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She's Leaving Home (Lennon/McCartney)

Just as with A Day In The Life, She's Leaving Home is based on a newspaper story; this one about a girl who, despite being wealthy and getting good grades, runs away from home to seek fun and romance. The girl was named Melanie Coe, who ran away from her home life because of rigid rules which she claimed didn't allow her to be herself. In an coincidental twist, Paul had met Melanie three years earlier on the set of the British program Ready Steady Go!, a teenage-targeted music and dancing show. She had won an award and Paul was the presenter. Melanie has said that she loved to dance and going to the clubs allowed her to be free and herself. Coe was found when she let slip where her boyfriend worked, and when she returned home had an abortion after discovering she was pregnant.

George Martin passed over

She's Leaving Home was the first Beatles song not scored by producer George Martin. Martin was already committed to a recording session with Cilia Black and Paul turned to arranger Mike Leander. Martin was hurt by the move but still conducted the orchestra and produced the song.

The first woman

Sheila Bromberg became the first woman specially recruited for a Beatles session when she played harp on She's Leaving Home.

Quotes

"John and I wrote 'She's Leaving Home' together. It was my inspiration. We'd seen a story in the newspaper about a young girl who'd left home and not been found, there were a lot of those at the time, and that was enough to give us a story line. So I started to get the lyrics: she slips out and leaves a note and then the parents wake up ... It was rather poignant. I like it as a song, and when I showed it to John, he added the long sustained notes, and one of the nice things about the structure of the song is that it stays on those chords endlessly. Before that period in our song-writing we would have changed chords but it stays on the C chord. It really holds you. It's a really nice little trick and I think it worked very well.

"While I was showing that to John, he was doing the Greek chorus, the parents' view: 'We gave her most of our lives, we gave her everything money could buy.' I think that may have been in the runaway story, it might have been a quote from the parents. Then there's the famous little line about a man from the motor trade; people have since said that was Terry Doran, who was a friend who worked in a car showroom, but it was just fiction, like the sea captain in Yellow Submarine; they weren't real people." - Paul

Release history

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