Mary Mary

Album: More Of The Monkees (1967)


  • Michael Nesmith wrote this song before he joined The Monkees. It was first recorded by The Paul Butterfield Blues Band on their East-West album on Elektra in 1966. In Glenn Baker's Monkeemania book, it states that the president of Elektra actually caught some flap once the Monkees' version came out because people couldn't believe that a Monkee actually wrote it.
  • Monkee's drummer Micky Dolenz sang lead on this. He handled vocals on some of The Monkees biggest hits, including "I'm A Believer" and "Pleasant Valley Sunday."
  • Nesmith: "That song was written to be a hit. I knew it would be a hit. I never once thought of me doing the lead on that one. Mickey was my choice for that."
  • Run-D.M.C. covered this in 1988 on their album Tougher Than Leather. They did a rap version with the chorus changed to "Mary Mary, why you buggin'?" (Thanks to the good people at for their help with this)

Comments: 10

  • AnonymousYes, ken dee..and the Wrecking Crew belong in the Hall..NOT the monkees.
  • Ken Dee from CaliforniaYou know, I remember everybody having made (and still do to some extent) a big deal about The Monkees not playing their own instruments (at least at first), but The Wrecking Crew were the musicians who played the instruments (all or most of them) on MANY of the pop hits of the 60's, so I never saw what the big deal was.
    Besides....what an insanely great group of musicians The Wrecking Crew was! Their groove, their sound, their excellence, their sheer outstanding MUSICIANSHIP has given us some of the best of songs of all time. What a sound they had! Aif they're the ones responsible for having "made" the sound of so many hits of the 60's, I saw we're all the better for it.
  • Sam Williams from Sherman Oaks, CaIt's an extremely common misconception amongst 60's Pop music enthusiasts that the Monkees were not allowed to have any creative control or were not allowed any input for their music besides providing lead vocals for "their" backing tracks that were per-recorded during per-production of the series, but what most people don't know was that Michael Nesmith was allowed to write AND produce two original songs for their first two albums (but these songs were regulated as album cuts and NOT released as singles, so they did not make the Top 40 for that reason. they even featured Peter Tork on guitar with the Wrecking Crew). it made sense as to why Don Kirshner insisted that the band didn't have any creative control over the music (because Michael Nesmith didn't know how to write hit songs, the one Top 40 hit he did compose for Linda Ronstadt had to be rearranged by producer Nick Venet for it to become a commercially successful song). Even when the Monkees fired Kirshner and championed to play on their own records, most of the hits they had during that period were songs written by outside Songwriters (the group was essentially dependent on other songwriters to have hit songs, and that was the only way to have a career in music back then was to have hit songs, if you weren't having hits, you weren't having a successful career, it was that simple).
  • Charles from Bronxville, NyThanks Chuck, but...
    A friend of mine met Mike in Phoenix and asked him about this song as well as some others. He said Mike smiled and said "No, it is not about a stalker, just teenage love."

    Oh well...
  • Chuck from Concord, NhCharles, Bronxville - NICE observation! I, too, have loved this song and enjoyed it for many many years - but you've helped me re-discover it's possible true meaning. Don't you just love Nesmith's sense of humor!
  • Jennifer Harris from Grand Blanc, MiI like Mary,Mary,too.Run DMC did a remake.
  • Fran from Dublin, IrelandRecorded and released in 1967 by Irish beat-group, The Strangers as the B-side of another Monkees song, '(Look Out) Here Comes Tomorrow'.

    Pye 7N 17274 - (Look Out) Here Comes Tomorrow / Mary Mary
  • Charles from Bronxville, NyI'll probably take some heat for this but I've been listening to this song since it was released. Always though it was about some boy with a crush. About 10 years ago I'm listening to it in my car fir the umpteenth time when it hits me - this song is about a stalker. Knowing Mike Nesmith's penchant for looking at things from a slightly different perspective and knowing his brilliant use of the language, it wouldn't surprise me at all. Read the lyrics and tell me you don't see it. There should be a follow up song about Mary getting a restraining order.
  • Krista from Sharon, PaOne of my all-time favorite Monkee songs! Great writing style by Michael!
  • James from Seattle, WaThis is the first Monkees recording to actually involve any of the band as musicians; Peter Tork played acoustic guitar on it, on Michael's insistence.
see more comments

Editor's Picks

Danny Clinch: The Art of Rock PhotographySong Writing

One of rock's top photographers talks about artistry in photography, raising funds for a documentary, and enjoying a County Fair with Tom Waits.

Tony Joe WhiteSongwriter Interviews

The writer of "Rainy Night in Georgia" and "Polk Salad Annie" explains how he cooks up his Louisiana swamp rock.

Steely DanFact or Fiction

Did they really trade their guitarist to The Doobie Brothers? Are they named after something naughty? And what's up with the band name?

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.

Randy HouserSongwriter Interviews

The "How Country Feels" singer talks Skynyrd and songwriting.

Andy McClusky of OMDSongwriter Interviews

Known in America for the hit "If You Leave," OMD is a huge influence on modern electronic music.