Paul McCartney found inspiration for songwriting from a variety of sources. He often wrote songs for either himself or the Beatles based on events in his personal life or current affairs stories. The Beatles’ “She’s Leaving Home” was written by Paul McCartney after reading a newspaper article about a girl who ran away from home.
In 1967 McCartney saw a headline in the Daily Mail that read “A-Level Girl Dumps Car and Vanishes”. The article was about a 17-year-old girl named Melanie Coe who left her cozy and cozy home. Her parents believed she had been kidnapped as they could not understand why she was running away.
“I can’t see why she would run away,” Coe’s father said in the article. “She has everything here”
In a 2008 interview with The Guardian, Coe addressed the article and said she left home because of a complicated relationship with her parents.
“I think my dad was calling the papers — my picture was on the front page,” Coe said. “He claimed I must have been kidnapped because why should I go? They gave me everything – coats, cars. But no love.”
She’s Leaving Home was released in 1967 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Paul McCartney wrote and sang the verses for the Beatles song, while John Lennon wrote the chorus, which they sang together. The influence for the song came after McCartney read Coe’s story in the Daily Mail.
However, McCartney didn’t know exactly why she left home. So he used the article to come up with a backstory that would lead to an intriguing song. in the 1000 #1 hits in the UK by Jon Kutner and Spencer Leigh (shared via Americansongwriter.com), the singer discussed how he used the article for inspiration.
“We saw that story and it was my inspiration,” McCartney explained. “There were a lot of them back then, and that was enough to give us the plot. So I started getting the lyrics: She slips out and leaves a note and the parents wake up, it was quite poignant.
Funnily enough, Coe had met the Beatles when she was 13 while filming a TV show. On your marks, get set, go. When “She’s Leaving Home” first debuted, Coe didn’t know the song was about her. Realizing it, the song became a source of sadness for her as it reminded her of the broken relationship with her parents that was never repaired.
“I didn’t realize for a long time that the song was about me,” Coe told The Guardian. “Years later, Paul spoke on a show about seeing a newspaper article and being inspired by it. My mom put it all together and called me to say, ‘This song is about you!’”
“I can’t listen to the song. It’s just too sad for me,” Coe added. “My parents died a long time ago and we never had a solution. That line “She’s leaving home after living alone for so many years” is so weird to me because that’s why I left. I was so alone How did Paul know these were the feelings that drove me to one night stands with rock stars? I don’t think he could possibly have realized that he met me when I was 13 On your marks, get set, go!but when he saw the picture, it just clicked.”
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