Maggie Mae Lyrics - The Beatles

Review The Song (8)

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 robbin' Maggie Mae
To the port of Liverpool
the air it turns me tool
Two pounds ten a week, that was my pay

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Great players | Reviewer: Alfredo | 11/20/13

I imagine that they play this song after Two of us...the two acoustic guitars played by Paul and John and the electric guitar played by George who ends the song....Very simple song but played by the great Beatles

As seen on another site | Reviewer: AC | 5/19/13

Maggie May (Trad)

Now gather round you sailor boys, and listen to my plea
And when you've heard my tale, pity me
For I was a ready fool in the port of Liverpool
The first time that I come home from sea

I was paid off at the home from the port of Sierra Leone
Four pounds in a month it was me pay
With a pocket full of tin I was very soon took in
By a girl with the name of Maggie May

Oh Maggie, Maggie May they have taken her away
And she'll never walk down Lime street anymore
For she robbed so many sailors and captains of the whalers
That dirty, robbin' no good Maggie May

Oh, well do I remember when I first met Maggie May
She was cruising up and down Canning Place
She'd a figure so divine, just like a frigate of the line
And me being just a sailor, I gave chase

In the morning I awoke, I was flat and stoney broke
No jacket, trousers, waistcoat could I find
When I asked her where they were she said "My very good sir,
They're down in Kelly's pawnshop number nine"

Oh Maggie, Maggie May they have taken her away
And she'll never walk down Lime street anymore
For she robbed so many sailors and captains of the whalers
That dirty, robbin' no good Maggie May

Well, to the pawnshop I did go but no clothes there could I find
The policeman came and took that girl away
The judge he guilty found her, of robbing the homeward–bounder
And paid her passage back to Botany Bay

Oh Maggie, Maggie May they have taken her away
And she'll never walk down Lime street anymore
For she robbed so many sailors and captains of the whalers
That dirty, robbin' no good Maggie May

Oh Maggie, Maggie May they have taken her away
And she'll never walk down Lime street anymore
For she robbed so many sailors and captains of the whalers
That dirty, robbin' no good Maggie May

Maggie Mae History | Reviewer: Sara | 9/16/11

"Maggie May" (or "Maggie Mae") is a traditional Liverpool folk song (Roud #1757) about a prostitute who robbed a sailor. It has been the informal anthem of the city of Liverpool for about 180 years.
John Manifold, in his Penguin Australian Song Book, described the song as "A foc'sle song of Liverpool origin apparently, but immensely popular among seamen all over the world..."
Stan Hugill in his Shanties from the Seven Seas writes of an early reference to the song in the diary of Charles Picknell, a sailor on the convict ship Kains that sailed to Van Diemen's Land in 1830.
In 1964, the composer and lyricist Lionel Bart (the creator of the musical Oliver), used the song and its backstory as the basis of a musical set around the Liverpool Docks. The show, also called Maggie May, ran for two years in London.

The Beatles version
The Beatles performed a brief extract of the song in a jokey manner during their Get Back sessions, in early 1969, at a point in the proceedings when they were warming up in the studio by playing old rock and roll and skiffle songs that they had known and played in their teenage years. Though the performance, which trails off after just 39 seconds and was obviously tongue-in-cheek, is truncated, the recording was included on the 1970 album drawn from those sessions, Let It Be, appearing immediately after the title song. The version they performed was spelt "Maggie Mae" on the track listing and all four Beatles were credited as arrangers of the traditional song, thus allowing them to collect the writers' share of the publishing income for this public domain song. The song had been a staple of the repertoire of The Quarrymen, the skiffle group formed by Lennon that evolved into The Beatles in 1960.
This song and "Dig It" appear on the Let It Be album, but are not included on the Let It Be... Naked album. Let It Be... Naked contained "Maggie Mae" (segueing into "Fancy Me Chances") on the bonus disc, "Fly on the Wall".
At 40 seconds long, it is the second-shortest song released on an official Beatles album (the shortest being "Her Majesty", at 23 seconds).
The song appears twice in the 2010 biopic Nowhere Boy. First, it is played for a teenage John Lennon by his mother, Julia, and he then learns to play it himself, both on the four-string banjo. Later in the film the song is shown as the first one played by Lennon's band The Quarrymen. Although this was not in fact their first public appearance, these instances demonstrate an important personal connection to the song for Lennon and may have contributed to the snippet being included on the album Let It Be.

movie: Nowhere Boy | Reviewer: robert | 1/26/11

I am (forever) an enthusiastic Beatles fan (I was age 16 in 1967) who has wondered about this "throw-away" song that seemed spontaneously tossed into the LIB album. There is a very interesting explanation of this in the (2010?) movie, "Nowhere Boy," which is a must-see for any Beatles fan (although the actor playing Paul was mis-cast.) In the movie, MM is one of the first songs John is taught to play - on a banjo -by his mom, Julia.

Another One | Reviewer: Brittany | 6/7/09

Well I can't say it enough, the Beatles are brilliant. They always have been and always will be as long as someone is still listening to their music. Plus I love them singing this song, even if it is short.

maggie may | Reviewer: dr bill | 11/23/08

The ols folksong MAGGIE MAY or MAGGIE MEA (oe even Maggie Mai) has been around since at least the time, in one form or another, since before the American Civil War (circa 1865). Two of the more well known versions are listed at

Relating to the song, the Beatles version, are Rod stewsrt's MAGGIE MAY and Ms. vega's I"LL NEVER BE YOUR MAGGIE MAY

Real Meaning...? | Reviewer: T.C. | 9/10/08

I believe that this is an alternate version of the traditional Liverpool folk song "Maggie May"; a song about a prostitute who robs a sailor. I looked around for the original lyrics and found an alternate chorus that I think fits it perfectly.

"Oh, Maggie, Maggie May, they have taken you away,
And you'll never walk down Lime Street anymore.
You may search from here to China,
you'll not find a girl that's finer,
That is finer than my darlin' Maggie May."

Just sing the verse with the melody of this song and it's obvious that this is the origin. As for the spelling of "May", I think they did it so they could copyright it for the CD.

Hopefully I'm right, and if not then oops. ^^; Just thought this was some interesting information.

Maggie Mae Review | Reviewer: Melody | 4/23/08

Anyone who ever heard a Beatles song would know just how good they where as both composers and musicians. Whilst they have written heart felt songs (Hey Jude), psychadellic songs (I am the Walrus), songs with hidden messages (I Me Mine), they never fail to surprise with their fast beat, fun and exciting songs like Maggie Mae.

It's the kind of song that you can listen to once and fall in love with - their accents, their 'Ohhhhh's. All the while it being a great song, they lyrics seem to tell two different stories:
- Maggie Mae, the robber, was put away
- 'He' returns to work and gets his pay
Could this person be the one dirty old Maggie Mae robs? This homeward bounder? Who knows. All that can be concluded from this is that the way the Beatles rolled was sure their own style.

Although the song ends so suddenly, it is well worth the listen, and another great hit by The Beatles.


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------ 11/22/2014

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