She Came in Through the Bathroom Window


Much as I hate to take Abbey Road songs out of context, I have to examine this one. I’ve always wondered about it, obviously. So many questions. Who is she and why did she come in through the bathroom window? Is Paul McCartney a police officer in this scenario? I want to hear more. One of the wonders of the medley half of Abbey Road is that there are so many fascinating fragments of ideas that I really want to hear more about. It’s like opening a notebook filled with some great writer’s ideas for stories that they never got around to writing. In the Beatles-inspired movie Across the Universe, there’s actually a character who does come crawling in through the bathroom window, with the explanation that her boyfriend was abusing her and she used the fire escape to make her escape and then later it turns out she’s a lesbian, which is pretty straightforward and makes a lot of narrative sense. But it’s also a little bit literal-minded, because New York City fire escapes are the most obvious explanation for why anyone would be coming in through a bathroom window. I like to imagine something a little bit more fun, like a thwarted museum heist. I’m imagining a Pink Panther-style caper, with Paul McCartney in the Inspector Clouseau role and Jane Birkin as a dancer/criminal mastermind.

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