- Read the lyrics.
- Listen to the song, while reading the lyrics again.
- Read the lyrics aloud, alone or in pairs.
- Speaking: Look at the lyrics. Ask and / or answer the following questions.
Work alone or with a partner. Don’t write anything down.
- Listen to the song again.
- When does the girl leave home?
- How does she close the bedroom door?
- Why does she leave a note?
- Where does she go?
- What is she clutching?
- How is she turning the backdoor key?
- When is she free?
- Are the parents happy about the way they raised her? give 3 reasons.
- So how can she say she's been living alone for so many years?
- What does father do?
- What does mother get into?
- What does she pick up?
- Where is she standing?
- What is her reaction?
- What does she say to Daddy?
- Which two things does she now say about their daughter?
- Which three things do the parents now say about themselves?
- When is the girl far away?
- What is she waiting for?
- What kind of man is she meeting?
- Did the parents realize they did something wrong?
- What is said about fun here?
- What was always denied?
Grammar: Present Continuous Tense - 1 She is meeting a man from the motor trade.
Reading: The real story
- How did Paul know about the girl?
- What did he do with this information?
- Had he met this girl?
- What was masking the real story in Melanie's life?
- What was denied in Melanie's life?
- What did Melanie do when she saw the newspaper article?
- When and why was she discovered?
- What is Melanie's regret?
“A-level girl dumps car and vanishes. The Father of 17-year-old Melanie Coe, the schoolgirl who seemed to have everything, spent yesterday searching for her in London and Brighton.” This was the headline to appear as the cover story in the February 27, 1967 copy of London’s Daily Mail newspaper. Paul McCartney picked it up, and with only the story in the newspaper to go on, created a very moving song about a girl who runs away from her claustrophobically respectable home in search of love and attention.
Unbeknown to Paul, he had actually met Melanie Coe just three years before when she had won a mime competition awarded by the hit television show Ready Steady Go!. On Friday October 4, 1963, Melanie went up to receive the award given by none other than Paul McCartney as, by coincidence, it happened to be the first time the Beatles had appeared on the show.
Melanie then became a regular dancer – often appearing in camera shot merrily supporting the artist of the day. However, this was only masking the real story in Melanie’s life – who had experienced difficulties with her parents from a young age – and decided in February 1967 that she’d had enough.
“When I went out, I could be me. In fact, in the clubs I was encouraged to be myself and have a good time,” Melanie later confessed, recalling the memories of her parents scouring the bars and clubs for her from the age of 13. If they found her she would be hit. “When the song says ‘something was denied’, that was me. I wasn’t allowed to be me. I was looking for excitement and affection. My Mother wasn’t affectionate at all. She never kissed me.”
Melanie took the step to remove herself from the family home to rent a flat with David, a croupier she had met in a club, in Sussex Gardens near Paddington Station. The day the newspaper came out, Melanie saw her photo and “immediately went back to the flat to put on dark glasses and a hat,” she said. “From then on, I lived in terror that they’d find me. They did discover me after about ten days, because I think I’d let it slip where my boyfriend worked. They talked to his boss who persuaded me to call them up. When they eventually called to see me, they bundled me into the back of their car and drove me home.”
Melanie married at 18 to escape her parents and moved herself to America to live in an ashram. She is now known to live in Spain with her two children and a partner, although she still harbors some regret. “It was nice to be immortalized in a song but it would have been nicer if it had been for doing something other than running away from home.”
Wednesday morning at five o'clock
As the day begins
Silently closing her bedroom door
Leaving the note that she hoped would say more
She goes downstairs to the kitchen
Clutching her handkerchief
Quietly turning the backdoor key
Stepping outside, she is free
She(we gave her most of our lives)
Is leaving (sacrificed most of our lives)
Home (we gave her everything money could buy)
She's leaving home, after living alone, for so many years (bye bye)
Father snores as his wife gets into her dressing gown
Picks up the letter that's lying there
Standing alone at the top of the stairs
She breaks down and cries to her husband
"Daddy, our baby's gone.
"Why would she treat us so thoughtlessly?
How could she do this to me?"
She (we never thought of ourselves)
Is leaving (never a thought for ourselves)
Home (we struggled hard all our lives to get by)
She's leaving home, after living alone, for so many years
Friday morning, at nine o'clock
She is far away
Waiting to keep the appointment she made
Meeting a man from the Motortrade
She (what did we do that was wrong)
Is Having (we didn't know it was wrong)
Fun (fun is the one thing that money can't buy)
Something inside, that was always denied, for so many years
She's leaving home, bye, bye