The Beatles, She’s Leaving Home and “She’s Coming Back!”

A short interlude to my themed week of writing about songs by those Scottish bands that were so prolific in the late ’80s.

I had been meaning to write about the song She’s Leaving Home by The Beatles at some point anyway, but today seems to be the appropriate day. All through my daughter’s teenage years, I couldn’t bear to listen to it as I knew that the day would come when she would fly the nest and I just didn’t want to contemplate the concept yet. Would I be able to cope or would I crumble?

She’s Leaving Home by The Beatles:

As it turned out she didn’t fly the nest at the appointed hour, as many of her friends did, but entered into that period of limbo called the “gap year”. The gap year can be a bit vague but it does involve suddenly having no routine to your day, taking your benevolent parents for granted and becoming the source of much door-banging. When the time came for her to eventually leave home, it was a source of great jubilation all round as we had all pretty much had enough of each other. The song that I thought would cause so much distress come the hour, caused absolutely none!

The song She’s Leaving Home was of course from The Beatles “Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band” album, which often tops polls of Best Albums Ever Made. There is absolutely nothing I can add to all that has already been written about Sgt Pepper other than I was just a bit too young for it when it came out, so only really got to know the various songs when I was a bit older. Even then, I preferred the red greatest hits album to the blue one when they came out in 1973, mainly because those earlier very simple pop songs suited someone still not a teenager. Also I had become familiar with their films A Hard Days Night and Help which were shown regularly on television.

But back to the song mentioned above, as is wont to happen nowadays our adult children tend to return home to live quite frequently, and that is what happened to us this weekend. The modus of her earlier departure was not quite as per the song (we ended up paying her rent) but there was a note involved, so all a bit traumatic at the time. Anyway a couple of years down the line and we have a very mature young woman back to live with us who has very quickly learnt the lessons that many of her peer group still have to learn – a) it takes a heck of a lot of money just to tick over nowadays so best to buckle down and gain the qualifications, skills and experience needed to earn a decent salary and b) it may seem that your parents “nag” rather a lot in your teenage years but they truly do have your best interests at heart.

Sadly the days of leaving school or University, getting a decent job and buying a house are now beyond the realms of possibility for most young people. The reasons for that of course would lead me down a totally different thread and one I just don’t want to get into, so for now, I am going to enjoy having my adult daughter around a lot more and I have a feeling she will try to educate me on “what the young people are listening to nowadays”, so interesting times for the blog. Welcome back darling daughter (but please keep your room tidy and let us know if you’re going to be back late!).

shes leaving home.jpg

She’s Leaving Home Lyrics
(Song by John Lennon/Paul McCartney)

Wednesday morning at five o’clock as the day begins
Silently closing her bedroom door
Leaving the note that she hope 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

Father snores as his wife gets into the 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 gave her everything money could buy)
She’s leaving home after living alone for so many years. Bye, bye

Friday morning at nine o’clock she is far away
Waiting to keep the appointment she made
Meeting a man from a 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
She’s leaving home, bye, bye.

Author: Alyson

Whenever I hear an old song on the radio, I am immediately transported back to those days - I know I'm not alone here and want to record those memories for myself and for the people in them. 50 years ago the song "Alfie" was recorded for the film of the same name and I'm hoping that by writing this blog, I might finally work out the answer to his question, "What's it all about?"

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