Thursday 7 July 2011


I've been listening to this song since I was eight years old. Maybe it was before that. My parents had it on CD, and on Vinyl. On casette too. It's the only song I never get tired of. Not even a little bit. I know every inch of the MTV unplugged version. I know all the moments when the crowd cheer or scream or breath.

The song means everything to me, but I don't even know what it means. Sometimes I think he loves Maggie. Sometimes I think he's bitter. What I know for sure is the guitar solo towards the end is magic. 

Your favourite songs aren't just your favourite songs. They're more than that. They're something that's inside of you. Something you carry around. Everyone has that one song that will get them up at a party. Or get them singing in a car. Or get them smiling while walking through town with an iPod screaming out songs.

Whether the song is as great as I think it is or whether I'm bias because of my affection for it isn't relevant. Or at least, it doesn't matter. Sure, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' could be the best song ever, but it's not important. What is important is what matters to you. Some songs make us happy. Some songs we want played at our funerals. Some songs make everything okay.

On 3 mins 21 he sings "You stole my heart, but I love you anyway."

And then there's the solo. It steals your heart. But you feel the love. Some music just sinks into you and resonates with every bone in your body. You might only find three songs in your life that do this, but they become the soundtrack to your life. They make everything okay. They make sense of all your love, your pain, your problems.

He sings "Maggie, I wish I'd, never seen your face." But you know he doesn't mean it. Or he means it but he also means the exact opposite too.

In the unplugged version, he changes the line "You stole my heart and that's what really hurts" to "You stole my heart, but I love yous anyway."

And it makes sense. Because you can never hate Maggie. She breaks your heart, but you love her anyway. "You stole my soul but I love you anyway." What a great line. 

'Maggie May' is truthful. It's honest. I say this without ever quite figuring out what the song means. 

That's what great art does. Says EVERYTHING yet somehow stays open. It means something different to every person.

"You made a first class fool out of me
But I'm as blind as a fool can be
You stole my heart, but I love you anyway."

Why do some songs stay with you? I was just a kid, listening to whatever trash was in the top 40. But 'Maggie May' got through to me.

I guess the important thing about this song--------- it's FUN! You can turn it up and enjoy it! He's not trying to break your heart or depress you or excite you, he just sings. But by doing that, he succeeds in breaking your heart, depressing you and exciting you. I guess that's just it; in this song, Rod Stewart recorded who he was, who he is. And that's why, when I think of myself, and who I am and what I'm about, I listen to this song. It reminds me of who I am.

Care to share?


  1. Yes, your favorite song means so much to you. And probably nothing to everybody else. And that is something you got to live with: that that particular song only strike chords inside you and nobody else - at least not the same chord.

    Me, like most people, have musical memories and favorites. I happened to hear one on the radio the other day, that I almost forgot by now. It's a song about Tommy who goes from being an apt pupil to dying in an overdose at the age of 21. I can't have been older than five when it was popular and I hadn't heard it since and I didn't know the song's title nor the group singing so I haven't known what to search for. Now know, and it still strikes a chord in me.

  2. About "Whispers From The Second Row", in the begginig you say you tought people was desinteresed in what you were writing about. Of course it's not like this. It's very noble of you write to make others lifes better. Of course, you write because you love it. But you tell us things that the society on general don't say. You say "Be an artist","Be yourself", "Be free, try out for your dreams". God, not even our parents say that.
    It's great to get tired at home and read about music, films, freedom. Freedom, because every art set us free.
    Really, there's people reading this, and they like reading posts just like you enjoy reading coments. Don´t underestimate yourself. Great post, by the way:)

  3. I had to login after reading "Whispers" post. I can't remember how I even found your blog but as a fan of film and pop culture, and a writer myself, I had to let you know that you have an audience.

    Music is my biggest passion. I've never listened to the Maggie May song much. I gave it a try because of this post and I'll have to add it to my Ipod now.

    I've been reading your site often and I'm slowly going through older posts. You have a great way with words and seem to express thoughts very easily that are jumbled in my own mind. Keep doing what you love. We're loving what you're doing.

  4. The way you feel about "Maggie May" is the way I feel about "I Guess That's Why They Call It The Blues" by Elton John. It just gets me "right there". That's about the only way I can describe it without writing an ode as beautiful and eloquent as this one.

  5. For me it is a toss up between Sittin on the dock of the bay by Otis Redding and Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty. I never tire of either song and they hold such powerful nostalgia, longing and magic for me. Thanks for posting this, really got me thinking.

  6. I keep coming back to this post, as I too think often on songs and what they mean to me (I have saved it as a bookmark by the way). This song means the world to me. I remember the first time I heard it, on the radio by my bed, growing up in Western Canada and all I wanted to do was move to London England (which I did, and London has been home ever since). I love all Rod's early music but this one means the most. I never ever tire of it.

    It is bizarre but I read this post the first time when I was back in Ireland from a visit home to London for my birthday (Froggy passed on your words, so thank you!) where I actually saw Rod Stewart get out of a car by Clarence House!

    The first time I saw him was in Vancouver with the Faces in March 1975. My cousin and I stood right at the front of the stage and I still have photos taken that night. i was in heaven!

    So thank you for posting this.