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165 – She Came In Through The Bathroom Window – Sherry Vine

 
Original Version recorded July 25-30 1969
Ukulele version recorded January 17 2012
 
Sherry Vine : Vocals
David Barratt: Ukulele and everything else
 
Produced by David Barratt at The Abattoir Of Good Taste
Mixed at The Abattoir Mobile, Courtyard Hotel, Kathmandu, Nepal
 
Written by Paul McCartney
Credited to Lennon & McCartney
 
Essay Geoff Micks 
http://faceintheblue.wordpress.com
 
ABOUT THE SONG
 
Speaking in broad terms, each of the Fab Four composed their contributions to the discography from very different mindsets: Ringo sang the songs he wanted to hear that no one else wanted to sing; George wrote what he wanted to say while circumventing the way normal people speak; John wrote about his own personal experiences such that truth was stranger than fiction, and Paul wrote about fictional people acting out universal truths. 
 
There are exceptions, of course: Ringo’s Octopus’s Garden was ‘out there’ enough to prompt George Harrison to enthuse, "I suppose Ringo is writing cosmic songs these days without even realizing it." For his part, philosophical George wrote Something as a straightforward ballad that became his first A-side single; John’s Mr. Kite wasn’t really his own story so much as an interesting piece of wall art that inspired him to a flight of imaginative fancy, and one of Paul’s best wanderings from the rule of his fictional storytelling is She Came In Through the Bathroom Window. Regardless of the McCartney/Lennon credit, this is definitely Paul’s song, but there’s very much something of Ringo and George and John in the way he wrote it. 
 
She Came In Through the Bathroom Window appears smack dab in the middle of that wonderful medley on the B-side of Abbey Road where The Beatles threw half a dozen partially finished songs together in a muddled heap of genius and despair. The torturous experience recording The White Album and Let It Be left them with no illusions that their collaborations were at an end, and the resulting medley –You Never GIve Me Your Money, Sun King, Mean Mr. Mustard, Polythene Pam, She Came In Through the Bathroom Window, Golden Slumbers, Carry the Weight, and The End– is where they agreed to pool the left-overs and make them work as best they could. It is a tribute to all of their talents that it fits together as well as it does. If Handel, Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach ever collaborated, one can only imagine it would echo through the ages the way Abbey Road’s melody will.
 
Other essays have and will walk through the stories and motivations of the rest of the medley, but She Came In Through the Bathroom Window should take pride of place in that esteemed collection: This is Paul singing something Ringo wanted to hear in the way George might say it, and it really happened just as John preferred, even though Paul takes two steps back to make it someone else’s story. 
 
The most likely background for the song is based on an incident where a group of dedicated fans known as the Apple Scruffs took things a little too far, and a woman –either Jessica Samuels or Diane Ashley– leaned a ladder up against the side of Paul’s house when he wasn’t home and crawled inside through an open upstairs bathroom window. She stole a pair of trousers (which her friends took turns wearing) and a number of photos, one of which was eventually returned upon Paul’s request.
 
To muddy the waters a little bit, a similar incident happened to Ray Thomas of The Moody Blues, and there is a strong possibility that Paul merged the two stories together when composing the song. John Lennon cast even further doubt on the true story in his 1980 Playboy interview by claiming Paul wrote the song when he first met Linda Eastman, suggesting that she must have come in through a window at some point in their courtship. Paul added at least some credence to that possibility by admitting the line about quitting the police department was inspired by a New York cabbie who took him to JFK to catch a flight home to see Linda.
 
Whatever the true source material, Paul’s gift for storytelling took over, and so we have the following lyrics –with my hypothetical Paul thought process in italicized parentheses:
 
She came in through the bathroom window     
(The Apple Scruffs broke into my house?!)
Protected by a silver spoon             
(They aren’t criminals, per se,,.)
But now she sucks her thumb and wanders    
(She’s just a mixed up kid, I guess.)
By the banks of her own lagoon            
(Wait! I can tie this into Ringo’s Octopus’s Garden with an odd word that rhymes with spoon!)
 
Didn’t anybody tell her?                
(Did she really think she’d get away with it?)
Didn’t anybody see?                
(No one was going to notice a groupie breaking into my house?)
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday,        
(How would George express the fact that I have neighbours?)
Tuesday’s on the phone to me            
(Surely this is how George would point out I’d hear about it eventually…)
 
She said she’d always been a dancer        
(How would John say the crazy ones always have a story?)
She worked at fifteen clubs a day        
(I don’t believe a word of it, myself.)
And though she thought I knew the answer    
(She thinks I’m going to offer meaning to her life?)
Well I knew but I could not say.            
(I’m not going to tell her she’s wrong, but she’s wrong. No sense upsetting crazy.)
 
And so I quit the police department        
(How do I finish this song? Hey, my cabbie is ex-NYPD. I can work with that…)
And got myself a steady job            
(The common man will forgive me for having groupies if I’m a working stiff in the last verse.)
And though she tried her best to help me        
(She didn’t really mean me any harm. She loves me, in her way.)
She could steal but she could not rob.        
(Yes, she broke into my house, but there wasn’t any malice to it.)
 
Didn’t anybody tell her?                
(She really doesn’t understand she crossed a line.)
Didn’t anybody see?                
(Somebody should have talked her out of it.)
Sunday’s on the phone to Monday,        
(We live in very different worlds.)
Tuesday’s on the phone to me            
(But I do hear about her transgressions eventually.)
Oh yeah.                    
(Time for the next song in the Medley!)
 
ABOUT THE ARTIST:
 
Sherry Vine was born in The Amish country.  On her 16th birthday she discovered she was adopted and actually Jewish.  Running away from home and she became a "show girl" in Las Vegas before relocating to NYC where she has established herself as one of the leading ladies performing her all live singing and comedy show internationally on stage, TV and film. Miss Vine lived in Berlin from 2001 till 2005 and is now happy to be back home in Manhattan.
 
Sherry has starred in the smash theatrical productions of The Bad Weed ’73 (in NYC, LA and Provincetown),e.s.p. – Eyes of a Supermodel Psychic (" the underground hit of the season" – NY Times), The Final Feast of Lucrezia Borgia ("Move over gals, NYC has a serious stage diva in Sherry Vine" – Paper Magazine), her one-woman/ten character hit Kitty Killer,  the completely sold out mega-hit Charlie!, the off-Broadway transfer of Tell-Tale at the Cherry Lane Theatre ("Almost impossible not to have a good time" – NY Times), Doll ("One of downtown’s most innovative and eye-popping Theatre Companies!" – Encore) and most recently in the wildly successful sold out adaptation of Stephen King’s Carrie. All shows were produced by Theatre Couture, of which Sherry is co-Artistic Director with Joshua Rosenzweig and Erik Jackson.
 
Sherry can be seen in the films Charlie, Francesca Page, Wigstock, Stonewall, Scream,Teen,Scream ("the best comedic performance of the year" – LA Weekly),The RuPaul Christmas Special, Mutti The Movie, Raspberry Reich, The Charmed Life, Squeezebox The Movie and Mr. & Mrs. Porebski (co written with Marec Porebski).
 
In 1999, Sherry teamed up with the legendary Joey Arias to create StarLust, a spectacular cabaret that premiered in Berlin and then played in Manchester, Sydney, LA, NYC, Las Vegas, Budapest, Vienna and all over Germany.
In 2002, they were invited to premiere their new extravaganza, SINsation, in Sydney for The Mardi Gras Festival and then took the show to Berlin. Since then SINsation has been seen in Helsinki, Estonia, LA, Boston, San Francisco, Miami, Alaska, Seattle and Montreal. They ended their trilogy with The Greatest Hits in Berlin. Sherry premiered her first solo-cabaret show, The Way of Love, at B.K.A. Theatre in Berlin in 2003 and followed this with Funkalicious Fantasy at Big Eden.
 
Sherry was voted Entertainer of the Year by her peers and honored with the first Glammy Award. She was also HX Drag Queen of the Year, 2007.

 

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