Mean Mr. Mustard

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"Mean Mr. Mustard"
Song by The Beatles
from the album Abbey Road
Released26 September 1969
Recorded24–29 July 1969
Abbey Road Studios
GenreRock
Length1:06
LabelApple
Songwriter(s)Lennon/McCartney
Producer(s)George Martin
Abbey Road track listing

"Mean Mr. Mustard" is a song written by John Lennon[1] (credited to Lennon/McCartney) and performed by The Beatles on their album, Abbey Road. The Abbey Road version was recorded with "Sun King" in one continuous piece.[1]

Composition[change | change source]

Written in India, Lennon said that the song was inspired by a newspaper story about a miser who hid his cash wherever he could so he can stop people from making him spend it. On reflection, he didn't think highly of the composition, describing it in Anthology as "a bit of crap I wrote in India."[2]

A demo version of the song was recorded in May 1968 at Kinfauns, George Harrison's home in Esher, and appears on Anthology 3.[3] In that version, Mustard's sister is named Shirley.[4] Lennon changed it to Pam when he saw the ochance to ease the segue into the song "Polythene Pam", which is after "Mean Mr. Mustard" on the album. According to Lennon, "In 'Mean Mr. Mustard', I said 'his sister Pam'—originally it was 'his sister Shirley' in the lyric. I changed it to Pam to make it sound like it had something to do with it."[4] Additionally, the original version of the song was a quieter acoustic rendition and was over 4 minutes in length.

Other versions[change | change source]

The version in the Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band film was performed by Mean Mr. Mustard (played by Frankie Howerd) and his evil robot companions named the Computerettes. As with the performance of "She's Leaving Home" also in the film, the computerized singing of the Computerettes was performed by the Bee Gees.

Personnel[change | change source]

Notes[change | change source]

  1. 1.0 1.1 Lewisohn 1988, p. 182.
  2. Turner 2005, p. 195.
  3. Lewisohn 1996, p. 7.
  4. 4.0 4.1 The Beatles 2000, p. 337.

Other websites[change | change source]

  • The Beatles (2000). The Beatles Anthology. San Francisco: Chronicle Books. ISBN 0-8118-2684-8.
  • Lewisohn, Mark (1988). The Beatles Recording Sessions. New York: Harmony Books. ISBN 0-517-57066-1.
  • Lewisohn, Mark (1996). Album notes for Anthology 3 by The Beatles [booklet]. London: Apple Records (34451).
  • Turner, Steve (2005). A Hard Day's Write: The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song (3rd ed.). New York: Harper Paperbacks. ISBN 0-06-084409-4.