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She's Leaving Home is a song, written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon, and released in 1967 on The Beatles album Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. McCartney wrote and sung the verse and Lennon the chorus. This was one of a handful of songs of the Beatles in which the members did not play any instruments. Others include Eleanor Rigby, Good Night and The Inner Light.


She's leaving home

Sgt. Pepper's sheet music cover

Paul McCartney:

"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'd 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 ... It was rather poignant. I like it as a song, and when I showed it to John, he added the long sustained notes, and one of the nice things about the structure of the song is that it stays on those chords endlessly. Before that period in our song-writing we would have changed chords but it stays on the C chord. It really holds you. It's a really nice little trick and I think it worked very well. While I was showing that to John, he was doing the Greek chorus, the parents' view: 'We gave her most of our lives, we gave her everything money could buy.' I think that may have been in the runaway story, it might have been a quote from the parents. Then there's the famous little line about a man from the motor trade; people have since said that was Terry Doran, who was a friend who worked in a car showroom, but it was just fiction, like the sea captain in "Yellow Submarine", they weren't real people."

The newspaper story McCartney mentioned was from the front page of the Daily Mirror, about a girl named Melanie Coe. Although McCartney made up most of the content, Coe, who was 17 at the time claims that he got most of it right. Her parents wondered why she had left... "She had everything she wanted". In real life, Melanie did not "meet a man from the motor trade", but instead a croupier, and left in the afternoon while her parents were at work. She was found ten days later because she had let slip where her boyfriend worked.

Coincidentally, Coe had met McCartney three years earlier when she was a contestant and prize winner on ITV's Ready Steady Go!. An update on Melanie appeared in the Daily Mail in May 2008.


[Verse 1]

Wednesday morning at five o'clock as the day begins

Silently closing her bedroom door

Leaving the note that she hoped would say more

She goes downstairs to the kitchen clutching her handkerchief

Quietly turning the backdoor key

Stepping outside she is free


She (We gave her most of our lives)

Is leaving (Sacrificed most of our lives)

Home (We gave her everything money could buy)

She's leaving home after living alone

For so many years (Bye bye)

[Verse 2]

Father snores as his wife gets into her dressing gown

Picks up the letter that's lying there

Standing alone at the top of the stairs

She breaks down and cries to her husband "Daddy our baby's gone!"

"Why would she treat us so thoughtlessly?"

"How could she do this to me?"


She (We never thought of ourselves)

Is leaving (Never a thought for ourselves)

Home (We struggled hard all our lives to get by)

She's leaving home after living alone

For so many years (Bye bye)

[Verse 3]

Friday morning at nine o'clock she is far away

Waiting to keep the appointment she made

Meeting a man from the motor trade


She (What did we do that was wrong)

Is having (We didn't know it was wrong)

Fun (Fun is the one thing that money can't buy)

Something inside that was always denied

For so many years (Bye bye)


She's leaving home

Bye bye...


  • Paul McCartney-Lead Vocals
  • John Lennon-Lead Vocals
  • Erich Gruenberg - Violin
  • Derek Jacobs - Violin
  • Trevor Williams - Violin
  • José Luis García-Violin
  • John Underwood - Viola
  • Stephen Shingles - Viola
  • Dennis Vigay-Cello
  • Alan Dalziel-Cello
  • Peter Halling-Cello
  • Gordon Pearce-Double Bass
  • Sheila Bromberg-Harp