Rod Stewart – Maggie May

Rod Stewart – Maggie May

‘Maggie May’ is a song co-written by singer Rod Stewart and Martin Quittenton, and performed by Rod Stewart on his album Every Picture Tells a Story, released in 1971. The song was released as the B-side of the single ‘Reason to Believe’, but soon radio stations began playing the B-side and ‘Maggie May’ became the more popular side. The song was Stewart's first substantial hit as a solo performer and launched his solo career. It remains one of his best-known songs. A 1971 performance of the song on Top of the Pops saw the Faces joined onstage by DJ John Peel, who pretended to play the mandolin. The mandolin player on the actual recording was Ray Jackson of Lindisfarne.

In October 1971, the song went to number one on the UK Singles Chart (for five weeks), and simultaneously topped the charts in Australia (four weeks), Canada (one week), and the United States (five weeks). It was the No. 2 record for 1971 on both the US Billboard Hot 100 and UK singles charts. The song re-entered the UK chart in December 1976, but only reached number 31.+

The song was inspired by the woman who deflowered Stewart when he was 16. In the January 2007 issue of Q magazine, Stewart said: "'Maggie May' was more or less a true story, about the first woman I had sex with, at the Beaulieu Jazz Festival." The name ‘Maggie May’ does not appear in the song; Rod borrowed the title from ‘Maggie Mae,’ a Liverpool folk song about a Lime Street prostitute that the Beatles included on their Let It Be album.

The original recording has appeared on almost all of Rod Stewart's compilations, and even appeared on the Ronnie Wood retrospective Ronnie Wood Anthology: The Essential Crossexion. A version by the Faces recorded for BBC Radio appeared on the four-disc box set Five Guys Walk into a Bar.... A live version recorded in 1993 by Stewart joined by Wood for a session of MTV Unplugged is included on the album Unplugged...and Seated. The album version of "Maggie May" incorporates a 30-second solo guitar intro, "Henry", composed by Martin Quittenton.

Rod Stewart

In a 2015 interview, Stewart said, “At first, I didn't think much of ‘Maggie May.’ I guess that's because the record company didn't believe in the song. I didn't have much confidence then. I figured it was best to listen to the guys who knew better. What I learned is sometimes they do and sometimes they don't.”

In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked the song number 130 on its list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. In 2017, the 1971 release of "Maggie May" by Rod Stewart on Mercury Records was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Label – Mercury
Songwriters – Rod Stewart, Martin Quittenton
Producer – Rod Stewart

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[Verse 1]
Wake up Maggie
I think I got somethin' to say to you
It's late September and I really should be back at school
I know I keep you amused
But I feel I'm being used
Oh Maggie, I couldn't have tried anymore
You led me away from home
Just to save you from being alone
You stole my heart and that's what really hurts
[Verse 2]
The morning sun when it's in your face
Really shows your age
But that don't worry me none, in my eyes you're everything
I laughed at all of your jokes
My love you didn't need to coax
Oh Maggie, I couldn't have tried anymore
You led me away from home
Just to save you from being alone
You stole my soul and that's a pain I can do without
[Verse 3]
All I needed was a friend to lend, a guiding hand
But you turned into a lover
And mother what a lover, you wore me out
All you did was wreck my bed
And in the morning kick me in the head
Oh Maggie, I couldn't have tried anymore
You led me away from home
'Cause you didn't want to be alone
You stole my heart, I couldn't leave you if I tried
[Guitar Solo]
[Verse 4]
I suppose I could collect my books and get on back to school
Or steal my daddy's cue and make a living out of playing pool
[Chorus 4]
Or find myself a rock and roll band
That needs a helpin' hand
Oh Maggie, I wished I'd never seen your face
You made a first-class fool out of me
But I'm as blind as a fool can be
You stole my heart, but I love you anyway
[Instrumental Interlude]
Maggie, I wished I'd never seen your face
I'll get on back home, one of these days
Ooh, ooh, ooh
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