Now we come to the difficult subject of “She’s Leaving Home,” the focus of today’s recording session. This is one of my least favorite Beatles songs, one that I have been known to call “sappy,” “syrupy,” “saccharine,” and other words starting with “s.” But in the interest of scholarly objectivity I have been striving, with mixed results, to cast aside these long-held personal biases and approach “She’s Leaving Home” with a fresh mind.

In reading about this song I’ve been surprised to discover just how much John Lennon was involved in its creation. To me it’s always had “Paul song” written all over it, but John wrote as well as sang the parents’ lines in the chorus, making him at least partly responsible. Apparently some of the lines are more or less verbatim transcriptions of things John’s Aunt Mimi said to him as a child, vis-a-vis what an ungrateful little bastard he was. Putting them into a song must have been therapeutic for John, who of course was badly in need of therapy and lots of it.

“She’s Leaving Home” is notable also for featuring the first recorded performance on a Beatles record by a female musician, harpist Sheila Bromberg. In fact none of the actual Beatles played instruments on this song, with all the instrumental backing provided by session musicians.

And here, three paragraphs in, is where I begin to lose interest. Yes, there are more stories about this song, including the one about the strange coincidence related to the newspaper story that inspired it, and the one about how Paul McCartney hurt George Martin’s feelings by having someone else write the score. I just can’t be bothered to write about them. A blogger named Noah Lieberman does a very thorough job with the former, and The Beatles Bible has good coverage of the latter. If “She’s Leaving Home” is your bag, I commend you to those fine sources for more information.

Your humble scribe, meanwhile, will be getting the St. Paddy’s festivities underway a little early today. Erin go Bragh, may the road rise to meet you, and all that good stuff. I’ll be back on Monday to talk a little about… let’s see… “She’s Leaving Home” again? Well, maybe Tuesday.

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