The Paul McCartney Project

Martha My Dear

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the The Beatles (Mono) Official album.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1968
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other Beatles songs where Paul McCartney is the only Beatle playing

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

Martha My Dear” is a song by the Beatles written by Paul McCartney (credited to Lennon–McCartney), which first appeared on the double album The Beatles (also known as The White Album).

Style and form

The song features a music hall-inspired piano line that recurs throughout the piece, as well as a brass section. The song modulates smoothly through several keys.

The song key is E-flat major, showing up embellished chords with jazzy sprinkled dissonances. The verse is a syncopated replicate of the first melodic section adding two extra beats, a technique similar to that used later by McCartney in “Two of Us”. Though the bridge is in the key of F major, the manner in which it abruptly sets in and exits makes it sound more out-of-the-way than it really is.

Origins

The title “Martha My Dear” was inspired by McCartney’s Old English Sheepdog, named Martha. McCartney has said that the song itself is probably about his longtime love interest Jane Asher. Asher broke off their engagement in mid-1968. McCartney chides her with the lyrics in the song “…when you find yourself in the thick of it, help yourself to a bit of what is all around you…” Asher inspired many of McCartney’s songs, including “Here, There and Everywhere“, “I’m Looking Through You“, “For No One” and “We Can Work It Out“. (A later “Martha” lyric explains, “You have always been my inspiration…” McCartney has also said that the song is about his “muse”—the voice in his head that tells him what words and music to write.) […]

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

When I taught myself piano I liked to see how far I could go, and this started life almost as a piece you’d learn as a piano lesson. It’s quite hard for me to play, it’s a two-handed thing, like a little set piece. In fact I remember one or two people being surprised that I’d played it because it’s slightly above my level or competence really, but I wrote it as that, something a bit more complex for me to play. Then while I was blocking out words – you just mouth out sounds and some things come – I found the words ‘Martha my dear’. […]

[Martha] was a dear pet of mine. I remember John being amazed to see me being so loving to an animal. He said, ‘I’ve never seen you like that before.’ I’ve since thought, you know, he wouldn’t have. It’s only when you’re cuddling around with a dog that you’re in that mode, and she was a very cuddly dog. […]

It’s a communication of some sort of affection but in a slightly abstract way – ‘You silly girl, look what you’ve done,’ all that sort of stuff. These songs grow. Whereas it would appear to anybody else to be a song to a girl called Martha, it’s actually a dog, and our relationship was platonic, believe me.

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

  • [a] mono 5 Oct 1968 at Trident.
    UK: Apple PMC 7067 white album 1968.
  • [b] stereo 5 Oct 1968 at Trident.
    UK: Apple PCS 7067 white album 1968.
    US: Apple SWBO 101 white album 1968.
    CD: EMI CDP 7 46443 2 white album 1987.

This has a lot of tape hiss.

Last updated on August 18, 2016

Lyrics

Martha my dear
Though I spend my days in conversation
Please remember me
Martha my love don't forget me
Martha my dear

Hold your head up you silly girl
Look what you've done
When you find yourself in the thick of it
Help yourself to a bit of what is all around you

Silly girl take a good look around you
Take a good look you're bound to see
That you and me were meant to be
For each other silly girl

Hold your hand out you silly girl
See what you've done
When you find yourself in the thick of it
Help yourself to a bit of what is all around you
You silly girl

Officially appears on


The Beatles (Mono)

Official album • Released in 1968

2:29 • Studio versionA • Mono

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Drums, Handclaps, Lead guitar, Piano, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Tony Tunstall:
French horn
Leo Birnbaum:
Viola
Leon Calvert:
Flugelhorn, Trumpet
Reginald Kilbey:
Cello
Barry Sheffield:
Engineer
Bernard Miller:
Violin
Dennis McConnell:
Violin
Lou Sofier:
Violin
Les Maddox:
Violin
Henry Myerscough:
Viola
Frederick Alexander:
Cello
Stanley Reynolds:
Trumpet
Ronnie Hughes:
Trumpet
Ted Barker:
Trombone
Alf Reece:
Tuba

Session Recording:
Oct 04, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Oct 05, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 05, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK


The Beatles (Stereo)

Official album • Released in 1968

2:29 • Studio versionB • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Drums, Handclaps, Lead guitar, Piano, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Tony Tunstall:
French horn
Leo Birnbaum:
Viola
Leon Calvert:
Flugelhorn, Trumpet
Reginald Kilbey:
Cello
Barry Sheffield:
Engineer
Bernard Miller:
Violin
Dennis McConnell:
Violin
Lou Sofier:
Violin
Les Maddox:
Violin
Henry Myerscough:
Viola
Frederick Alexander:
Cello
Stanley Reynolds:
Trumpet
Ronnie Hughes:
Trumpet
Ted Barker:
Trombone
Alf Reece:
Tuba

Session Recording:
Oct 04, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Oct 05, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 05, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

2:29 • Studio versionR2018 • Stereo

Paul McCartney:
Bass, Drums, Handclaps, Lead guitar, Piano, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Tony Tunstall:
French horn
Leo Birnbaum:
Viola
Leon Calvert:
Flugelhorn, Trumpet
Reginald Kilbey:
Cello
Barry Sheffield:
Engineer
Bernard Miller:
Violin
Dennis McConnell:
Violin
Lou Sofier:
Violin
Les Maddox:
Violin
Henry Myerscough:
Viola
Frederick Alexander:
Cello
Stanley Reynolds:
Trumpet
Ronnie Hughes:
Trumpet
Ted Barker:
Trombone
Alf Reece:
Tuba

Session Recording:
Oct 04, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Overdubs:
Oct 05, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK

Session Mixing:
Oct 05, 1968
Studio:
Trident Studios, London, UK


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Outtake • Without brass and strings

Bootlegs


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 10th, 1969 - 3 & 4

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

9:58 • Rehearsal • Jan.10 - D4-06 - Martha My Dear 10.76

Session Recording:
Jan 10, 1969
Studio:
Twickenham Film Studios, London, UK


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 14th, 1969 - 1 & 2

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

1:26 • Rehearsal • Jan.14 - D1-04 - Martha My Dear 14.03

Session Recording:
Jan 14, 1969
Studio:
Twickenham Film Studios, London, UK


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 25th, 1969 - 5

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

1:11 • Rehearsal • Jan.25 - D6-13 - Martha My Dear 25.82

Session Recording:
Jan 25, 1969
Studio:
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


Let'Em Out Vol. 4 - World Tour Rehearsals

Unofficial album • Released in 2010

0:44 • Studio rehearsal • Bonus - Instrumental edit - No Horn


2015 Out There Collected Soundchecks

Unofficial live • Released in 2016

0:19 • Soundcheck

Concert From the concert in Tokyo, Japan on Apr 28, 2015

Live performances

“Martha My Dear” has been played in 1 soundchecks.


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