Sexy Sadie

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For other uses, see Sexy Sadie (disambiguation).
"Sexy Sadie"
Song by the Beatles from the album The Beatles
Released 22 November 1968
Recorded 19 and 24 July 13 and 21 August 1968, EMI Studios, London
Genre Rock
Length 3:15
Label Apple Records
Writer Lennon–McCartney
Producer George Martin
The Beatles track listing

"Sexy Sadie" is a song by the Beatles, written by John Lennon in India and credited to Lennon–McCartney.

Composition[edit]

Main article: The Beatles in India

Lennon originally wanted to title the song "Maharishi",[1] but changed the title to "Sexy Sadie" at George Harrison's request. Lennon was disillusioned after Maharishi Mahesh Yogi had allegedly made a sexual advance towards Mia Farrow[2] attending the course the Maharishi was teaching at his ashram. (Harrison, Paul McCartney, and Cynthia Lennon later said that they thought the story, which had come from Alexis Mardas, had been fabricated.[3][4][5][6][7]) Lennon once said of the song: "That was inspired by Maharishi. I wrote it when we had our bags packed and were leaving. It was the last piece I wrote before I left India. I just called him, 'Sexy Sadie,' instead of (sings) 'Maharishi what have you done, you made a fool...' I was just using the situation to write a song, rather calculatingly but also to express what I felt. I was leaving the Maharishi with a bad taste. You know, it seems that my partings are always not as nice as I'd like them to be."[8] He told Rolling Stone that when the Maharishi asked why he was leaving, he replied, "Well, if you're so cosmic, you'll know why."[9]

After returning from India, Lennon scratched the lyrics into a piece of wood, with the original title "Maharishi". The recorded version changed only after Harrison insisted that if the song were used he wanted the name changed and persuaded Lennon to change the title to "Sexy Sadie". Harrison recounts the event in the director's cut of the Anthology film. Derek Taylor remembered Lennon's fiddling about scratching the wood in the Apple offices. The wood ended up in the possession of Maureen Starkey and was ultimately sold to a Beatles collector.[citation needed]

According to Mark Lewisohn's The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, an early outtake of "Sexy Sadie" features Lennon demonstrating the song's original working lyrics to the rest of the band: "Maharishi, you little twat/Who the fuck do you think you are?/Who the fuck do you think you are?/Oh, you cunt."

The song's instrumental fade-out was originally longer and featured a breakdown based around the middle eight. This was edited out prior to mixing.

In a 1969 interview, Lennon stated one of his favourite songs was "I've Been Good To You" by Smokey Robinson and the Miracles.[citation needed] The Miracles song begins with the line Look what you've done / You made a fool out of someone, compared to Sexy Sadie's What have you done? / You made a fool of everyone.[citation needed]

Influence[edit]

Cover versions[edit]

When Mojo released The White Album Recovered in 2008, part of a continuing series of CDs of Beatles albums covered track-by-track by modern artists, the track was covered by Rachel Unthank and the Winterset. The disc also featured a bonus track of the same song performed by Paul Weller.[11]

Personnel[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Harry, Bill (1985). The Book of Beatle Lists. Javelin. ISBN 0-7137-1521-9. 
  2. ^ Wenner, Jann (2000) [1971]. Lennon Remembers. Verso, W.W. Norton & Co. p. 27. ISBN 1-85984-376-X. "Yeah, there was a big hullabaloo about him trying to rape Mia Farrow or trying to get off with Mia Farrow and a few other women, things like that." 
  3. ^ Brown, Peter; Gaines, Steven (2002). The Love You Make: An Insider's Story of The Beatles. New York: New American Library. p. 264. ISBN 0-451-20735-1. 
  4. ^ Spitz, Bob (2005). The Beatles: The Biography. Boston: Little, Brown. pp. 755–757. ISBN 0-316-80352-9. 
  5. ^ Lennon, Cynthia (1978). A Twist of Lennon. Avon. pp. 174–176. 
  6. ^ The Beatles (2000). The Beatles Anthology. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. pp. 285–286. ISBN 0-8118-2684-8. 
  7. ^ Miles, Barry (1997). Paul McCartney: Many Years From Now. New York: Henry Holt and Company. p. 429. ISBN 0-8050-5249-6. 
  8. ^ Sheff, David (2000). All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Macmillan. p. 191. ISBN 0-312-25464-4. 
  9. ^ "93 – 'Sexy Sadie'". 100 Greatest Beatles Songs. Rolling Stone. 
  10. ^ Webb, Robert (15 September 2006). "Story of the Song: 'Karma Police' Radiohead (1997)". The Independent. Accessed on 15 October 2008.
  11. ^ http://www.mojocovercds.com/cd/306

External links[edit]