Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Putting on the Dog

And now, another surprise from the MOJO 40th Anniversary of the White Album issue (September 2008):

MARTHA MY DEAR

It's a Paul thing. And a humour-filled one, right from the pawn shop piano start and on through a build-up punctuated by farting tuba where some of Britain's premier jazzers impersonated a brass band and cellos, violas and violins pile in to add substance to Macca's lightweight but attractive melody line. There are those who reckon Paul's sometimes vaudevillian creation was inspired by a chunk of a Von Flotow opera that tenor Mario Lanza boosted in at least three MGM musicals. Then there's the Crufts crowd, peddling a belief that the song was prompted by McCartney's affection for Martha, his old English sheepdog. Not that the lyrics lend any weight to that particular idea. More substance can be given to the theory that Paul had his break-up with Jane Asher in mind while piercing together such lines as "You have always been my inspiration" and "Be good to me -- don't forget me." Certainly it was a personal offering with -- despite the Lennon/McCartney credit -- no other Beatle involvement, although George Martin aided and abetted with those brass and string arrangements.

All in all, a bit of tuneful fun -- one that suited (Ambrose)Slade when they covered the song on their debut album just a few months later. -- Fred Dellar




I don't know about you guys, but I had no idea Slade had done this, or that they were ever so utterly twee, as the Brits say. Skinheads with violins? Only in the 60s...

5 comments:

Gummo said...

I dunno, I always thought the lyrics were plainly about his dog:

Hold your hand out, you silly girl,
See what you've done

I mean, do you usually take your ex-girlfriend's hand when she's shit on the rug?

Anonymous said...

The Slade version's pretty awful!

ROT(Plumber)

TMink said...

It is pretty awful, but I recognize their lead singer even without multicolored mirrors on his hobnail boots.

Tret

TMink said...

Wow, I was so excited about being given tickets to the Boss show tonight that I did not spell my name right!

Trey

Anonymous said...

you sure it's not dexy's midnight runners?