Listen to “She’s Leaving Home”
- Published in 1967
- Author: Lennon/McCartney
- Track 6 on “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band“
PAUL 1984: “I wrote that. My kind of ballad from that period. One of my daughters likes that. Still works. The other thing I remember is that George Martin was offended that I used another arranger. He was busy and I was itching to get on with it; I was inspired. I think George had a lot of difficulty forgiving me for that. It hurt him; I didn’t mean to.”
About “She’s Leaving Home”
“She’s Leaving Home” was written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon: Paul wrote and sang the verse and John wrote the chorus, which they sang together. George Harrison and Ringo Starr were not involved in the recording. There are only a few Beatles recordings in which none of the members play musical instruments, and this song’s instrumental background was performed entirely by a small string orchestra arranged by Mike Leander.
“She’s Leaving Home” content was inspired by a story on the front page of the Daily Mirror about a girl named Melanie Coe. Although most of the content was invented by McCartney, Coe said it was mostly accurate. She left with her boyfriend, a croupier. Her boyfriend previously worked in the motor trade, but she did not meet a man from that trade. She left in the afternoon while her parents were at work, while the girl in the song left early in the morning. After ten days, Coe was found because she had disclosed where her boyfriend worked. She had an abortion when she returned home.
McCartney and Coe actually met three years earlier, in 1963, when she won an ITV dancing contest on Ready Steady Go!. The Guardian published an update on Coe in December 2008, and The One Show interviewed her about the song on 24 November 2010. Rolling Stone magazine interviewed Coe to commemorate the album’s 50th anniversary in May 2017.
Meaning of “She’s Leaving Home”
“She’s Leaving Home” tells the story of a young woman who decides to leave her family home. The lyrics are written from two perspectives: the parents’ point of view and the daughter’s point of view.
From the parents’ perspective, they are depicted as bewildered and hurt by their daughter’s decision. They are unable to understand why she would leave, feeling as though they’ve provided everything she needs. The line “She’s leaving home after living alone for so many years” highlights the emotional distance that had developed between them and their daughter.
From the daughter’s perspective, the song suggests that she feels unfulfilled or restricted in some way in her family home. The reasons for her departure are not explicitly mentioned in the song, but it’s implied that she seeks something more or different in her life.
Overall, “She’s Leaving Home” touches on themes of generational gaps, the desire for independence, and the challenges of communication within a family. It captures a poignant moment of transition in a young person’s life and the emotional impact it has on both the individual and their parents.
- Paul McCartney – double-tracked lead vocal
- John Lennon – double-tracked alternate lead vocals on chorus
- Mike Leander – string arrangement
- George Martin – conductor, producer
- Erich Gruenberg – violin
- Derek Jacobs – violin
- Trevor Williams – violin
- José Luis García – violin
- John Underwood – viola
- Stephen Shingles – viola
- Dennis Vigay – cello
- Alan Dalziel – cello
- Peter Halling – cello
- Gordon Pearce – double bass
- Sheila Bromberg – harp