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6 June 2014
2.00pm
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parlance
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I didn't see a topic on this. FeelNumb.com, via The Macca Report, posted the story of Martha and the song she inspired, with photos.

The Story About Paul McCartney 's Dog Martha

In 1965 soon after buying his house on Cavendish Avenue, Paul McCartney bought his first pet, an Old English sheepdog puppy he named the dog Martha. She was born June 16, 1966.

About Martha, Paul said:

"She was a dear pet of mine. I remember John (Lennon) being amazed to see me being so loving to an animal." He said, 'I've never seen you like that before.' I've since thought, you know, he wouldn't have. It's only when you're cuddling around with a dog that you're in that mode, and she was a very cuddly dog."

In 1997, McCartney revealed that Martha had been the inspiration behind the song "Martha My Dear " and that it was not a message of love to Jane Asher, who McCartney intended to marry in 1968 and who many listeners thought the song was actually about. "It's a communication of some sort of affection but in a slightly abstract way." McCartney said.

'You silly girl, look what you've done,' all that sort of stuff. These songs grow. Whereas it would appear to anybody else to be a song to a girl called Martha, it's actually a dog, and our relationship was platonic, believe me.

McCartney also said:

"When I taught myself piano I liked to see how far I could go, and this started life almost as a piece you'd learn as a piano lesson. It's quite hard for me to play, it's a two-handed thing, like a little set piece. In fact I remember one or two people being surprised that I'd played it because it's slightly above my level or competence really, but I wrote it as that, something a bit more complex for me to play. Then while I was blocking out words ­ you just mouth out sounds and some things come ­ I found the words 'Martha My Dear '."

Martha died in 1981 at the age of 15 at McCartney's farm house in Mull Of Kintyre , Scotland. She is survived by her offspring, one of which was featured on McCartney's 1993 album "Paul Is Live" album cover. Her name is Arrow.

parlance

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6 June 2014
2.59pm
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Linde
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I knew it was about his dog and all but I didn't know the rest. Cute story!

6 June 2014
3.07pm
Bungalow Bob
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parlance said
I didn't see a topic on this. FeelNumb.com, via The Macca Report, posted the story of Martha and the song she inspired, with photos.

"When I taught myself piano I liked to see how far I could go, and this started life almost as a piece you'd learn as a piano lesson. It's quite hard for me to play, it's a two-handed thing, like a little set piece. In fact I remember one or two people being surprised that I'd played it because it's slightly above my level or competence really, but I wrote it as that, something a bit more complex for me to play. Then while I was blocking out words ­ you just mouth out sounds and some things come ­ I found the words 'Martha My Dear '."

parlance

The very first time I heard this song, I recall thinking "Hmm, that must not be Paul on piano, because it sounds too advanced for him." And here he is, admitting that he surprised himself by being able to play that melody. And I like the insight of knowing that the "story" came about by simply "mouthing out sounds," until actual words start to form. That's such a cool, abstract way to go about composing lyrics.

Also, it is certainly comforting to read that his relationship with Martha was purely platonic. I'm glad he cleared that up. :D

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6 June 2014
10.11pm
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Funny Paper
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I also used to think the piano in "Lady Madonna " was too good to be Paul, as well as the little piano solo in "Good Day Sunshine ", and the harpsichord in another song I can't remember now...

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9 June 2014
9.13pm
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Monkey Finger
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I remember reading Ian MacDonald's grumpy assessment of this song and how the lyrics are "confusing" in terms of the meaning about who Martha actually is. I don't find it confusing at all: "Though I spend my days in conversation please, be good to me..." and "Hold your head up/hold your hand out, you silly girl, look what you've done..." It seems pretty clear to me that it's a song to a pet.

Martha lived to a ripe old age, particularly for a dog of that size. It's very cool that Macca & family have a pup of hers (and maybe even a grandpup by now).

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9 June 2014
9.34pm
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parlance
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Monkey Finger said
Martha lived to a ripe old age, particularly for a dog of that size. It's very cool that Macca & family have a pup of hers (and maybe even a grandpup by now).

That was one correction I meant to post about the article - Arrow was her granddaughter (she would have been astoundingly old by 1993 to be her daughter). I would imagine by now in 2014, we'd be about 4 or 5 generations removed.

parlance

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9 June 2014
9.54pm
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MrMoonlight
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parlance said

Monkey Finger said
Martha lived to a ripe old age, particularly for a dog of that size. It's very cool that Macca & family have a pup of hers (and maybe even a grandpup by now).

That was one correction I meant to post about the article - Arrow was her granddaughter (she would have been astoundingly old by 1993 to be her daughter). I would imagine by now in 2014, we'd be about 4 or 5 generations removed by now.

parlance

EACH DAY JUST GOES SO FAST

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9 June 2014
11.15pm
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Monkey Finger
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 Indeed. And don't even get me started on dog years.

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10 June 2014
12.24am
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Another fine Lennon/McCartney song...... a-hard-days-night-george-10

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10 June 2014
8.47am
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Thought you might enjoy this rendition of the song………..It might be a bit above Pauls guitar level…….It's a world above mine.

 

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10 June 2014
1.51pm
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Bulldog
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 That is incredible! At least, to me. It makes me hate my extremely mediocre guitar skills.

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10 June 2014
4.14pm
Bungalow Bob
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Thanks for posting this video, Atlas. As a guitar player, I remember how excited I was when I got my hands on the sheet music for this song. Since it was written in the key of E Flat, I had big plans to use a capo and figure it out acoustically, much like this gorgeous arrangement. I actually was finally able to play it like this, at about half-speed, and with only the occasional mistake or missed note. So this is cool to hear it now, sounding almost like a guitar companion piece to "Blackbird ."

And I really like the ending, where he has to tune down the guitar to hit that final bass note. :)

12 June 2014
3.35pm
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I wonder if Arrow (Martha's daughter) was named after Oblio's dog in Nilsson's The Point. I hope so.

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26 June 2014
3.17pm
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parlance
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A little more about Martha at Beatles Rarity.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at Vimeo or YouTube.

26 June 2014
3.27pm
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I know that Martha the dog was the inspiration for the song but I'm amazed that he did the piano. I knew about Arrow but I wonder which descendents he has of Martha now.

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26 August 2014
12.58am
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From the American Kennel Club, a celebration of Martha.

Image Enlarger

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18 December 2014
2.13am
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parlance
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A photo of Linda and Arrow, courtesy of Women of the Beatles:

LindaMac.JPGImage Enlarger

parlance

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Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at Vimeo or YouTube.

23 January 2015
10.29am
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I taught myself to play Martha My Dear by ear, its a neat piece of piano-playing, and it's actually more tricky for me to sing along to the initial part because the piece is syncopated (the don't forget meee... bit).

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14 May 2017
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BackInTheUSSR
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I think George did play in the song, during the instrumental section you can hear rhythm guitar played in George's style. a-hard-days-night-john-1

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14 May 2017
8.59am
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He did, there's photographic evidence to prove it.

681004-beatles-martha-my-dear_01-960x646.jpgImage Enlarger

I confirmed with both Joe and Ron Nasty that this picture was taken during the sessions and as you can see here, George is playing his Gibson Les Paul.

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