MAGGIE MAE’S, Sunnyside

by Kevin Walsh

YOUNGER Sunnysiders may not get the name of this Queens Boulevard bar but its owners no doubt did. The name refers to an old chanty from the British city of Liverpool adopted by the Beatles as a bit of studio banter that wound up on their last released LP while they were still an active concern, Let It Be. At just 36 seconds long, it’s the second-shortest Beatles title, not approaching the 24-second “Her Majesty” which finished up Abbey Road.

The song’s lyrics have never been standardized but the Beatles’ version goes:

Oh, dirty Maggie Mae they have taken her away
And she’ll never walk down Lime Street anymore
Oh, the judge, he guilty found her
For robbin’ the homeward bounder
That dirty, no good, robbin’ Maggie Mae
‘Tis the part of Liverpool
They returned me to
Two pounds ten a week, that was my pay.

The “homeward bounder” was a sailor who had just returned to Liverpool; Maggie was a prostitute who robbed him; Lime Street is a main drag in the middle of the city on the west coast of England home to the Beatles. John Lennon knew it as a boy and it was in the repertoire of his first band, the Quarry Men.

Rod Stewart isn’t from Liverpool; he is Scots-English and from North London. But he rose to fame in the USA with the similarly titled “Maggie May” and has admitted that the Beatles’ song title influenced it. He has said the song is a true story of his loss of virginity with an older woman he met at a jazz festival in Beaulieu, in the south of England, in 1961.

The Faces accompany Rod Stewart as he lipsynchs the song on Top of the Pops.

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al tz March 11, 2022 - 6:15 am

Another Maggie May’s bar on 41st Ave, east of Bell Blvd, Bayside

Patrick March 11, 2022 - 7:03 am

There is a Maggie Mays bar restaurant off Bell Boulevard next to where Donovan’s of Bayside used to be.

Edward P OBrien March 11, 2022 - 8:01 am

Thank You for explaining that, I was not aware. Possibly walked past this place many times.

Ty March 11, 2022 - 8:12 am

In the 70s through 90s the bars in Sunnyside were literally back to back until the diaspora returned home to the Celtic Tiger. I asked why and was schooled that this one is County Mayo and that is Donegal. There was one dark one on Greenpoint that was rumored to be running guns to Ulster. Went in for a beer once and was stared right oout again. Turned out they were running guns.

Sunnysider March 11, 2022 - 8:15 am

Back around the mid 2000s, I used to see an excellent band there called Trigger. Anybody else remember them? I bought their CD they sold at the show called “Suspicion, Lies and Jealousy.” They should have been huge.

Tal Barzilai March 11, 2022 - 6:58 pm

Speaking of music, Rod Stewart also had a song known as Maggie Mae, but that song was very different to that of the Beatles.

Kevin Walsh March 12, 2022 - 1:12 pm

As it says…in…



chris March 12, 2022 - 8:07 pm

With the barrel out front it looks like theyre trying to pull
off a McSorleys look but no one is fooled.

AL TZ March 17, 2022 - 5:39 pm

Local story is that Sunnyside Maggie Mae’s was bought by Bridie and Denis Keane as a present for their son c1990. The couple owned the original Bridie’s pub on Woodhaven Blvd, Rego Park c1976, followed by another Bridie’s near the Flushing LIRR station, followed by Durow’s Catering Hall and Restaurant at Myrtle Ave and 81st Street, Glendale.

Kevin Walsh March 18, 2022 - 6:37 am

I remember the Bridie’s Northern Boulevard.

Tom+M March 19, 2022 - 8:07 am

I seem to remember a Bridie’s on 36th Ave around 32nd St in Long Island City. Anyone like to confirm or deny my “sighting”, lol?


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