The Story About Paul McCartney’s Dog Martha

In October of 1968, The Beatles recorded the Paul McCartney penned “White Album” song “Martha, My Dear”.  At the time, most people assumed McCartney was indirectly singing a message of love to his longtime girlfriend, Jane Asher who had just broken off their engagement a few months earlier.

Paul McCartney Jane Asher Martha My Dear English Sheepdog White Album

Funny thing is McCartney was actually not signing about his ex-girlfriend Jane but rather to the other subject in the photo above, his beloved English Sheepdog “Martha”.

Paul McCartney's Dog Martha The Beatles

Here’s the history of “Martha” who is included in thousands of photos with McCartney and with The Beatles. Soon after buying his house on Cavendish Avenue, Paul McCartney bought his first pet, an Old English sheepdog puppy that he named Martha.  She was born June 16, 1966.

Martha My Dear Paul McCartney Dog Cavendish

About MarthaPaul said,

“She was a dear pet of mine. I remember John (Lennon) being amazed to see me being so loving to an animal.”  He said, ‘I’ve never seen you like that before.’ I’ve since thought, you know, he wouldn’t have.  It’s only when you’re cuddling around with a dog that you’re in that mode, and she was a very cuddly dog.”

Here’s a really cool photo of Lennon and McCartney walking ‘Martha”.


Check out “Martha” on the set of The BeatlesStrawberry Fields Forever” video shoot.

Martha The Dog The Beatles Paul McCartney

In 1997, McCartney confirmed that “Martha” the dog had been the inspiration behind the song “Martha My Dear“.  It’s a communication of some sort of affection but in a slightly abstract way, McCartney said,

‘You silly girl, look what you’ve done,’ all that sort of stuff. These songs grow. Whereas it would appear to anybody else to be a song to a girl called Martha, it’s actually a dog, and our relationship was platonic, believe me.”

Paul McCartney's Dog Martha My Dear

McCartney also said,

“When I taught myself piano I liked to see how far I could go, and this started life almost as a piece you’d learn as a piano lesson. It’s quite hard for me to play, it’s a two-handed thing, like a little set piece. In fact I remember one or two people being surprised that I’d played it because it’s slightly above my level or competence really, but I wrote it as that, something a bit more complex for me to play. Then while I was blocking out words – you just mouth out sounds and some things come – I found the words ‘Martha My Dear‘.”

Paul McCartney Dog Martha My Dear

Martha died in 1981 at the age of 15 at McCartney’s farm house in Mull of Kintyre, Scotland.  She is survived by her offspring, one of which was featured on McCartney’s 1993 album “Paul Is Live” album cover.  Her name is Arrow.

Paul Is Live McCartney Dog Martha Arrow

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  1. Astrid says:

    Paul bought that dog in 66.
    She was born June 16, 1966. Paul moved into Cavendish in 1966 although he bought it the year before. But there were some renovations to be made first.
    Check the facts please before you publish a story.

    1. reed says:

      "1965 soon after buying his house" – Last I checked, 1966 is soon after 1965.

      But thanks for the extra info. We'll have to check these facts…

      1. Astrid says:

        "1965 soon after buying his house" – Last I checked, 1966 is soon after 1965.

        Depends….nearly a year later is not soon after. 😉


  2. Pops says:

    Whoa, Astrid L., is that you? I think it’s a fine story myself.

  3. vie amoureuse says:

    What year did Martha die?

    1. raul says:

      Martha died in 1981. I updated the story. Thanks…


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