Beatles – Polythene Pam

This song is on the B side of Abbey Road in the medley right after Mean Mr. Mustard.The song was brought up and recorded on a demo for the White Album. John then brought it up for inclusion on Let It Be. After that he made the statement that he would give it to a “Liverpool Folk Singer.”

John contributed  Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard, and Polythene Pam to the medley.

The song was about two people… Pat Hodgett, who was a regular attendee at the Cavern Club when The Beatles played in the early 60’s. It was readily known that Pat was in the habit of eating polythene… The Beatles affectionately referred to her as “Polythene Pat”

John remembering the second girl: So this poet took me to his place, and I had a girl and he had one he wanted me to meet. He said she dressed up in polythene, which she did. In polythene bags. She didn’t wear jackboots and kilts – I just sort of elaborated – and no, she didn’t really look like a man. There was nothing much to it. It was kind of perverted sex in a polythene bag. But it provided something to write a song about.”

The poet’s name was Royston Ellis… The girl in the polythene bag could have been Royston’s girlfriend at the time…remembered as Stephanie.

Paul McCartney: “John, being Royston’s friend, went out to dinner with him and got pissed (drunk) and stuff and they ended up back at his apartment with a girl who dressed herself in polythene for John’s amusement, so it was a little kinky scene…She was a real character.”

From Songfacts

Polythene is a British term for polyethylene, a plastic polymer used in containers, insulation, and packaging. Written by John Lennon, this song has a rather strange background, and fortunately, our Beatles expert Pattie Noah has sorted it out.

Lennon sang this in a thick Liverpool accent. Like the other Beatles, his regular singing voice sounded very American because he grew up listening to US artists.

In the line, “She’s the kind of a girl that makes the News Of The World,” The News Of The World is a tabloid newspaper that specializes in risqué news reporting. Pam must have been a wild girl. 

The Beatles recorded this as one song with “She Came In Through the Bathroom Window.”

Originally intended for The White Album, this was used in a suite of songs at the end of Abbey Road.

Polythene Pam

Well, you should see Polythene Pam
She’s so good-looking but she looks like a man
Well, you should see her in drag dressed in her polythene bag
Yes, you should see Polythene Pam
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Get a dose of her in jackboots and kilt
She’s killer-diller when she’s dressed to the hilt
She’s the kind of a girl that makes the “News of the World”
Yes, you could say she was attractively built
Yeah, yeah, yeah

Author: badfinger20 (Max)

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

12 thoughts on “Beatles – Polythene Pam”

    1. Yea it’s part of the big medley…I probably should have just did the whole medley but 8 songs hooked together it would have been too much.

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      1. All will be revealed! But right at the end of the day I played a guitar I shouldn’t have and now I have to decide whether to pony up the cash. It’s like twice the price of a nice gretsch 6119 I was about to buy and that wasn’t exactly cheap either lol

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      2. Man if you can…get what you want or you will always wonder what if…Of course…you could be going home alone if you do…. lol.

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      3. Ah yes… I never knew which was worse…comment or days of no comment. Either one gets the point across. Good luck dude…I’m looking forward to finding out which one you picked.

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