“Her Majesty” is a short song by The Beatles on their “Abbey Road” album from 1969. Indeed, at only 23 seconds it is The Beatles’ shortest song. It is also a “hidden track”.
Recorded: 2nd July, 1969
Genre: Music hall, folk
Track Duration: 0:23
Record Label: Apple Records
Producer: George Martin
Engineer: Phil McDonald
Paul McCartney: lead vocals, acoustic guitar
Written by Paul McCartney, “Her Majesty” was going to be part of the long medley on side 2 of “Abbey Road” but there was a change of plan. The intention was to have this short track between “Mean Mr Mustard” and “Polythene Pam” however, McCartney went off the song.
We did all the remixes and crossfades to overlap the songs, Paul was there, and we heard it together for the first time. He said, ‘I don’t like Her Majesty, throw it away,’ so I cut it out – but I accidentally left in the last note. He said, ‘It’s only a rough mix, it doesn’t matter…’ I said to Paul, ‘What shall I do with it?’ ‘Throw it away,’ he replied.
I’d been told never to throw anything away, so after he left I picked it up off the floor, put about 20 seconds of red leader tape before it and stuck it onto the end of the edit tape.
John Kurlander, engineer
The Complete Beatles Recording Sessions, Mark Lewisohn
EMI’s policy stated that they should not destroy any Beatles recording, of course. So, despite McCartney’s order, a lacquer cut, including the rogue track with 14 seconds of silence before it came about and McCartney actually approved it.
This was the late 1960s and The Beatles were finding it increasingly difficult to work together. In effect, their 1969 album, “Abbey Road”, was their last proper album. This is because they basically recorded most of the material from their “Let It Be” album before “Abbey Road”.
The album should have ended with the track, “The End“, of course. Because of the earlier blunder, “Her Majesty” became the final track on the album.
“Her Majesty” starts with a loud guitar crash which was the end bit of “Mean Mr Mustard”. There was no listing of it on the sleeve on the early covers, so imagine letting the album play out then that track suddenly appearing! Indeed, The Beatles had loads of “firsts” and this is one of the first examples of a “hidden track” on an album.
With the free tools available online, it’s possible to join together “Mean Mr Mustard”, “Her Majesty” and “Polythene Pam” to hear what the medley originally sounded like.
Paul McCartney recorded this solo track on the 2nd July, 1969, in Studio Two of the EMI Studios, London, during the 3.00pm-9.30pm session. There were 3 takes although the first two were incomplete.