She Came In Through the Bathroom Window

Album: Abbey Road (1969)


  • Paul McCartney wrote this about a fan who broke into his house. Diane Ashley claims it was her. "We found a ladder in his garden and stuck it up the bathroom window which he'd left slightly open," she said. "I was the one who climbed up and got in."

    Now married with four children, Diane keeps a framed photo of herself with Paul on her kitchen shelf and looks back on her days as an Apple Scruff with affection: "I don't regret any of it. I had a great time, a really great time."
  • Landis Kearnon (known at the time as Susie Landis) gave us the following account:

    Here, all this time I thought this song was written about me and my friend Judy. What a surprise to learn there was someone named Diane Ashley who put a ladder up to Paul's house and climbed in through the bathroom window. This and the bit about "quit the police department" being inspired by an ex-cop taxi driver in NYC tells me something I already know about songwriting, which is that many songs are composites. This one obviously was because Diane wasn't the only person having a profound effect on Paul McCartney by crawling in a bathroom window in 1967 (maybe '68 in her case). Judy and I were paid $1500 by Greene & Stone, a couple of sleazy artist managers driving around the Sunset Strip in a Chinchilla-lined caddy limo, to "borrow" the quarter-inch master of "A Day In The Life" off of David Crosby's reel-to-reel, drive it to Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood where Greene & Stone duped it, then put it back where we found it at Crosby's Beverly Glen Canyon pad. Crosby was playing with the Byrds that day in Venice so we knew his house was empty. This was the day after a major rainstorm so the back of his house was one big mudslide. We climbed up it, leaving 8-inch deep footprints and, you guessed it, gained access via the bathroom window, leaving behind footprints and a veritable goldmine of forensic matter. We were really nervous and did not make clear mental notes of how the master reel was on the player, but did have the sense to leave Crosby's front door unlocked while we drove across town and back. After the tape was back on the machine (badly) we changed out of our muddy shoes, drove to the Cheetah in Venice, and hung out with the Byrds into the evening, thinking we were awfully clever and cute. We did not know why Greene & Stone would pay so much money for a copy of a Beatles song, other than the fact that is was a groundbreaking and mind-blowing piece, but found out the next day when we heard "A Day In The Life" on KHJ, I think it was. Greene & Stone had used it as payola to get one of their groups, The Cake, singing "Yes We Have No Bananas," on the air. Which they did, and it sucked, but oh well. By the following day "A Day In The Life" was no longer on the air. And just a day or two after that there was a front page blurb in the LA Times about "A Day In The Life" getting aired one month prior to the release date of the single and the Sgt. Pepper LP, which apparently cost the Beatles plenty and they were suing Capitol or Columbia, whichever the label was, for $2 million... and McCartney was flying in from London to deal with the mess. Oops. Judy and I nearly sank through the floor. Though we were active "dancers" in the various nightclubs on the Sunset Strip, we lay low for a while, not knowing what to expect. In fact, other than a song being written and a GREAT cover by Joe Cocker, nothing happened. We got our money, spent it on groovy clothes, of course (what else was there?) and never heard a word about it.

    "I knew what I could not say" and "protected by a silver spoon" seemed to explain why there were no repercussions. My dad was a TV director who had already threatened to bust and ruin David Crosby for smoking pot with and deflowering his daughter; he had clout and David was afraid of him. Judy was from money and influence too. I feel that David knew exactly who had broken in and borrowed the tape but couldn't press charges. He probably wasn't supposed to be playing the master for all his friends and hangers-on, so there must have been hell to pay for him. I always felt bad for the cred it must have cost him with his friend Paul McCartney.

    Oh, the bit about "Sunday's on the phone to Monday, Tuesday's on the phone to me" - that was somebody named Sunday, maybe a detective, I can't remember now, calling the producer Billy Monday about the break-in and song leak. Billy Monday, knowing she was a friend of McCartney's, called Tuesday Weld, and it was she who called Paul in London and told him the news. Well, I guess I didn't make this very short after all. But you can't tell me that this incident didn't feed into the overall inspiration for the song. I'm just glad it turned out so cool and hope it made a heap for them in compensation for the publicity costs at the outset.

    It was interesting and exciting then, that's for sure. Even though I came of age into that scene and had nothing to compare it to, I still had a sense at the time of being at the epicenter of something big. Some of that was attributable to the hubris of youth, but some of it turned out to be real, as it happened. Now, present time, it makes my day to come across someone who still finds it interesting or even knows what or whom I'm talking about. By the way, I never did get to meet the Beatles, though I was invited to party where they were staying once, when I was 17. My mother wouldn't let me go! I never forgave her.

    I lived in LA until 1987 where I was a model, actress, (groupie, but that wasn't professional), marching band manager, religious (Buddhist) leader, newspaper columnist, secretary, copywriter, copy editor, account executive, screenwriter, songwriter, band leader, session singer, textile designer, artist. Since then, in the Santa Fe area and now, since 1992, in Tucson, I continued my artistic and musical endeavors, ran a fabric-painting factory, was a jazz singer for several years (which has mutated to something more individual and artistic of late), have worked numerous odd jobs from pizza delivery to bookstore management, and am now close to completing my first novel, which is set in a Buddhist cult in the early '70s.

    In the '70s I traveled halfway around the world on a square-rigged cargo ship, lived and sang in Europe for three years, and, as of 1991, am a mother of one though I never married.

    Subsequent to the bathroom window event, my friend and partner in crime, as it were, Judy, went off with a Dick Clark Productions road show (can't remember the name of it but it was something timely) as "Irma the Dancing Girl." Her job, nightly, in each new town, was to put on a bikini, dance, and paint wild, acid abstract canvases with her extremely long blond hair. I, on the other hand, joined a Buddhist cult, which was like living on another planet entirely, and completely disappeared from view, as far as the "scene" was concerned. Judy and I didn't hang out much after we realized the impact of our little romp. We didn't talk about it, but we may have decided at some level that we pushed our combined wildness a bit too far on that one and moved on to "safer" friends. I saw her once in the early '70s. She had been married and divorced, was the mother of one, and that was the last contact we had.
  • The Beatles recorded this as one song with "Polythene Pam."
  • The Beatles gave this to Joe Cocker, who released it in 1969. The Beatles released their version first. Cocker's version was used on the soundtrack to the movie All This and World War II, released in 1976. A strange mix of World War II documentary footage set to the music of the Beatles, the movie bombed and has barely been heard of since. Others who covered The Beatles on the soundtrack include Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Tina Turner, Leo Sayer, Frankie Laine and the Bee Gees. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Emma - Palm Beach, Australia
  • This is part of a suite of songs at the end of Abbey Road. They used bits from many songs they never finished to put the suite together.
  • McCartney played lead guitar and Harrison played bass. It was usually the other way around.
  • McCartney said in a documentary shown February 6, 2002 in England that part of the lyric was inspired by sitting in the back of a New York cab. The drivers name was on display (Quitts) saying "Ex Police Department," which inspired the line: "And so I quit the Police Department and got myself a steady job..." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    John - London, England

Comments: 46

  • Bridget from CoVery good. One of my favorites by these guys. Should've been a number 1.
  • Barry from Sauquoit, NyOn December 6th, 1969, "She Came In Through the Bathroom Window" by Joe Cocker entered Billboard's Hot Top 100 chart; and on February 1st, 1970 it peaked at #30 (for 2 weeks) and spent 12 weeks on the Top 100...
    On the day Joe Cocker's covered version enter the Top 100, the album 'Abbey Road' was in its 6th week at being #1 on Billboard's Top 200 Album chart...
    R.I.P. to John & George; and Mr. Cocker will celebrate his 70th birthday come next May 20th.
  • Alex from Exeter, NhSo heres my inturpatation of this song. Im 18 and this is all based on my own real life expierences.

    She came in through the bathroom window- This happed to paul one night and the events to follow is the rest of the song

    Protected by a silver spoon- well what kind of spoons are silver? The kind you smoke out of. My guess is she hopped in and busted out her pipe and paul let her stay and chat

    But now she sucks her thumb and wanders
    By the banks of her own lagoon- But she screwed up on something in small talk because shes sucking her thumb and wandering.

    Didn't anybody tell her?
    Didn't anybody see?
    Sunday's on the phone to Monday,
    Tuesday's on the phone to me- This choris is very strait foward, Sunday, when paul tried to return a call to further a relationship, something unplanned happend, she messed up, and no one told her. Normally if sundays phone call is retured or another form of contact happens on monday following a interaction on sunday, tuesdays on the phone leads to me or in this case paul.

    She said she'd always been a dancer
    She worked at 15 clubs a day- This is strait foward shes a dancing girl and shes been around, thats fine and perfectly acceptable but going back to what was stated before sundays on the phone to monday and tuesdays on the phone to me. Paul does not give it out that easy.

    And though she thought I knew the answer
    Well I knew but I could not say.- The girl thought he had the answere to everything. She thinks from the way he runs his life hes got the answere, well paul says yeah he knows but given the situation he can't tell her.. yet!..

    And so I quit the police department
    And got myself a steady job- So having the answere, paul decides to give up his job at the instauition for greener pastures. Something like food services.

    And though she tried her best to help me
    She could steal but she could not rob- This girl being very invested and out to get the prize. She continued to see paul and help him adjust. And the last line is just to reassure the listener she could steal his heart but she could not just come in and rob.

    and then finally.. Didn't anybody tell her?
    Didn't anybody see?
    Sunday's on the phone to Monday,
    Tuesday's on the phone to me
    Oh yeah.

    a song writer plays with lyrics, just to make the listener more suprised

    one love!

  • John from Cheltenham, United KingdomI thought the line "Sunday's on the phone to Monday, Tuesday's on the phone to me" is about him dating different girls on different days! ... so the girl he sees on Sunday was talking to the girl he sees on Monday and the Tuesday girl was talking to him.

    Nobody else seems to have interpreted it this way though! lol

  • John from Galeton, PaI thought that right before the beginning of the song, that John says "Paul's the band now" and then "oh, look out!"
  • Amanda from Laguna Beach, Cain the movie across the universe one of the main charecters Prudence comes in through the bathroom window.
  • Linc from Beaumont, TxI think the telephone lines are about news spreading - just a clever way of saying he was playing phone tag and/or getting the news about, if the above story is correct, having A Day in the Life played before the album came out. Someone might want to check a calender for '67 release date, but now most albums new releases come out on Tuesdays.
  • Chloe from St. Louis, Moi love this song. i find it really hilarious that a girl broke into paul's house. i must admit, if i had been alive then, i probably would have too just to have the chance to talk to him.....haha....
  • Farrah from Elon, NcThis, and Poythene Pam are my favorite songs in the whole medley.
  • Steve Dotstar from Los Angeles, Caand went out the garage door! ;)
  • Ken from Louisville, KyJohn was quoted in 1980 as saying "I always wondered who came in Paul's bathroom window. Maybe it was Linda. Somebody had to!"
  • Rosario from Naples, Flok nevermind I'm retarded...John says "Oh look out"
  • Rosario from Naples, FlI never knew that a girl actually came in through Paul's bathroom window! Anyway I love this song and I'm pretty sure Paul says "Oh look out!" in the beginning.
  • Tom from Arvada, CoI don't know why the real account of this story has been posted yet. This is about a groupie, and not one concerning paul, though he is the accredited lyricist. In the 2006 DVD documentary The Classic Artists Series: The Moody Blues (DVD UK, released October 2006), Mike Pinder, the former keyboard player of The Moody Blues, states that the inspiration for the song actually rests with an incident that happened to them - a groupie climbing into an open bathroom window in the bands' home and spending the night with band member Ray Thomas. The next day, Pinder and Thomas recounted the story to McCartney, who - guitar in hand - strummed and sang "She came in through the bathroom window...". Sorry miss Ashley. Although I suppose it never hurts to dream.
  • Catherine from Essex, United Kingdomhaha this song is hilarious, i heard that the s.days on the phone to, tdays on the phone to me, is about all the neighbours calling each other and ringing him, ha it sounds like pandamonium, makes me laugh every time i hear paul sing it! the beatles are the best and will live forver!!
  • Steve from Fenton, MoJonathan Gould, author of "Can't Buy Me Love", thinks the line about "by the banks of her own lagoon" is a line about Yoko, who had a lake built on the property of Tittenhurst, where she and John lived.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoI always took the lines "now she sucks her thumb and the banks of her own lagoon" to mean she is incarcerated somewhere, either a prison or a mental institution. Can't say why, it just seemed to fit in my mind. She's a crook and maybe the irony is that she now frequents a bank of a lagoon rather than a bank with money. The "protected by a silver spoon" and "sucks her thumb" seems to be a metaphor suggesting she is young.
  • Forrest from Rochester, MnAm I the only one that assumed that in the title, the "bathroom window" was the birth canal through which someone came into the world "protected by a silver spoon, i.e. "with a silver spoon in their mouth" ?
  • Pat from Paris, France"And now she sucks her thumb and wanders, by the banks of her own lagoon."
    Could somebody, please, explain that part of the song. I can't see anything logic.
  • Lucyinthesky from Philadelphia, PaCraig why do you say another feeble example of The Beatles "trying" to be naughty? They were really naughty in their personal lives,and Paul's song Why Don't We Do It In The Road on The White Album is a pretty blatant perverted song about having public sex in a road!
  • Peter Griffin from Quahog, RiIf you listen right after John says, "Oh, look out!", you can hear someone (possibly Paul) say really fast, "Linda Eastman".
  • Bianca Sanchez from Alburquerque, NmI think it's funny how it says "She came in through the bathroom window, 'protected' by a silver 'spoon'" it's like she was gonna smack Paul on the noggin, knock him out, steel his clothes and a few things, then probably make out with him and leave.
    Woh, that was a long story!
  • Bonni from Melbourne, AustraliaAccording to Carol Bedford, author of "Waiting for the Beatles: An Apple Scruff's Story", several girls broke into Paul's house using a ladder, and they got in through an upstairs bathroom window. In the book, she notes that "Di" (giving no last name) was the first one into the house, and that it was Di who let the others in. They made off with some clothes and photographs. Paul later approached some of the girls he knew and asked for the photographs back, although he told them they could keep the clothes. He reportedly told several of them that he'd written a song inspired by the event, and it was "She Came in Through the Bathroom Window", but no doubt there are plenty of other influences in the song, as well.
  • Mary from LondonIt sounds like John's voice when he says "Lookout!" at the beginning of the song.
  • Fred from Laurel, MdAs for the part about being on the phone...there's another meaning to that phrase that everyone here seems to be missing. Saying that "Sally's on the phone to Bobby" means she's trying to get his attention, because she's interested in him. Has this expression died out since then? And Joe, Palos Hts., Ill. - yeah, (though they also use D7 in there, but hey, that's really just a variant on D), this part is hard-driving, and then in the chorus, they get much more 'Beatle-like,' using several more chords, and it all fits together so seamlessly.
  • Michael from Oxford, EnglandI'd like this song better if it didn't go quite so S-L-O-W-L-Y!!
  • Joe from Palos Heights, IlThis song's melody is great. Its just two simple chords-A and D, but thats all you need. Where are these songs now? I know most kids hate their parents music but I'm very jelous of my parents that they lived through some of the greatest music ever, like this.
  • Steve from Fenton, MoIt's difficult to compare Joe Cocker's version of this song the Beatles version on Abbey Rd. The Beatles version was an important part of the series of songs linked together on side two of Abbey Rd. and taken together this medley was some of the best music in rock history.
  • Cameron from Bainsville, CanadaAnd with this song came the end to the first of the connecting songs. And it couldn't have been a better place. I too love the "Sunday's on the phone to Monday, Tuesday's on the phone to me" and the "Look out!" right at the beginning. I think the backing vocals are absolutely fantastic as well. A very well crafted song by the genius, Paul McCartney.
  • Bill from Erie, PaThis was covered by the Jimi Hendrix Experience on their BBC Sessions tapes, I think.
  • Daniel from Tecate, MexicoSorry everyone, Joe Cocker's version kicks butt... I like it even more than the Beatles.
    -Daniel RC, Tecate, Mexico
  • Jerry619 from San Diego, United Statesits disputed what exactly harrison did in this song since most of his stuff was edited and or re mixed by eighter lennon or mccartney, however i have an early bootleg recording of this that i found on the internet and u can clearly hear a fender bandmaster guitar or fender telecaster just like lennon used on the let it be recordings as seen on the let it be movie and a or a telecaster like harrison also used on the let it be recording but lennon and harrison would sub for mccartney on the bass this is undisputed but only on the run thoughs!the bass on the album and on the bootleg is totally difrent i wouldent go as far as to say its a fact that harrison played bass on this since we now know that harrison while playing bass on the let it be sessions was reading sheet music composed by mccartney cause he played the bass on this song in an earlyer run through in the movie so no doubt harrison playing bass on she came in through the bathroom window might be more false than fact!
  • Devon from Bay Village, OhI really like this song and the whole medely on Abbey Road. I like the begining.
  • Mary from Virginia Beach, VaI am a little confused about what this song is about. It says afan broke into Paul's house. Is this true?
  • John from Woburn, MaGreat vocals by Paul on the first line after john's "oh lookout". priceless.
  • Kristina from Small Town, NeI always thought that the lyrics- Sundays on the phone to Monday, Tuesdays on the phone to me- was sort of a nod to the lyrics of Lady Madonna. Kind of follows a similar pattern.
  • Laura from Santa Fe, NmI had an enrichment teacher who crawled in through the window so the principal wouldn't know she was late. Every time I hear this song I think about her. she was crazy. I'm 12, is there anyone around my age here?
  • Bill from Washington, Dc"Sunday's on the phone to Monday/Tuesday's on the phone to me" ... You can't outrun your past.
  • Doug from San Diego, Cathe song is about the teenage craze that was around them, adn the whole sundays on the phone with monday part is about how news spreads fast... more or less
  • Maddie from Knoxville, TnMy favorite song on Abbey Road. The lyrics are absolutley genius.
  • Jared from Chapel Hill, NcJohn is actually the one who says "Oh, look out!" Before that, he says, "Listen to that, now."
  • Max from Miami, FlPaul says "Lookout!" at the beginning of the song, but right before this, John says "Comes to my house."
  • Kelly from Burbank, CaI can hear Paul say, "Look out!" at the very beginning of this, but does anyone have any idea what he says a little before that?
  • Catherine from Glasgow, EnglandThe line "Sunday's on the phone to monday, Tuesday's on the phone to me" is so strange anyone got any idea what it's about? Anyway i heard Paul McCartney's got a bit of a fetish about phones...
  • Tavers from Mesa, AzThe lyrics are genius.
  • Kay from Wakefield, MaMy favourite song in the Abbey Road medley.
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