Mean Mr. Mustard

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Abbey Road LP.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1969

Master album


Other Beatles songs referencing Queen Elizabeth II



Her Majesty

Officially appears on Abbey Road

Related articles


The Beatles in India

From mid-February to March 1968

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

“Mean Mr. Mustard” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1969 album Abbey Road. Written by John Lennon and credited to Lennon–McCartney, it is the third track of the album’s B-side medley. It was recorded with “Sun King” in one continuous piece.

Composition

The song was written during the Beatles’ stay in India; Lennon said that it was inspired by a newspaper story about a miser who concealed his cash wherever he could in order to prevent people from forcing him to spend it. On reflection, Lennon did not think highly of the composition, dismissing it in Anthology as “a bit of crap I wrote in India.”

A demo version of the song was recorded in May 1968 at Kinfauns, George Harrison’s home in Esher. It appears on Anthology 3. In this version, Mustard’s sister is named Shirley. Lennon changed it to Pam when he saw the opportunity to ease the segue into the song “Polythene Pam“, which follows “Mean Mr. Mustard” on the album. According to Lennon, “In ‘Mean Mr. Mustard’, I said ‘his sister Pam’—originally it was ‘his sister Shirley’ in the lyric. I changed it to Pam to make it sound like it had something to do with it.”

As eventually recorded, “Mustard” originally was to end in the chord of D major—this would have led into the next track in the climactic medley, “Her Majesty“. However, since the latter song was moved to the end of the album, “Mustard” instead hard-edits into “Polythene Pam“, and thus the final note of “Mustard” would open “Her Majesty” as a stand-alone track at the album’s conclusion. The complete version of “Mustard” (with its original clean ending) can be heard on The Beatles: Rock Band video game, as well as Abbey Road‘s 2019 Super Deluxe Edition.

Origin

A newspaper article from the 1960s with the headline “Scotsman’s Meanness was Legendary” has been retrieved which features a man called John Mustard, who lived in Enfield, Middlesex. It has been suggested that Lennon based the song on this. […]

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

[a] stereo 14 Aug 1969. crossfaded 14,21 Aug 1969.
UK: Apple PCS 7088 Abbey Road 1969.
US: Apple SO-383 Abbey Road 1969.
CD: EMI CDP 7 46446 2 Abbey Road 1987.

[Sun King / Mean Mr. Mustard] were recorded straight through. The first crossfade joined this to the following item, Polythene Pam / She Came in through the Bathroom Window. The second joined that combined tape to You Never Give Me Your Money.

Last updated on May 14, 2021

Lyrics

Mean Mr. Mustard sleeps in the park
Shaves in the dark, trying to save paper

Sleeps in a hole in the road
Saving up to buy some clothes
Keeps a ten-bob note up his nose

Such a mean old man
Such a mean old man

His sister Pam works in a shop
She never stops, she's a go-getter

Takes him out to look at the Queen
Only place that he's ever been
Always shouts out something obscene

Such a dirty old man
Dirty old man

Officially appears on


Abbey Road

LP • Released in 1969

1:07 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Fuzz bass, Harmony vocals, Piano
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Guitar, Maracas, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Phil McDonald :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 24, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 25, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 29, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

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


Anthology 3

Official album • Released in 1996

1:58 • DemoB • Mono • John only.

Session Recording:
Late May 1968
Studio :
George Harrison's Home, Kinfauns, Esher, Surrey, UK


Abbey Road (Stereo - 2009 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2009

1:07 • Studio versionA2009 • Stereo • 2009 stereo remaster

Paul McCartney :
Fuzz bass, Harmony vocals, Piano
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Guitar, Maracas, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Phil McDonald :
Recording engineer
Guy Massey :
Remastering
Steve Rooke :
Remastering
Allan Rouse :
Project co-ordinator

Session Recording:
Jul 24, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 25, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 29, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

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


Anthology 3 (2016 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2016

1:58 • DemoB2016 • Mono • John only.

Session Recording:
Late May 1968
Studio :
George Harrison's Home, Kinfauns, Esher, Surrey, UK


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

2:05 • Demo • Esher Demo

Session Recording:
Late May 1968
Studio :
George Harrison's Home, Kinfauns, Esher, Surrey, UK


Abbey Road (2019)

Official album • Released in 2019

1:07 • Studio versionC • Stereo • 2019 Stereo Mix

Paul McCartney :
Fuzz bass, Harmony vocals, Piano
Ringo Starr :
Drums, Tambourine
John Lennon :
Guitar, Maracas, Vocals
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Giles Martin :
Producer
Phil McDonald :
Recording engineer
Sam Okell :
Mix engineer

Session Recording:
Jul 24, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 25, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 29, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Three, Abbey Road

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


Abbey Road (2019)

Official album • Released in 2019

1:34 • Alternate take • Take 20

Giles Martin :
Producer
Sam Okell :
Mix engineer

Bootlegs


White Album Sessions Volume 1

Unofficial album

1:58 • Studio version


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

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

0:42 • Rehearsal • Jan.14 - D2-07 - Mean Mr. Mustard 14.30

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


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 14th, 1969 - 3 & 4

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

4:06 • Rehearsal • Jan.14 - D3-02 - Mean Mr. Mustard - Madman 14.32

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


A/B Road Complete Get Back Sessions - Jan 23rd, 1969 - 3 & 4

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

0:13 • Rehearsal • Jan.23 - D3-15 - Mean Mr. Mustard 23.47

Session Recording:
Jan 23, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


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

Unofficial album • Released in 2004

3:24 • Rehearsal • Jan.25 - D5-09 - Mean Mr. Mustard 25.65

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


Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.

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