Written by: Trad arr. Lennon-McCartney-Harrison-Starkey
Recorded: 24 January 1969
Engineer: Glyn Johns
Released: 8 May 1970 (UK), 18 May 1970 (US)
A 38-second ad-lib recorded between takes of Two Of Us, Maggie Mae was taped during the third session for Let It Be.
A traditional Liverpool folk song about a prostitute who robbed a sailor, Maggie May (as it is more commonly known) is believed to date from the early 19th century.
The Beatles’ recording took place on 24 January 1969 at their Apple Studios at 3 Savile Row, London. It is the second shortest song in the group’s official catalogue; the briefest being the same year’s Her Majesty.
John Lennon made a home recording of Maggie Mae, featuring just himself on acoustic guitar and vocals, in 1979. It can be heard on the John Lennon Anthology box set, released in 1998.
Oh dirty Maggie Mae
They have taken her away
And she never walk down Lime Street any more
Oh the judge he guilty found her
For robbing a homeward bounder
That dirty no good robbing Maggie Mae
‘Tis the port of Liverpool
They returned me to
Two pounds ten a week, that was my pay