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‘Lady Madonna’: From Fats Domino To The Beatles And Back

On 7 September 1968, Fats Domino’s cover version of The Beatles’ Lady Madonna became his last ever hit on the Billboard Hot 100.

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Fats Domino Lady Madonna

In 1994, Paul McCartney remembered how he came to write a Beatles No.1,  “‘Lady Madonna’ was me, sitting down at the piano trying to write a bluesy boogie-woogie thing … It reminded me of Fats Domino for some reason, so I started singing a Fats Domino impression. It took my other voice to a very odd place”. The Beatles single, released in mid March 1968 went on to top the UK singles chart and peak at No.4 in the US in April.

On 7 September 1968, a cover version by the rock’n’roll architect himself peaked at No.100 on the Billboard Hot 100 and it is the 77th hit of New Orleansian legend’s career and to date his last to ever make the pop charts.

His first had been ‘Ain’t That a Shame’ which made the top ten in the summer of 1955 and there followed a string of big selling records including ’Blueberry Hill’ (1956), ‘Blue Monday’ (1957), ‘I’m Walkin’ (1957) and ‘walking To New Orleans’ (1960). It’s Fats Domino’s ‘Blue Monday’ that highlights the feelings of a hard working man over each day of the week, whereas ‘Lady Madonna’ imagines the situation from a woman’s perspective.

According to McCartney, “‘Lady Madonna’ started off as the Virgin Mary, then it was a working-class woman, of which obviously there’s millions in Liverpool. There are a lot of Catholics in Liverpool because of the Irish connection.” The lyrics include each day of the week, except Saturday. In a 1992 interview, McCartney, who only realized the omission of Saturday many years later, half-jokingly suggested that, given the difficulties of the other six days, the woman in the song likely went out and had a good time that day.

A year later, Fats Domino covered another Beatles track, ‘Everybody’s Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey’ and incorporated his New Orleans style into the cut of their landmark “White Album”. Fats would also go on to cover ‘Lovely Rita’ on his 1968 album, Fats Is Back.

Listen to the best of Fats Domino on Apple Music and Spotify

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Eric Lynch

    March 15, 2016 at 5:49 pm

    The page said, “Domino Does The Beatles Doing Fats,” with a picture of Fats and the title Lady Madonna. The implication is clear. I clicked on the link to hear Fats doing Lady Madonna, but the problem is it can’t be found anywhere on the site it takes you to. You suck for false advertisement.

  2. Brian

    September 7, 2019 at 3:29 am

    Oh dear God. Take a valium and go lay down somewhere.

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