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Take a Sad Song and Make It Better

Take a Sad Song and Make It Better

John Lennon fell in love with Yoko Ono…but whoops, he was also married to Cynthia Lennon and they had a son named Julian. Cynthia and Julian lived in Weybridge, and John Lennon officially separated from Cynthia in May 1968.  

Being the good guy that he is, Paul McCartney decided to drive out to Weybridge the following month and visit Cynthia and Julian. He had known Cynthia since before the Beatles rose to fame, and he said it was “a bit much for me to suddenly have Cynthia & Julian out of my life.” Cynthia remembers his kindness and said she will never forget Paul’s gesture of concern for their welfare.

On the car journey to the visit, Paul composed Hey Jude [originally called Hey Jules]. The intention was to comfort Julian Lennon from the stress of his parent’s divorce. Paul said, “I knew it was not going to be easy for him” and he changed the name to Jude because he thought it sounded better.

In the weeks to follow, Paul tested the song on anyone and everyone, including performing at a local pub randomly and busting in on other artists’ recording sessions to perform his new tune.

When Paul introduced the song to John, he told him he would change the line “the movement you need is on your shoulder.” John replied: “You won’t, you know.” That is now the part of the song that reminds Paul of John the most, and he said “sometimes I get a little emotional during that moment.”

Message: A song about self-worth and self-consolation in the face of hardship. 

Hey Jude was:

  • the 1st single on the Beatles’ record label Apple Records
  • the longest single ever to top British charts
  • #1 in the US for 9 weeks – the longest for any Beatles single
  • Sold 8 million copies
  • Considered one of greatest songs of all time by critics


[I would donate a small, non-vital organ to travel back in time + be one of these people]

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