♫ Maggie May ♫

I wasn’t feeling particularly inspired to play a song tonight and was prepared to skip my music post.  But, it came down to this: I had just finished scheduling my rather dark & gloomy morning post, and now I had two choices:  roll cigarettes, as I am down to my last 6, or play some music.  About that time, this song came into my head and rescued me from having to roll smokes, though I will still have to do it before going to bed, in case of a sleepless night!

Released in 1971 and co-written by Rod Stewart and Martin Quittenton, Stewart says his inspiration for the song was a memory of the 1961 Beaulieu Jazz Festival …

“At 16, I went to the Beaulieu Jazz Festival in the New Forest. I’d snuck in with some mates via an overflow sewage pipe. And there on a secluded patch of grass, I lost my not-remotely-prized virginity with an older (and larger) woman who’d come on to me very strongly in the beer tent. How much older, I can’t tell you – but old enough to be highly disappointed by the brevity of the experience.”

This song came together when Stewart began working with guitarist Martin Quittenton from the band Steamhammer (who I don’t recall ever hearing of). They convened at Stewart’s house in Muswell Hill, where Quittenton played some chords that caught Rod’s ear. He started singing the words to the Liverpool folk song Maggie Mae, which got him thinking about that day 10 years earlier.

This was the first big hit of the rock era to feature a mandolin, which was mostly heard in folk music. Stewart first used the instrument on Mandolin Wind, which was one of the first songs he recorded for the album Let It Be. He liked the results, so he used it on Maggie May as well.  Maggie May remains the biggest mondolin-based hit ever recorded.

I was surprised to see that this was a #1 hit in the UK also, but then I discovered that Rod Stewart is British!  Who knew?  Not I, that’s for sure.  🙄

Maggie May
Rod Stewart

Wake up, Maggie, I think I got something to say to you
It’s late September and I really should be back at school
I know I keep you amused, but I feel I’m being used
Oh, Maggie, I couldn’t have tried any more

You led me away from home, just to save you from being alone
You stole my heart, and that’s what really hurts

The morning sun, when it’s in your face really shows your age
But that don’t worry me none in my eyes, you’re everything
I laughed at all of your jokes, my love you didn’t need to coax
Oh, Maggie, I couldn’t have tried any more

You led me away from home, just to save you from being alone
You stole my soul, and that’s a pain I can do without

All I needed was a friend to lend a guiding hand
But you turned into a lover, and, mother, what a lover you wore me out
All you did was wreck my bed, and in the morning, kick me in the head
Oh, Maggie, I couldn’t have tried any more

You led me away from home ’cause you didn’t wanna be alone
You stole my heart, I couldn’t leave you if I tried

I suppose I could collect my books and get on back to school
Or steal my daddy’s cue and make a living out of playing pool
Or find myself a rock ‘n’ roll band that needs a helping hand
Oh, Maggie, I wished I’d never seen your face

You made a first-class fool out of me
But I’m as blind as a fool can be
You stole my heart, but I love you anyway

Maggie, I wished I’d never seen your face
I’ll get on back home one of these days
Ooh, ooh, ooh

Songwriters: Martin Quittenton / Roderick Stewart
Maggie May lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

9 thoughts on “♫ Maggie May ♫

  1. Rod had a job as a gravedigger at one time before reaching the dizzy heights with his music. I love the sound of the Mandolin and I have a favourite called You really got a nerve and also The Killing of Georgie where the mandolin is used to good effect.
    Excellent choice, great artiste.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A gravedigger, eh? Who knew? I missed that tidbit, else I would have included it, but I was tired and didn’t dig very deep. I’m so happy you liked this one … hope your bruised toes did a tappity-tap-tap!

      Liked by 1 person

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