It" were omitted. The album was a re-release of Let It Be with stripped-down production more in line with Paul McCartney's vision. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France

Comments: 22

  • Jim from West Palm Beach, FlThere's also a slower knock off version of this on some of the Let It Be albums.
  • Breanna from Henderson, NvThere are these girls in some of my classes that I call Maggie Mae and they just stare at me like my name's not Maggie! They hate the Beatles so they'll never know.
  • Nick from London, United Kingdom4. Maggie May -Viper Skiffle Group Parlophone R 4261 January 1957.
    July 6th 1957 was the date of the annual St Peters Church Parish Fete at Woolton, Liverpool. Teenage home recording enthusiast, Bob Molyneux was, quite unusually for the time, in possession of a reel-to-reel tape recorder and he decided to record all the musical acts appearing at the event. One of the surviving tapes was bought by EMI at an auction in 1994 for £78,000 and for the past fifteen years, this tape has been languishing in the vaults with no apparent plans for release by the company. Lennon is known to be singing 2 songs on the tape, the Presley track, Baby Let's Play House, and Lonnie Donegan's Puttin' On the Style. There was a tantalising 30-second snippet of the latter song played on the radio at the time, which has found its way on to many a bootleg in the intervening years. The gig was even reviewed in the local paper and other songs known to have been committed to tape that day but subsequently lost were Be-Bop-a-Lula, Maggie May, Come And Go With Me and 2 further Donegan songs, Cumberland Gap and Railroad Bill. Billed as Quarrymen Skiffle, this was their third documented gig, but more importantly from a historical perspective, it was also the day that Lennon met Paul McCartney, who was introduced to the band just before the second of the five sets they performed throughout the day. Maggie May was a bawdy old Liverpool folk song, which was popularised by the Viper Skiffle Group in 1957, and a version of the song was included on the Beatles Let It Be album in 1970. Coincidentally, George Martin was the producer of both groups, and he later admitted that working with the musically untrained Vipers had been essential experience for him in preparation for his later work with the Beatles. Three of the original members of the Shadows spent time playing with the Vipers in 1958, while they were based at the 2 I's coffee bar in Soho.
    Nick Duckett
    http://www.rhythmandbluesrecords.co.uk/
  • Niles from Belpre, Ohit's "she'll never walk down Lisle street any
    mow-er' (That's according to the Beatles complete
    book)
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxSo basically Rod Stewart say "Wake up hooker!" in his version...good times
  • Emily from Newcastle, AustraliaWhen the words say "Two pounds ten a week, that was my pay" maybe that what he paid her :] haha.

    sorry, i know its not true, it was a joke, but honestly, it needed to be said, i love the beatles and i dont want people saying i'm slack, mean, etc. etc. it was just something that needed to be said.

    :]
  • Anthony from Dewsbury, United Kingdomand of course, Suzanne Vega wrote a retort, "I'll never be your Maggie May." meaning that she won't be treated like a slattern. And she won't be left in the way Rod the Mod left his shortcoming!!
  • Magzy from Chicago, IlMan my name is Maggie Mae & i was stupid enough to google my name this song came up. i herd it over the winter when my daddy got all these Beatles CDs. i was like Woohoo i was named after a beatles song! but i dont like having a name meaning prostitute! then i found out i was named after the Rod Stewart song Maggie Mae. so im okay. my dad has pretty good music tastes.
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmI like singing this song at the top of m lungs. it's the freaking funest thing ever!
  • Forrest from Rochester, MnI love this damned song!
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, Nmtee-hee. its 'bout a hooker. Im gonna start callin' this one girl , Maggie Mae. haha
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiHave I heard the lyrics wrong all this time? I swear to God, I am pretty sure the lyrics went, "Oh, the judge he guilty found her, Of robbing the home about her". You mean I was wrong?
  • Andrea from Sønderborg, DenmarkJohn's voice is so funny in this song! They were really having fun, weren't they?
  • Michael from Carbondale, IlI loved the Rutles and i like this song. It shows that there were still able to have a good times when they were simply four guys making music.
  • Joe from Lethbridge, CanadaI like this track. Fun song. I have the full version on a bootleg. And I think it was Ron Nasty from the Rutles who said they (the Rutles) were bigger than Rod (meaning Rod Stewart). And he only got in trouble because he was mis-quoted as saying they were bigger than God (who is actually very big and and has an enormous and highly volatile fanclub).
  • Greg from Victoria, CanadaLove the Beatles.My favotite Band. This song however just wasn't that good.Not horrible but not worthy of my top 200.
  • Sylvia from London, England lol! I loooove this song because they sound like they are having a lot of fun. :) It makes me laugh because John pretends to have a different accent than real life, and on the word 'more' he sings it like 'mo-er'. Hilarious stuff. Hilarious stuff!
    Very short song, but cute. :) I can't hear George though, probably playing wonderful guitar.
  • Stefanie Magura from Rock Hill, ScOn one of the versions of "Let It Be" I have the song cuts off so you never here the rest of the lyrics. I have both versions though, and it might be on the naked one as well. I'd have to check.
  • Barry from New York, NcWhen I heard that Rod Stewart had a song called "Maggie May" that was a huge hit I thought he sang this tune which is more or less a throwaway. Of course, Rod's version was totally different. (By the way didn't Lennon once get in trouble by saying "The Beatles were bigger than Rod?).
  • Jack from St. Paul, MnMaggie's Farm by Bob Dylan isn't about sex. Sure its about a b****y boss but at least shes not a hooker.
  • Jessa from Brampton, On, CanadaI love this song because you can totally tell they are having fun singing it you can hear them smiling almost at the beginning
  • Kay from Wakefield, MaI read somewhere that the lyrics sung by John alone on "Let it Be" ("This is a part of Liverpool/They returned me to/Two pounds ten a week, that was my pay") are different from the actual lyrics because Lennon forgot how it went halfway through the song.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Song Titles That Inspired Movies

Song Titles That Inspired MoviesSong Writing

Famous songs that lent their titles - and in some cases storylines - to movies.

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"

Jack Tempchin - "Peaceful Easy Feeling"They're Playing My Song

When a waitress wouldn't take him home, Jack wrote what would become one of the Eagles most enduring hits.

Al Kooper

Al KooperSongwriter Interviews

Kooper produced Lynyrd Skynyrd, played with Dylan and the Stones, and formed BS&T.

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New York

Janis Ian: Married in London, but not in New YorkSong Writing

Can you be married in one country but not another? Only if you're part of a gay couple. One of the first famous singers to come out as a lesbian, Janis wrote a song about it.

Michael Glabicki of Rusted Root

Michael Glabicki of Rusted RootSongwriter Interviews

Michael tells the story of "Send Me On My Way," and explains why some of the words in the song don't have a literal meaning.

Harold Brown of War

Harold Brown of WarSongwriter Interviews

A founding member of the band War, Harold gives a first-person account of one of the most important periods in music history.