♫ Maggie May ♫ (Redux)

I last played this one a couple of years ago, and after a conversation with a friend, it got stuck in my head tonight.  So, in the interest of a (hopefully) early bedtime tonight (early being before 3:00 a.m.), I’m giving you what I think is one of Rod Stewart’s best …

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 mandolin-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.  I also did not know until I played this the first time and David commented about it … Rod Stewart was once a gravedigger.  Again, who knew?  So much to learn about the artists and the songs I play … for me, that’s at least half the joy in doing these music posts.  According to Wikipedia …

Stewart is one of the best-selling music artists of all time, having sold over 250 million records worldwide. He has had ten number-one albums and 31 top ten singles in the UK, six of which reached number one. Stewart has had 16 top ten singles in the US, with four reaching number one on the Billboard Hot 100. He was knighted in the 2016 Birthday Honours for services to music and charity.

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

27 thoughts on “♫ Maggie May ♫ (Redux)

  1. Maggie May was so overplayed in Canada I hated it. Every second song on every rock station. Too much for me.
    Now, this song was not a big hit so I am not trying to contradict your trivia
    and it was. listed as folk, not rock or pop, but it predated Mabgie May, and was much easier to listen to.
    I present to you, Donovan: https://youtu.be/u9Z7ITIfTps

    Liked by 2 people

  2. The great Rod the Mod – well, he was in those days, before he turned into a cabaret singer. British – of course, though he sees himself a being very proudly Scottish. This is how it was in its original form, on release in 1971: https://youtu.be/bwHB4hfg0wY

    The guy miming the mandolin is the late John Peel, a radio DJ here who had championed Rod since the beginning (this was on his third solo album). The clip is from our long running weekly pop music programme, Top Of The Pops.

    Liked by 3 people

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