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Lady Madonna

By John T. Marck

Lady Madonna was recorded on February 3rd and 6th, 1968. It was the first single of that year, and the first single by The Beatles that went back to basic rock n' roll. It was too a song that defied expectations. Released on the heels of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band and Magical Mystery Tour, many critics believed that the usage musical progression would occur, but rather came this basic song.

The melody (piano intro) was taken from Humphrey Lyttelton's 50s British jazz classic titled "Bad Penny Blues," combined with the rock n' roll horn section, made the perfect marriage for this song at a time when 50s rock was making its reappearance. It should be noted that "Bad Penny Blues," was also produced by Sir George Martin. And, using the melody of another was no big deal because this is all The Beatles used, and you can't copyright a rhythm, plus Lyttelton borrowed the same melody from Dan Burley.

Written primarily by Paul, the song was a celebration of motherhood. In an interview in 1968 by Musician Magazine, Paul said that it wondered why mother's did it? Where do women find the time to feed them, and get the money...How do they do this thing they do?

Paul got the idea when one day he was looking through an African magazine and saw a picture of an African lady with a baby. The caption read, "Mountain Madonna." Paul said to himself, this isn't right, it should be "Lady Madonna, and from this write the song. It's a good song, a more oblique piece of social comment since "She's Leaving Home," with a subtle air of concern for single mothers. It also has been likened to a traditional Elvis type song.

On one point during the song, John, Paul and George faked the brass section by blowing air through their cupped hands!

And now, Lady Madonna...

Lady Madonna Children at your feet

Wonder how you manage to make ends meet

Who finds the money, when you pay the rent? Did you think that money was heaven sent?

Friday night arrives without a suitcase Sunday morning creep in like a nun

Monday's child has learned to tie his bootlace  See how they'll run

Lady Madonna Baby at your breast

Wonder how they'll manage to feed the rest See how they'll run

Lady Madonna Lying on the bed

Listen to the music playing in your head

Tuesday afternoon is never ending Wednesday morning papers didn't come

Thursday night your stockings needed mending

See how they run Lady Madonna Children at your feet

Wonder how they'll manage to make ends meet.

NOTE: Copyright 1968 Northern Songs, Music Sales Group, Ltd. All Rights Reserved. International Copyright Secured. The songs of The Beatles, words and music, Copyright John Lennon and Paul McCartney or George Harrison, or John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Richard Starkey (Ringo Starr) Copyright Northern Songs, Music Sales Group Ltd. The song titles and lyrics seen elsewhere on this site or on other of my sites, and/or contained herein are for the sole use of educational reference for the readers of this article. All other uses are in violation of international copyright laws. This use for educational reference, falls under the "fair use" sections of U.S. copyright law. The same such reference applies to images/photos of album covers used herein, and /or on other of my sites. The Beatles and The Beatles & Co and Apple Ltd. are registered trademarks of The Beatles. All information contained in this article, except song titles, lyrics, and photos, Copyright 2000-2022 by John T. Marck. All Rights Reserved. This article and their accompanying pictures, photographs, and line art, may not be resold, or redistributed for compensation of any kind without prior written permission from the author.


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