The Beatles Left 2 Mistakes on ‘Abbey Road’ Song ‘Her Majesty’

It wasn’t supposed to be on the final version of the album, but The Beatles let two mistakes slip onto the ‘Abbey Road’ song ‘Her Majesty.’

The Beatles worked at a non-stop pace during their career. They cranked out albums between tours in their early days. Then they churned out lush, layered, and complex albums when they focused their efforts in the studio. Leaving the road impacted their music for the better. They rarely let any errors slip onto their records, but The Beatles left two mistakes on the Abbey Road song “Her Majesty.”

The Beatles left 2 minor mistakes on ‘Her Majesty’ when they moved the song to the end of ‘Abbey Road’

Most Fab Four fans (OK, probably all of them) wouldn’t mention “Her Majesty” among Abbey Road’s best songs. Perhaps the only notable things about it are that it’s one of the first “hidden” tracks to appear on a rock album and that it’s The Beatles’ shortest song.

It wasn’t supposed to appear on Abbey Road at all. The Paul McCartney song originally sat smack dab in the middle of the Side 2 medley before being removed. You can hear the two mistakes The Beatles left in the song if you listen closely.

The noisy chords and cymbal crash at the beginning of the song were actually the end of “Mean Mr. Mustard.” The single note hanging on at the end was the beginning of “Polythene Pam.”

Paul’s gentle strumming linked the two songs before he instructed engineer John Kurlander to cut “Her Majesty” from the medley. We understand why Macca wanted it removed. The tune doesn’t fit in with the vibe of the rest of the medley. It comes across as a throwaway, so Paul wanted it thrown away.

The only trouble was that EMI records employees working at Abbey Road weren’t permitted to just throw away tape at the behest of a Beatle.

Why The Beatles couldn’t get rid of ‘Her Majesty’

Paul recorded “Her Majesty” unaccompanied by any of his Beatles bandmates. It was a solo song, but he made the artistic choice to put it in the garbage can. Easier said than done.

“We were not allowed to just dispose of bits of tape. That could get you into all sorts of trouble,” Kurlander told Paul McCartney: A Life author Peter Ames Carlin. “So when everyone was gone, I just tacked ‘Her Majesty’ onto the end of the master tape. I never thought any more about it, but I only did it because I didn’t want to get into any trouble from George Martin or anybody else.’

According to Trivia Book of the Beatles, Macca liked the tacked-on feel of “Her Majesty,” mistakes and all, when he heard the first Abbey Road playback. He flip-flopped from having it in the middle of the medley to wanting it gone to embracing it as a hidden track after “The End.”

That’s how The Beatles’ shortest song found new life at the end of the final record The Beatles worked on together.

Was the song a shot at Queen Elizabeth II?

Singing about Queen Elizabeth as if she were a woman to be wooed while she was the head of the royal family could have come across as an insult. However, Paul insisted it was nothing malicious — just an irreverent tune about the monarch while she was still relatively early in her reign.

If the queen heard the song and was offended by it, she never showed it. She knighted Paul in 1997, more than 30 years after she awarded MBEs to The Beatles. Macca stood side-by-side with the queen when she officially opened the Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts in 1996, and he performed at her golden jubilee in 2012.

The Beatles left mistakes in “Her Majesty.” Some people believed Paul McCartney’s salacious song about the queen was a mistake, too. Yet if she knew of the tune, it didn’t seem to bother her as she crossed paths with Paul later in her life.

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