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The Beatles Wiki

Maggie Mae or Maggie May is a Liverpool folk song about one of the many "ladies of negotiable virtue" who frequented the docklands of that town, seeking clients, particularly sailors. The title character supplemented her income by robbing her clients.

A short fragment of this song is heard on the Let It Be album. This is said to be a callback to the Beatles' previous existence as the Quarrymen when they would sometimes perform this song.

This song is unrelated to and is not to be confused with, the Rod Stewart song of the same name.

This song is in the Paul McCartney Project at this page.


As this is a folk song, there are many different versions of the lyrics; but the one which was performed by Liverpool folk group The Spinners on their "Final Fling" tour, and claimed by them to be the definitive version, is below

(Verse 1)[]

Now gather round you sailor boys, and listen to my plea
And when you've heard my tale, pity me
For I was a ruddy fool in the port of Liverpool
The first time that I come home from sea

I was paid off at the home from the port of Sierra Leone
Four pounds in a month it was me pay
With a pocket full of tin I was very soon took in
By a girl with the name of Maggie May


Oh Maggie, Maggie May they have taken her away
And she'll never walk down Lime street anymore
For she robbed too many sailors and captains of the whalers
That dirty, robbin' no good Maggie May

(Verse 2)[]

Oh, well do I remember when I first met Maggie May
Cruising up and down Canning Place
With a figure so divine, like a frigate of the line
Acting like a sailor, I gave chase

In the morning I awoke, flat, stony broke
No jacket, trousers, waistcoat could I find
When I asked her where they were she said "My very good sir,
They're down in Kelly's pawnshop number nine"


(Verse 3)[]

To the pawnshop I did go but no clothes could I find
So the scupper[1] came and took that girl away
The judge he guilty found her, of robbing a homeward–bounder
And paid her passage out to Botany Bay


(optionally repeated)



  1. scupper = Liverpool slang for a policeman

See also[]

Maggie May on Wikipedia