The Paul McCartney Project

What's The New Mary Jane

Written by Lennon - McCartney

Album This song officially appears on the Anthology 3 Official album.
Sessions This song has been recorded during the following sessions

Other Beatles songs with no contribution from McCartney

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Song facts

From Wikipedia:

What’s the New Mary Jane” is a song written by John Lennon (but credited to Lennon–McCartney) and performed by the Beatles. It was recorded in 1968 for the album The Beatles (“The White Album”), but was not used.

Recording

An early acoustic demo of “What’s the New Mary Jane” was recorded in late May 1968, at George Harrison’s Esher home. It featured Lennon singing an octave higher than the final cut, placing the chorus at the very beginning as well as throughout, and switching the words “cooking” and “groovy” in the second verse:

She liked to be married to yeti, he cooking such groovy spaghetti.

As opposed to:

She liked to be married with yeti, he grooving such kooky spaghetti.

Another member of the Beatles can also be heard shouting “What’s the new Mary Jane? Oh, my goodness!” near the end of the demo. This variation is notably shorter than the released version, clocking in at around 2:40.

The final version of this song was recorded on 14 August 1968 during the recording sessions for the Beatles tenth album The Beatles (aka “The White Album”), with Lennon and Harrison being the only band members playing on the track. Four takes were recorded with the final being marked as the best. It was later mixed in mono on 26 September with “Glass Onion“, “Happiness Is a Warm Gun“, and “I Will” and in stereo on 14 October before being added to the shortlist for the new album. However, during the album’s final mixing stage, it was dropped due to time constraints, bringing the album down to 30 songs.

During an interview, Lennon commented on “What’s the New Mary Jane“, saying, “That was me, Yoko, and George sitting on the floor at EMI fooling around. Pretty good, huh?

Release

After the release of The Beatles, Lennon was still adamant to see the song released. On 26 November 1969, he and wife Yoko Ono recorded further overdubs with plans for it to be issued as a single by the Plastic Ono Band alongside another unreleased song at the time, “You Know My Name (Look Up the Number)“, which was eventually issued as the B-side of The Beatles’ “Let It Be” single in 1970. When the other Beatles heard of his plans to release a Beatle track under his own band’s name, however, the single was pulled. After that, the song had finally been planned to be issued on the album Sessions in 1985, but the album’s release was cancelled due to objections by the surviving Beatles. The song was not released until over 10 years later, on Anthology 3, during which time period it gained a certain aura of mystery. During this time, it could only be heard via bootlegs like Unsurpassed Demos, From Kinfauns to Chaos, Ultra Rare Trax Vol.5, and What a Shame, Mary Jane Had a Pain at the Party, a bootleg devoted to the song, as well as other outtakes from the same time period. A newly mixed version of the recording was officially released on the 1996 compilation Anthology 3. […]

What’s the New Mary Jane” is one of the rare Beatles song with no contribution from Paul McCartney

Lyrics

She looks as an African Queen
She eating twelve chapattis and cream
She tastes as Mongolian lamb
She coming from out of Bahran
What a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame Mary Jane what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
She like to be married with Yetti
He groving such cooky spaghoetti
She jumping as Mexican bean
To make that her body morphine
What a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame Mary Jane what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
She catch Patagonian pancake
With that one and gin party makes
She having always good contact
She making with apple and contract
What a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame Mary Jane what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
All together now
What a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame what what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame what a shame what a shame what a shame
Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame what a shame what a shame what a shame
Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame what a shame what a shame
Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame Mary Jane Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame Mary Jane what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame Mary Jane what a shame
She looks as an African Queen
She tastes as Mongolian lamb
What a shame Mary Jane what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
All together now
What a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame what what a shame Mary Jane had a pain at the party
What a shame what a shame what a shame what a shame

Officially appears on


Anthology 3

Official album • Released in 1996

6:12 • OuttakeA • Stereo • Take 4. What's The New Mary Jane was in the running for a place on the White Album but fell at the final hurdle - remaining unissued until now. The piece was John's, and, of the four Beatles, only he and George are present. Contrary to its seemingly free-form nature, What's The New Mary Jane had a pre-planned structure, the other takes recorded at this EMI session - and also a demo recorded at Esher three months previously - proving so. The Anthology version is Take 4, the one marked "best" on the tape box at the end of the evening's work in number two studio at Abbey Road, featuring double-tracked piano and vocals (John), double-tracked guitar (George), and multitudinous sound effects contributed by Yoko Ono and the Beatles' assistant Mal Evans.

John Lennon:
Effects, Piano, Tambourine, Vocals
George Harrison:
Acoustic guitar, Effects, Percussion, Vocals
George Martin:
Producer
Mal Evans:
Effects, Handbell
Yoko Ono:
Effects, Percussion, Vocals
Ken Scott:
Engineer

Session Recording:
Aug 14, 1968
Studio:
EMI Studios, Studio Two, Abbey Road


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Demo

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


The Beatles (2018)

Official album • Released in 2018

Outtake • Take 1

Live performances

Paul McCartney has never played this song in concert.


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