She’s Leaving Home – #22

Wednesday morning at five o’clock as the day begins
Silently closing her bedroom door
Leaving the note that she hoped would say more
She goes downstairs to the kitchen clutching her handkerchief
Quietly turning the backdoor key
Stepping outside she is free.

She (We gave her most of our lives)
is leaving (Sacrificed most of our lives)
home (We gave her everything money could buy)
She’s leaving home after living alone
For so many years. Bye, bye

Father snores as his wife gets into her dressing gown
Picks up the letter that’s lying there
Standing alone at the top of the stairs
She breaks down and cries to her husband Daddy our baby’s gone
Why would she treat us so thoughtlessly?
How could she do this to me?

She (We never thought of ourselves)
is leaving (Never a thought for ourselves)
home (We struggled hard all our lives to get by)
She’s leaving home after living alone
For so many years. Bye, bye

Friday morning at nine o’clock she is far away
Waiting to keep the appointment she made
Meeting a man from the motor trade.

She (What did we do that was wrong)
is having (We didn’t know it was wrong)
fun (Fun is the one thing that money can’t buy)
Something inside that was always denied
For so many years. Bye, bye
She’s leaving home. Bye, bye

Another one from Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band, She’s Leaving Home. This song is actually right before Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite! – I love how this album’s songs transition into each other.

From Wikipedia:
Paul McCartney:

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.

The newspaper story McCartney mentioned was from the front page of the Daily Mirror, about a girl named Melanie Coe. Although McCartney made up most of the content, Coe, who was 17 at the time claims that he got most of it right. Her parents wondered why she had left… “She has everything here.” In real life, Melanie did not “meet a man from the motor trade”, but instead a croupier, and left in the afternoon while her parents were at work. She was found ten days later because she had let slip where her boyfriend worked.

Coincidentally, Coe had met McCartney three years earlier when she was a contestant and prize winner on ITV’s Ready Steady Go!

When discussing Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, composer Ned Rorem described “She’s Leaving Home” as “equal to any song that Schubert ever wrote.”

Photo credits:
Girldiego ortega d.
BackgroundCsaba J. Szabo
BackgroundYee Wong
LightsIrina Naumets
TreePaniti Marta
TextureLuca Sorin
TextureDavid Ritter


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