"(i'll Never Be) Your Maggie May" as written by and Suzanne Vega....
I'll never be your Maggie May
The one you loved and left behind
The face you see in light of day
And then you cast away
That isn't me in that bed you'll find

I'd rather take myself away
Be like those ladies in Japan
Rather paint myself a face
Conjure up some grace
Or be the eyes behind a fan

[Chorus]

And so you go
No girl could say no
To you

There's the way we may appear
But that will change from day to night
Would you ever see within?
Underneath the skin?
Could I believe you had that sight?

[Chorus]

I'll never be your Maggie May
The one you loved and then forgot
I'll love you first and let you go
Because it must be so
And you'll forgive or you will not

And so a woman leaves a man
And so a world turns on it's end
So I'll see your face in dreams
Where nothing's what it seems
You still appear some kind of friend

[Chorus]


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"(I'll Never Be) Your Maggie May" as written by Suzanne Vega

Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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(I'll Never Be) Your Maggie May song meanings
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4 Comments

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  • +1
    General CommentYet another song re a guy from Liverpool Suzanne met whilst in summer camp. the original song "Maggie May" is an old Liverpool sea shanty about a prostitute who robbed a sailor. it is at least 150 years old, and is one of Liverpool's Anthems. So possibly was used as a term of endearment towards Miss Vega.
    The Other two songs in this trilogy of a Lost Scouse (Liverpudlian) Lover are: "In Liverpool" and "Gipsy", and all song appear on the 2003 Retrospective album.
    Scousepixon August 16, 2009   Link
  • 0
    General CommentGreat track. Check out also Dar Williams: 'I Won't Be Your Yoko Ono'!
    IJGrieveon November 05, 2004   Link
  • 0
    General CommentI reckon she's saying she'll never live up to his idealised woman, perhaps a past lover he'll never get over... She will love him and leave him because she can never have him fully, as she will never be the woman he truly wants/had.
    missmeon February 24, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General CommentShe sees him for what he is - just a guy who wants an attractive women to sleep with but has no intentions for a serious relationship.

    The second part about ladies in Japan seems like she is saying that she doesn't want to open herself to this guy because he'll make a fool of her. Put on a mask to protect yourself and keep her dignity from an exploitative man.

    She seems somewhat tempted by this guy. But then she says Would you ever see within? Underneath the skin? Could I believe you had that sight? She thinks he is just looking at her looks and body but doesn't see her person.

    When I hear this song, I wonder if she is poking fun at Rod Stewart's song Maggie Mae where he portrays Maggie as an older woman who is taking advantage of the younger mail narrator and keeping him from getting on with his life. In Vega's song, she's not going to wait around for that treatment.
    jelaplanon November 20, 2014   Link

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