Connect with us

What was John Lennon’s opinion on “Hey Jude”


What was John Lennon’s opinion on “Hey Jude”

John Lennon and Paul McCartney wrote most of The Beatles‘ hits together and became the most successful songwriting duo in history. However, they did not always work together, often writing some songs on their own, even if they were both credited for them later. One of those tracks was “Hey Jude,” which McCartney wrote inspired by the sadness of Julian Lennon (John’s older son) when his parents were divorcing. It was originally called “Hey Jules,” which was Julian’s nickname, and it became one of the most famous Beatles tracks.


It was released as a single in 1968, peaking at number 1 on the charts of several countries, including the United States and the United Kingdom. But what was John Lennon’s opinion on “Hey Jude”? Did he have something against the track because of its inspiration?

What John Lennon said about “Hey Jude”?

John was part of the recording of the song, playing the acoustic guitar and recording the backing vocals/handclaps. But as he said in an interview with Playboy magazine in 1980, just before his death, he believed the track actually had a hidden message to him and it was actually about his relationship with Yoko.

“He said it was written about Julian. He knew I was splitting with Cyn and leaving Julian then. (So) He was driving to see Julian to say hello. He had been like an uncle. And he came up with ‘Hey Jude.'”

“But I always heard it as a song to me. Now I’m sounding like one of those fans reading things into it… Think about it: Yoko had just come into the picture. He is saying. ‘Hey, Jude’– ‘Hey, John.’ Subconsciously, he was saying, ‘Go ahead, leave me.’ On a conscious level, he didn’t want me to go ahead. The angel in him was saying, ‘Bless you.’ The devil in him didn’t like it at all, because he didn’t want to lose his partner,” John Lennon said.

“Hey Jude” was actually Lennon’s favorite McCartney song

As Lennon told Hit Parader in 1972, he believed that “Hey Jude” was McCartney’s best composition. “That’s his best song. It started off as a song about my son Julian because Paul was going to see him.”

“Then he turned it into ‘Hey Jude’. I always thought it was about me and Yoko but he said it was about him and his,” John Lennon said.

It not only was the best-selling single in the world in 1968, the track continued to be a huge success over the decades and be present on the setlist of McCartney’s shows. According to Setlist FM he had performed the track more than 700 times during his solo career.

John Lennon told him to keep an specific line in the song

In a TV interview back in the 80s (Transcribed by Rock and Roll Garage), McCartney talked about writing the song and what Lennon told him about a specific line.

“The other night I was doing ‘Hey Jude’. I just done an interview prior to that when I’d been telling someone about John’s value as a co-writer. The line in ‘Hey Jude’ where I say ‘The movement you need is on your shoulder’. I was playing the song to John and I said ‘the movement you need is on your shoulder’. Then I said ‘I’ll be taking that out’ and he said: ‘What for?’

I said: ‘It’s just words I’ve put in, doesn’t mean anything. The movement you need is on your shoulder sounds like a parrot’. John said: ‘No, you won’t be taking that out. That’s an incredible line. It’s the best line in it, man. (He said) I know what it means’.

“(He wanted to say) You have the wherewithal to be what you want to be in a near proximity to where you are,” Paul McCartney said.

So that line always makes Paul McCartney recall John Lennon when he is playing the song live.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

To Top