Songs with Earlier Histories Than the Hit Version

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Maggie May (The Beatles)

Originally recorded by The Vipers Skiffle Group (1957).
Also recorded by Judy Garland (1964), and The Beatles (1969).

From the wiki: “Banned by BBC Radio on its release because of the sexual content of the lyrics, ‘Maggie May’ (also known as ‘Maggie Mae’) is a traditional Liverpool folk song about a prostitute who robbed a ‘homeward bounder’: a sailor coming home from a round-trip. The song specifies several real streets in Liverpool, notably Lime Street in the center of the town.

“In 1964, the composer and lyricist Lionel Bart (the creator of the musical Oliver!), used the song and its backstory as the basis of a musical set around the Liverpool Docks. The show, also called Maggie May, ran for two years in London. The Bart version was regularly sung by Judy Garland, and was recorded by her on the Maggie May EP in 1964.

“A brief extract was performed by The Beatles in a joking manner during their Get Back sessions, in early 1969, at a point in the proceedings when they were warming up in the studio by playing old rock and roll and skiffle songs that they had known and played in their teenage years. They adopt heavy scouse accents for the performance.

“Though the performance was obviously tongue-in-cheek a truncated version of it was included on the 1970 album drawn from those sessions, Let It Be, appearing as the last track on the LP’s first side, immediately after the title song.”

Judy Garland, “Maggie May” (1964):

The Beatles, “Maggie Mae” complete recording (1969):

The Beatles, “Maggie Mae” from Let It Be (1969):

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