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Song of the week - Lady Madonna

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Kangaroo Kev:
Lady Madonna
Written by: Lennon-McCartney
Recorded: 3, 6 February 1968
Producer: George Martin
Engineers: Ken Scott, Geoff Emerick

Released: 15 March 1968 (UK), 18 March 1968 (US)

Paul McCartney: vocals, piano, bass, handclaps
John Lennon: backing vocals, lead guitar, handclaps
George Harrison: backing vocals, lead guitar, handclaps
Ringo Starr: drums, handclaps
Ronnie Scott, Bill Povey: tenor saxophones
Harry Klein, Bill Jackman: baritone saxophones


"The original concept was the Virgin Mary but it quickly became symbolic of every woman; the Madonna image but as applied to ordinary working class woman. It's really a tribute to the mother figure, it's a tribute to women. Your Mother Should Know is another. I think women are very strong, they put up with a lot of sh*t, they put up with the pain of having a child, of raising it, cooking for it, they are basically skivvies a lot of their lives, so I always want to pay a tribute to them.
Lady Madonna was me sitting down at the piano trying to write a bluesy boogie-woogie thing. I got my left hand doing an arpeggio thing with the chord, an ascending boogie-woogie left hand, then a descending right hand. I always liked that, the juxtaposition of a line going down meeting a line going up. That was basically what it was. It reminded me of Fats Domino for some reason, so I started singing a Fats Domino impression. It took my voice to a very odd place."

Paul McCartney.


The Beatles began recording Lady Madonna on 3 February 1968. They began by recording three takes of the basic rhythm track, with McCartney on piano and Starr playing the drums with brushes.

McCartney added a bass part that evening, and Lennon and Harrison both played fuzz-toned guitars through the same amplifier. Starr also added another drum track.
During the same session McCartney added his vocals, which were later double tracked, and Lennon and Harrison provided backing vocals.
The Beatles returned to the song three days later. McCartney added his second vocal and another piano track, and all Beatles contributed handclaps. McCartney, Lennon and Harrison also recorded their "See how they run" vocals, and the vocalised imitation brass during the middle eight.

That evening four sax players were contacted to complete the song. They were called in at the last minute, without any prepared music, and their lines were largely improvised.

"Paul went through the song on the piano and we were each given a scrap of manuscript paper and a pencil to write out some notes. Had there been music we would have been in and out in about 10 minutes. As it was, it took most of the evening, recording it in A major pitch with the rhythm track playing in our headphones."

Bill Jackman, baritone saxophonist

CHART SUCCESS

Lady Madonna was released in the UK on 15 March 1968, with Harrison's The Inner Light as the b-side. It entered the charts at number five on 20 March, and a week later climbed to the top. It remained there for a second week, and spent eight weeks altogether in the chart.

In the US it was released on 18 March. It fared less well, peaking at number four on 23 March.

Lady Madonna

Lady Madonna, children at your feet
Wonder how you manage to make ends meet
Who find the money when you pay the rent
Did you think that money was heaven sent

Friday night arrives without a suitcase
Sunday morning creeping like a nun
Monday's child has learned to tie his bootlegs
See how they run

Lady Madonna, baby at your breast
Wonders how you manage to feed the rest
Pa pa pa pa...
See how they run

Lady Madonna lying on the bed
Listen to the music playing in your head

Tuesday afternoon is never ending
Wednesday morning papers didn't come
Thursday night you stocking needed mending
See how they run

Lady Madonna, children at your feet
Wonder how you manage to make ends meet

tkitna:
I've never liked the song, but thats no secret. The heavy bass infected production is a killer for me. I also hate the Pa, Pa, Pa, Pa's and think it sounds silly. I just have never liked the song for some reason. My buddy loves it and used to argue with me, but its all just opinion anyways.

Kangaroo Kev:

--- Quote from: tkitna on April 03, 2013, 12:33:44 AM ---I've never liked the song, but thats no secret. The heavy bass infected production is a killer for me. I also hate the Pa, Pa, Pa, Pa's and think it sounds silly. I just have never liked the song for some reason. My buddy loves it and used to argue with me, but its all just opinion anyways.

--- End quote ---

it always eemed odd to me that after all (and during) the psych stuff they threw in this R & B single..

Ovi:

--- Quote from: nimrod on April 03, 2013, 05:59:46 AM ---it always eemed odd to me that after all (and during) the psych stuff they threw in this R & B single..

--- End quote ---

Wasn't 1968 the "back to the roots" year? The Band released 'Music From The Big Pink', Dylan 'John Wesley Harding' - a modest (yet brilliant) folk/country album coming after the ambitious, diverse 'Blonde on Blonde' and The Rolling Stones did 'Beggars Banquet' -a blues/country record after the out of hand psychedelia of 'Satanic Majesties'.

For the record, I think it's a brilliant song. Love the piano melody, Paul's voice, the "see how they run" parts, the brass joining in for the second verse, the sax solo and the "Sunday morning creeping like a nun/Mondays child has learned to tie his bootlace" lyric.

Kangaroo Kev:
I must admit, I like it, always did.

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