- Published on 1970
- Author: traditional, arranged by Lennon/McCartney/Harrison/Starkey
- Track 7 on “Let It Be“
About “Maggie Mae”
“Maggie May” is a traditional Liverpool folk song about a prostitute who robbed a sailor. It has been the informal anthem of the city of Liverpool for about 150 years. “Maggie May” was recorded in the studio by the Beatles during their Get Back sessions in early 1969. They spelled it “Maggie Mae”, perhaps so they could copyright their arrangement. It was included on the resultant 1970 album Let It Be, appearing immediately after the title song.
This song and “Dig It” appear on the Let It Be album, but are not included on the Let It Be… Naked album.
At 40 seconds, it is the second shortest song released on a proper Beatles album (the shortest being Her Majesty, at 23 seconds.
Meaning of “Maggie Mae”
The song’s lyrics tell the story of a sailor who spends his money on alcohol and women, eventually ending up broke and seeking shelter from a prostitute named Maggie Mae. The narrative is a common theme in traditional folk songs, reflecting the rough and often unpredictable life of sailors.
While The Beatles’ version is perhaps the most famous rendition of “Maggie Mae,” the song’s history and popularity extend far beyond their recording. It remains a beloved traditional folk tune and has been covered by numerous artists in various styles and interpretations.
- John Lennon – vocal, acoustic guitar (Gibson J-200)
- Paul McCartney – vocal, acoustic guitar (Martin D-28)
- George Harrison – bass-line on electric guitar (Fender Telecaster)
- Ringo Starr – drums