Beatles – Martha My Dear

Martha My Dear is a song off of the White Album. It has one of my favorite McCartney piano melodies. The song is not a great Beatle song nor even close to the best on the album but it’s a likable song.

Martha was Paul’s English Sheepdog that he got in 1966. You can see her in some Beatles pictures through the late sixties. Martha lived a long life and passed away in 1981 at the age of 15.

In 1993 Paul released the Paul is Live album with his dog Arrow, granddaughter of Martha on the cover.

Image result for paul is live cover

Paul talks about Martha

‘You silly girl, look what you’ve done,’ all that sort of stuff. These songs grow. Whereas it would appear to anybody else to be a song to a girl called Martha, it’s actually a dog, and our relationship was platonic, believe me.”

She was a dear pet of mine. I remember John being amazed to see me being so loving to an animal. He said, ‘I’ve never seen you like that before.’ I’ve since thought, you know, he wouldn’t have. It’s only when you’re cuddling around with a dog that you’re in that mode, and she was a very cuddly dog.

Martha was my first pet ever. I never had a dog or a cat at home. My parents both went out to work, which was why we couldn’t have any, even when one terrible day they were giving away free puppies! Just a hundred yards away from where we lived. We came screaming home, my brother and I, ‘They’re giving ’em away! We can get one if you tell us now, we can go and get one, we’ve chosen the one we want!’ They said, ‘You can’t have one, son. Me and your mum go out to work and it wouldn’t be fair on a dog.’ ‘We’ll look after it, we’ll do it.’ ‘You’re at school.’ ‘Well, we’ll come back at lunchtime. Surely?’ ‘No, no, no.’ Crying, crying, crying. We just couldn’t understand not buying one because we weren’t that well off, but passing up a freebie puppy! He was quite firm about stuff like that and I suppose he was right.

Image result for the beatles and martha dog

From Songfacts

Fourteen session musicians were used to play strings and horns.

Lennon played guitar on this while Harrison supplied bass.

One of Martha’s offspring can the seen on the cover of McCartney’s 1993 album Paul Is Live.

Seth Swirsky, who wrote the songs “Tell It To My Heart” and “Love Is a Beautiful Thing,” produced the Beatles documentary Beatles Stories, where he interviewed over 100 people who crossed paths with the Fab 4. When we asked Seth who his favorite songwriter was, he replied: “My favorite of all time is Paul McCartney. He could do so many things, and he could do things that are hard to quantify. Some people might say, ‘Well, I like Hall and Oates as songwriters,’ let’s just say. But they do that 8th note thing where they’re just banging on the piano, like ‘Kiss On My List,’ so you could kind of copy their sound a little bit, or copy their style of writing. Very hard to copy McCartney, because you just don’t come out with ‘Martha My Dear,’ where it changes keys in the middle of it.”

A young Stuart Goddard, whose mother used to clean Paul McCartney’s apartment in St. John’s Wood, would sometimes take the sheepdog Martha for walks. Goddard would grow up to be Adam Ant.

Martha My Dear

Martha, my dear
Though I spend my days in conversation, please
Remember me
Martha, my love
Don’t forget me
Martha, my dear

Hold your head up, you silly girl
Look what you’ve done
When you find yourself in the thick of it
Help yourself to a bit of what is all around you
Silly girl

Take a good look around you
Take a good look you’re bound to see
That you and me were meant to be
With each other
Silly girl

Hold you’re hand out, you silly girl
See what you’ve done
When you find yourself in the thick of it
Help yourself to a bit of what is all around you
Silly girl

Martha, my dear
You have always been my inspiration
Please, be good to me
Martha, my love
Don’t forget me
Martha, my dear.


Author: Badfinger (Max)

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

13 thoughts on “Beatles – Martha My Dear”

    1. It’s a hard piano part…took him a while to master it. Can’t believe he had the dog until 81 and then it’s grandchildren


    1. That is cool about the Adam Ant connection. I had no clue.

      When I get back to my laptop and off my phone I will be at your blog…. I love Grey Garden and the two Edie’s…I hat commenting on a phone

      Liked by 1 person

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