The Paul McCartney Project

Her Majesty

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Abbey Road Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1969
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other Beatles songs referencing Queen Elizabeth II

Spread the love! If you like what you are seeing, share it on social networks and let others know about The Paul McCartney Project.

Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Her Majesty” is a song written by Paul McCartney (although credited to Lennon–McCartney) that appears on the Beatles’ album Abbey Road. It is a brief tongue-in-cheek music hall song. “Her Majesty” is the final track of the album and appears 14 seconds after the song “The End“, but was not listed on the original sleeve. As such, it is considered one of the first examples of a hidden track in rock music.

The song is notably one of the few tracks by the Beatles to directly refer to Queen Elizabeth II, the others being “Penny Lane” (released as a single and later included on the U.S. Magical Mystery Tour album) and “Mean Mr. Mustard” (also from Abbey Road).

Recording

The song was recorded in three takes on 2 July 1969, prior to the Beatles beginning work on “Golden Slumbers/Carry That Weight“. McCartney sang and simultaneously played a fingerstyle acoustic guitar accompaniment. The decision to exclude it from the Abbey Road medley was made on 30 July.

The song runs only 23 seconds, but the Beatles also recorded a longer version of the song during the “Get Back” sessions.

Structure and placement

The song was originally placed between “Mean Mr. Mustard” and “Polythene Pam“; McCartney decided that the sequence did not work and the song was edited out of the medley by Abbey Road Studios tape operator John Kurlander. He was instructed by McCartney to destroy the tape, but EMI policy stated that no Beatles recording was ever to be destroyed. The fourteen seconds of silence between “The End” and “Her Majesty” are the result of Kurlander’s lead-out tape added to separate the song from the rest of the recording.

The loud chord that occurs at the beginning of the song is the ending, as recorded, of “Mean Mr. Mustard“. “Her Majesty” ends abruptly because its own final note was left at the beginning of “Polythene Pam“. Paul applauded Kurlander’s “surprise effect” and the track became the unintended closer to the LP. The crudely edited beginning and end of “Her Majesty” shows that it was not meant to be included in the final mix of the album; as McCartney says in The Beatles Anthology, “Typical Beatles – an accident.” The song was not listed on the original vinyl record’s sleeve as the sleeves had already been printed; on reprinted sleeves, however, it is listed. The CD edition corrects this.

The CD version also mimics the original LP version in that the CD contains a 14-second long silence immediately after “The End” before “Her Majesty” starts playing.

At 23 seconds long, “Her Majesty” is the shortest song in the Beatles’ repertoire (contrasting the same album’s “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)“, their longest song apart from “Revolution 9“, an eight-minute avant-garde piece from The White Album). Both of the original sides of vinyl close with a song that ends abruptly (the other being “I Want You (She’s So Heavy)“). The song starts panned hard right and slowly pans to hard left. It is one of three Beatles songs to make reference to (but not specifically name) Queen Elizabeth II – the others being “Penny Lane” (In Penny Lane there is a fireman with an hour glass, and in his pocket is portrait of the Queen) and “Mean Mr. Mustard” (Takes him out to look at the Queen).

In October 2009, MTV Networks released a downloadable version of the song (as well as the entire album) for the video game The Beatles: Rock Band that gave players the ability to play the missing last chord. Apple Corps granted this and other changes to Harmonix Music Systems, which developed the game. The alteration garnered controversy among some fans who preferred the recorded version’s unresolved close.

Cover versions

McCartney performed the song live at the Party at the Palace concert from the Garden at Buckingham Palace in 2002, as part of the celebrations of the Golden Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

Paul McCartney in "Many Years From Now", by Barry Miles:

It was quite funny because it’s basically monarchist, with a mildly disrespectful tone, but it’s very tongue in cheek. It’s almost like a love song to the Queen.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] stereo 30 Jul 1969.
    UK: Apple PCS 7088 Abbey Road 1969.
    US: Apple SO-383 Abbey Road 1969.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46446 2 Abbey Road 1987.

A rough edit of the medley was done Jul 30, and the piece of tape containing this song was cut out of it, from its position between Mean Mr Mustard and Polythene Pam. The piece of tape was then rescued and used for the album. The cutting, not originally intended for release, was just slightly early at both ends: the last note of Her Majesty was lost, and the crash at the beginning is the last note of Mean Mr Mustard.

Last updated on November 28, 2016

Lyrics

Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl
But she doesn't have a lot to say
Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl
But she changes from day to day

I wanna tell her that I love her a lot
But I gotta get a bellyfull of wine
Her Majesty's a pretty nice girl
Someday I'm gonna make her mine
Oh, yeah, someday I'm gonna make her mine

Officially appears on


Abbey Road

Official album • Released in 1969

0:26 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Acoustic guitar, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Phil McDonald:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 02, 1969
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Mixing:
Jul 30, 1969
Studio:
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Bootlegs


Abbey Road Sessions

Unofficial album

0:13 • Outtake • Unknown Take Mono


Abbey Road Sessions

Unofficial album

0:26 • Outtake • Take 3 Pre Overdub Stereo


Abbey Road Sessions

Unofficial album

0:25 • Outtake • Take 3 Mono


Abbey Road Sessions

Unofficial album

0:37 • Outtake • Rockband Mix Stereo


Rehearsals at 3 Savile Row

Unofficial album

2:19 • Rehearsal


Live performances

“Her Majesty” has been played in 1 concerts.

Latest concerts where “Her Majesty” has been played


Party At The Palace

Jun 03, 2002 • United Kingdom • London • Buckingham Palace Gardens


Contribute!

Have you spotted an error on the page? Do you want to suggest new content? Or do you simply want to leave a comment ? Please use the form below!

Your comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.