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She's Leaving Home

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"She's Leaving Home"
Song by The Beatles
Album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
Released 1 June 1967
Recorded 17 March 1967
Abbey Road Studios
Genre Ballad
Length 3:24
Label Parlophone
Writer Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band track listing
I wrote that. My kind of ballad from that period. One of my daughters likes that. Still works. The other thing I remember is that George Martin was offended that I used another arranger. He was busy and I was itching to get on with it; I was inspired. I think George had a lot of difficulty forgiving me for that. It hurt him; I didn't mean to.

—Paul McCartney, 1984

[D]uring the making of Pepper [Paul] was also to give me one of the biggest hurts of my life. It concerned the song 'She's Leaving Home'. At that time I was still having to record all my other artists. One day Paul rang me to say: 'I've got a song I want you to work with me on. Can you come round tomorrow afternoon? I want to get it done quickly. We'll book an orchestra, and you can score it.' 'I can't tomorrow, Paul. I'm recording Cilla at two-thirty.' [...] 'All right, then,' he said, and that ended the conversation. What he did then, as I discovered later, was to get Neil Aspinall, the road manager, to ring round and find someone else to do the score for him, simply because I couldn't do it at that short notice. In the end he found Mike Leander, who could. The following day Paul presented me with it and said, 'Here we are. I've got a score. We can record it now.' I recorded it, with a few alterations to make it work better, but I was hurt.

—George Martin, All You Need Is Ears, 1979

John and I wrote 'She's Leaving Home' together. It was my inspiration. We'd seen a story in the newspaper about a young girl who had left home and not been found. There were a lot of those at the time, and that was enough to give us a story line. So, I started to get the lyrics. She slips out and leaves a note and then the parents wake up and then ... It was rather poignant. I like it as a song, and when I showed it to John, he added the Greek chorus.

—Paul McCartney, Many Years From Now by Barry Miles, 1997

It was John's idea for the words of the old couple, 'What did we do that was wrong?' in the background. He was looking at the misused old people and also the conflict between them and the young girl. Originally, it was undoubtedly Paul's song, but John contributed quite a bit in a way with the answering chorus. Mike Leander did the score for the song, because Paul wanted it done at a drop of the hat and I was recording Cilla Black on the day he wanted to go through it. So, it was the song that got away. It was the song I wanted to do.

—George Martin, 1967

This record will alter everybody's approach to record making. I have new thoughts myself now every time I go into the studio. Apart from my contribution, this is a work of art, but I am terrified of the next one.

Mike Leander, Arranger, 1967

It's almost like a little opera, and it's one of the best constructed songs they ever did. They lyrics are particularly telling. I am amazed that they could do this at their age because they could see the conflict between the young and the old.

—George Martin

'A man from the motor trade' means whatever's in your mind, you know. I know when I say it isn't an abortion, and if people believe it is, then it's up to them. They'll just go on believing it.

—George Harrison


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