She Came In Through The Bathroom Window

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Abbey Road LP.
Timeline This song has been officially released in 1969
Timeline This song has been written (or started being written) in 1968 (Paul McCartney was 26 years old)

Master release


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Song facts

We were bored, he was out and so we decided to pay him a visit. We found a ladder in his garden and stuck it up at the bathroom window which he’d left slightly open. I was the one who climbed up and got in.

Diane Ashley – From “The complete Beatles songs : the stories behind every track written by the Fab Four” by Steve Turner

From Wikipedia:

“She Came In Through the Bathroom Window” is a song by the English rock band the Beatles from their 1969 album Abbey Road. Written by Paul McCartney and credited to Lennon–McCartney, it is the fifth song of the album’s climactic B-side medley, immediately following “Polythene Pam“.

Origin

McCartney said the song was inspired by Apple scruffs (dedicated fans who hung around outside the Abbey Road studio, the Apple Corps offices, and the individual homes of the Beatles), who broke into McCartney’s St John’s Wood home. Diane Ashley says:

“We were bored, he was out and so we decided to pay him a visit. We found a ladder in his garden and stuck it up at the bathroom window which he’d left slightly open. I was the one who climbed up and got in.”

She then opened the front door to let the others in. The scruffs also stole a number of photographs in addition to clothes. Another Apple scruff, Margo Bird, remembers being good friends with McCartney – she would often take his dog for walks – and later got a job at Apple Corps. She says that she was asked to retrieve a photograph of his father Jim, which she did.

Recording

The rhythm track was recorded by the Beatles for this and “Polythene Pam” as one piece on 25 July 1969. After take 39, they added lead vocals, and re-recorded the drums and bass parts. On 28 July they added more vocals, guitar, percussion and piano. The song was completed two days later with additional guitar and percussion. “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window” segues abruptly after “Polythene Pam”, the song on the preceding track, without pause. At the very beginning of the song, in anticipation of the change of tempo, John Lennon gives out a laugh and then shouts “Oh, look out!”

A slower, ethereal version of this song, recorded in late January 1969 during the Let It Be sessions, appears on the 1996 compilation Anthology 3.


[The song] goes back to the fact a woman did actually sneak into my house through the bathroom window that was a bit ajar. A fan, apparently – one of a group called the ‘Apple scruffs’. She found a ladder lying outside my house in London. As far as I recall, she stole a picture of my cotton salesman dad. Or robbed me of it. But I got the song in return.

Paul McCartney – From “The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present” book (2021)

We were bored, he was out and so we decided to pay him a visit. We found a ladder in his garden and stuck it up at the bathroom window which he’d left slightly open. I was the one who climbed up and got in.

Diane Ashley – From “The complete Beatles songs : the stories behind every track written by the Fab Four” by Steve Turner

They rummaged around and took some clothers. People didn’t usually take anything of real value but I think this time a lot of photographs and negatives were taken. There were really two groups of Apple Scruffs – those who would break in and those who would just wait outside with cameras and autograph books. I used to take Paul’s dog for a walk and got to know him quite well. I was eventually offered a job at Apple. I started by making the tea and ended up in the promotions department working with Tony King.

Margo Bird – From “The complete Beatles songs : the stories behind every track written by the Fab Four” by Steve Turner

I knew who had done it and I discovered that a lot of the stuff had already gone to America. But I knew that there was one picture he particularly wanted back – a colour-tinted picture of him in a Thirties frame. I knew who had taken this and got it back for him.

Margo Bird – From “The complete Beatles songs : the stories behind every track written by the Fab Four” by Steve Turner

Later, Paul would have told Carol Bedford, an Apple Scruff who wrote the book “Waiting For The Beatles” (published in 1984):

I’ve written a song about the girls who broke in. It’s called ‘She Came In Through The Bathroom Window’

Paul McCartney to Carol Bedford, according to Carol Bedford

I didn’t believe at first [that the break-in had become the subject of a Beatles’ song] because he’d hated so much when we broke in. But then I suppose anything can inspire a song, can’t it? I know that all his neighbors rang him when they saw we’d got in and I’m sure that gave rise to the lines, ‘Sunday’s on the phone to Monday/Tuesday’s on the phone to me ‘.

Diane Ashley

According to John Lennon, the Apple Scruff story was not the main inspiration though:

This wasn’t to do with the American fans (The Apple Scruffs). It was when Paul and I went to America (New York – May 1968) to publicise Apple about two years ago, and we were just in the flat we were staying in and he just came out with that line, ‘She came in through the bathroom window.’ So, he had it for years, and he eventually finished it. Most of the songs (on the album) were started back then, except for ‘You Never Give Me Your Money’ and ‘Golden Slumbers.’

John Lennon – From “The Beatles: Off the Record” by Keith Badman

In the 2006 documentary “The Classic Artists Series: The Moody Blues” (Released in October 2006), Mike Pinder, the former keyboard player of The Moody Blues, stated that the inspiration for the “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” actually comes from an incident that happened to them — a groupie climbing into an open bathroom window in the band’s home and spending the night with band member Ray Thomas. The next day, Pinder and Thomas told the story to Paul McCartney, who — guitar in hand — strummed and sang “She came in through the bathroom window…“.

There is also another story which doesn’t seem genuine, considering the number of dimensions on which the storyteller fits her story to the song :

Here, all this time I thought this song was written about me and my friend Judy. What a surprise to learn there was someone named Diane Ashley who put a ladder up to Paul’s house and climbed in through the bathroom window. This and the bit about “quit the police department” being inspired by an ex-cop taxi driver in NYC tells me something I already know about songwriting, which is that many songs are composites. This one obviously was because Diane wasn’t the only person having a profound effect on Paul McCartney by crawling in a bathroom window in 1967 (maybe ’68 in her case). Judy and I were paid $1500 by Greene & Stone, a couple of sleazy artist managers driving around the Sunset Strip in a Chinchilla-lined caddy limo, to “borrow” the quarter-inch master of “A Day In The Life” off of David Crosby’s reel-to-reel, drive it to Sunset Sound studios in Hollywood where Greene & Stone duped it, then put it back where we found it at Crosby’s Beverly Glen Canyon pad. Crosby was playing with the Byrds that day in Venice so we knew his house was empty. This was the day after a major rainstorm so the back of his house was one big mudslide. We climbed up it, leaving 8-inch deep footprints and, you guessed it, gained access via the bathroom window, leaving behind footprints and a veritable goldmine of forensic matter. We were really nervous and did not make clear mental notes of how the master reel was on the player, but did have the sense to leave Crosby’s front door unlocked while we drove across town and back. After the tape was back on the machine (badly) we changed out of our muddy shoes, drove to the Cheetah in Venice, and hung out with the Byrds into the evening, thinking we were awfully clever and cute. We did not know why Greene & Stone would pay so much money for a copy of a Beatles song, other than the fact that is was a groundbreaking and mind-blowing piece, but found out the next day when we heard “A Day In The Life” on KHJ, I think it was. Greene & Stone had used it as payola to get one of their groups, The Cake, singing “Yes We Have No Bananas,” on the air. Which they did, and it sucked, but oh well. By the following day “A Day In The Life” was no longer on the air. And just a day or two after that there was a front page blurb in the LA Times about “A Day In The Life” getting aired one month prior to the release date of the single and the Sgt. Pepper LP, which apparently cost the Beatles plenty and they were suing Capitol or Columbia, whichever the label was, for $2 million… and McCartney was flying in from London to deal with the mess. Oops. Judy and I nearly sank through the floor. Though we were active “dancers” in the various nightclubs on the Sunset Strip, we lay low for a while, not knowing what to expect. In fact, other than a song being written and a GREAT cover by Joe Cocker, nothing happened. We got our money, spent it on groovy clothes, of course (what else was there?) and never heard a word about it.

“I knew what I could not say” and “protected by a silver spoon” seemed to explain why there were no repercussions. My dad was a TV director who had already threatened to bust and ruin David Crosby for smoking pot with and deflowering his daughter; he had clout and David was afraid of him. Judy was from money and influence too. I feel that David knew exactly who had broken in and borrowed the tape but couldn’t press charges. He probably wasn’t supposed to be playing the master for all his friends and hangers-on, so there must have been hell to pay for him. I always felt bad for the cred it must have cost him with his friend Paul McCartney.

Oh, the bit about “Sunday’s on the phone to Monday, Tuesday’s on the phone to me” – that was somebody named Sunday, maybe a detective, I can’t remember now, calling the producer Billy Monday about the break-in and song leak. Billy Monday, knowing she was a friend of McCartney’s, called Tuesday Weld, and it was she who called Paul in London and told him the news. Well, I guess I didn’t make this very short after all. But you can’t tell me that this incident didn’t feed into the overall inspiration for the song. I’m just glad it turned out so cool and hope it made a heap for them in compensation for the publicity costs at the outset.

It was interesting and exciting then, that’s for sure. Even though I came of age into that scene and had nothing to compare it to, I still had a sense at the time of being at the epicenter of something big. Some of that was attributable to the hubris of youth, but some of it turned out to be real, as it happened. Now, present time, it makes my day to come across someone who still finds it interesting or even knows what or whom I’m talking about. By the way, I never did get to meet the Beatles, though I was invited to party where they were staying once, when I was 17. My mother wouldn’t let me go! I never forgave her.

Landis Kearnon (known at the time as Susie Landis) – From Songfacts

In October / November 1968, Paul spent a ten-day holiday with Linda Eastman and her daugher Heather in New York. He was writing “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window” and needed a final verse. In the yellow cab to the airport to fly back to London, he noticed a mug shot with the driver name written in large black letters (Eugene Quits), with the mention “New York Police Dept” beneath that.

So I got “So I quit the police department”, which are part of the lyrics to that. This was the great thing about the randomness of it all. If I hadn’t been in this guy’s cab, or if it had been someone else driving, the song would have been different. Also I had a guitar there so I could solidify it into something straight away.

Paul McCartney – From “Many Years From Now” by Barry Miles, 1997

So I got “So I quit the police department”, which are part of the lyrics to that. This was the great thing about the randomness of it all. If I hadn’t been in this guy’s cab, or if it had been someone else driving, the song would have been different. Also I had a guitar there so I could solidify it into something straight away.

Paul McCartney – From “Many Years From Now” by Barry Miles, 1997

From The Usenet Guide to Beatles Recording Variations:

[a] stereo 14 Aug 1969. crossfaded 14 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.

[Polythene Pam / She Came In Through The Bathroom Window] were recorded straight through. The crossfade joins this to the preceding song, Sun King / Mean Mr Mustard.

January 21, 1969 – Paul McCartney showing John Lennon how to play the piano part of “She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” – From Peter Jackson’s “The Beatles – Get Back” (2021)
From “The Lyrics: 1956 to Present

Last updated on February 1, 2022

The book "The Lyrics: 1956 to the Present", published in 2021, covers Paul McCartney's early Liverpool days, the Beatles, Wings, and solo careers, by pairing the lyrics of 154 of his songs with first-person commentaries of the circumstances in which they were written, the people and places that inspired them, and what he thinks of them now.

"She Came In Through The Bathroom Window" is one of the 154 songs covered.

Lyrics

She came in through the bathroom window
Protected by a silver spoon
But now she sucks her thumb and wanders
By the banks of her own lagoon

Didn't anybody tell her?
Didn't anybody see?
Sunday's on the phone to Monday
Tuesday's on the phone to me

She said she'd always been a dancer
She worked at 15 clubs a day
And though she thought I knew the answer
Well I knew what I could not say

And so I quit the police department
And got myself a steady job
And though she tried her best to help me
She could steal but she could not rob

Variations


A Stereo version • From "Abbey Road"


B "Get Back" rehearsal (January 21, 1969) • From "Anthology 3"

B2016 "Get Back" rehearsal (January 21, 1969). 2016 remaster • From "Anthology 3 (2016 remaster)"

C "Get Back" rehearsal (January 7, 1969). From the "Fly On The Wall" bonus disc • From "Let It Be... Naked"

D 2019 Stereo Mix • From "Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)"


F From the original mix of "The Long One" • From "Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)"

G "Get Back" rehearsal (January 21, 1969) • From "Let It Be (50th anniversary boxset)"

Officially appears on


Abbey Road

LP • Released in 1969

1:59 • Studio versionA • Stereo

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Electric piano, Lead guitar, Piano, Vocals
Ringo Starr :
Cowbell, Drums, Maracas, Tambourine
John Lennon :
12-string acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Handclaps, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Phil McDonald :
Recording engineer

Session Recording & overdubs:
Jul 25, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 28, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs & mixing:
Jul 30, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


Anthology 3

Official album • Released in 1996

3:37 • OuttakeB • Stereo • Recording from the first day of the Savile Row sessions. The performance of She Came In Through The Bathroom Window is a rehearsal, Paul running the Beatles through one of his latest compositions. The song did not surface again in these Get Back sessions but, uptempo, would become a part of the Abbey Road medley, for which it was recorded in July 1969.

Glyn Johns :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Jan 21, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


Let It Be... Naked

Official album • Released in 2003

0:05 • Studio versionC • From the "Fly On The Wall" bonus disc

Paul McCartney :
Piano, Vocals

Session Recording:
Jan 07, 1969
Studio :
Twickenham Film Studios, London, UK


Abbey Road (Stereo - 2009 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2009

1:59 • Studio versionA2009 • Stereo • 2009 stereo remaster

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Electric piano, Lead guitar, Piano, Vocals
Ringo Starr :
Cowbell, Drums, Maracas, Tambourine
John Lennon :
12-string acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Handclaps, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison :
Backing vocals, 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 & overdubs:
Jul 25, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 28, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs & mixing:
Jul 30, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


Anthology 3 (2016 remaster)

Official album • Released in 2016

3:37 • OuttakeB2016 • Stereo • Recording from the first day of the Savile Row sessions. The performance of She Came In Through The Bathroom Window is a rehearsal, Paul running the Beatles through one of his latest compositions. The song did not surface again in these Get Back sessions but, uptempo, would become a part of the Abbey Road medley, for which it was recorded in July 1969.

Glyn Johns :
Recording engineer

Session Recording:
Jan 21, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)

Official album • Released in 2019

1:59 • Studio versionD • Stereo • 2019 Stereo Mix

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Electric piano, Lead guitar, Piano, Vocals
Ringo Starr :
Cowbell, Drums, Maracas, Tambourine
John Lennon :
12-string acoustic guitar, Backing vocals, Handclaps, Rhythm guitar
George Harrison :
Backing vocals, Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Recording engineer
Giles Martin :
Producer
Phil McDonald :
Recording engineer
Sam Okell :
Mix engineer

Session Recording & overdubs:
Jul 25, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs:
Jul 28, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road

Session Overdubs & mixing:
Jul 30, 1969
Studio :
EMI Studios, Abbey Road


Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)

Official album • Released in 2019

2:06 • Alternate takeE • Take 27

Paul McCartney :
Bass, Vocals
Ringo Starr :
Drums
John Lennon :
Acoustic guitar
George Harrison :
Lead guitar
George Martin :
Producer
Geoff Emerick :
Engineer
Giles Martin :
Producer
Phil McDonald :
Engineer
Sam Okell :
Mix engineer

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


Abbey Road (50th anniversary boxset)

Official album • Released in 2019

16:10 • Alternate takeF • From the original mix of "The Long One"

Session Recording:
Jul 30, 1969


Let It Be (50th anniversary boxset)

Official album • Released in 2021

2:48 • Studio rehearsalG • Jan 21, 1969 (EMI Tape E90489-8T) previously available in full on ‘Anthology 3’ (at a slightly faster speed, possibly adjusted on this new 2021 mix to try and match the edit at 0:59); only a fragment of the end of this sequence was recorded by the NAGRA Roll 411 A, so it is difficult to compare the edits and cuts made in the official releases. Drastically edited compared to ‘Anthology 3’, only the first 58 seconds have been left here (including Paul’s count-in that appears for the first time). Still, there is an edit at 0:59 with different electric guitar chords and slower speed with what appears to be the end of another short rehearsal edited perfectly right after the phrase “Tuesday’s on the phone to me” (in ‘Anthology 3’ the track continues from the phrase “She said she’d always been a dancer” and until the end of the rehearsal, two minutes and five seconds later); so now we have a previously unavailable 32-second segment (0:59-1:31) before there is another edit on this track at 1:32. It is possible that this insert was recorded even before the full rehearsal, but without the NAGRA tape available in this short sequence it is difficult to know and not even if we put the two official sources (‘Anthology 3’ and ‘Let it Be 50th’) together will we be able to get the whole segment. ‘Anthology 3’ includes 10 seconds at the end that were omitted here, with Paul’s dialogue suggesting playing some notes as classical music (they only left John’s reply “What’s that?” here); the rest of the track (1:32-2:48) is available on the NAGRA Roll 411 A that began recording again precisely from these words of McCartney.

Session Recording:
Jan 21, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London


Let It Be (50th anniversary boxset - SHM - Japanese edition)

Official album • Released in 2021

2:48 • Studio rehearsalG • Jan 21, 1969 (EMI Tape E90489-8T) previously available in full on ‘Anthology 3’ (at a slightly faster speed, possibly adjusted on this new 2021 mix to try and match the edit at 0:59); only a fragment of the end of this sequence was recorded by the NAGRA Roll 411 A, so it is difficult to compare the edits and cuts made in the official releases. Drastically edited compared to ‘Anthology 3’, only the first 58 seconds have been left here (including Paul’s count-in that appears for the first time). Still, there is an edit at 0:59 with different electric guitar chords and slower speed with what appears to be the end of another short rehearsal edited perfectly right after the phrase “Tuesday’s on the phone to me” (in ‘Anthology 3’ the track continues from the phrase “She said she’d always been a dancer” and until the end of the rehearsal, two minutes and five seconds later); so now we have a previously unavailable 32-second segment (0:59-1:31) before there is another edit on this track at 1:32. It is possible that this insert was recorded even before the full rehearsal, but without the NAGRA tape available in this short sequence it is difficult to know and not even if we put the two official sources (‘Anthology 3’ and ‘Let it Be 50th’) together will we be able to get the whole segment. ‘Anthology 3’ includes 10 seconds at the end that were omitted here, with Paul’s dialogue suggesting playing some notes as classical music (they only left John’s reply “What’s that?” here); the rest of the track (1:32-2:48) is available on the NAGRA Roll 411 A that began recording again precisely from these words of McCartney.

Session Recording:
Jan 21, 1969
Studio :
Apple Studios, 3 Savile Row, London

Bootlegs


Live In Iowa 2005

Unofficial live

3:47 • Live

Concert From the concert in Des Moines, USA on Oct 27, 2005


Abbey Road Sessions

Unofficial album

0:25 • Outtake • Polythene Pam/ Unknown Take Mono


Abbey Road Sessions

Unofficial album

0:12 • Outtake • Polythene Pam/ Unknown Take Mono


Abbey Road Sessions

Unofficial album

1:46 • Outtake • Polythene Pam/ Takes 1-2 Partial Stereo


Abbey Road Sessions

Unofficial album

1:11 • Outtake • Polythene Pam/ Rockband Mix Stereo


Live performances

“She Came In Through The Bathroom Window” has been played in 36 concerts.

Latest concerts where She Came In Through The Bathroom Window has been played







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