Beatles John Lennon Paul McCartney,

Bringing Joy amongst sadness

I first heard this song in the late 60s. I was struck by its length and it’s lyrics. I loved the coda which goes on and on.. Much later I discovered the story behind the song. Before we hit the story, let’s listen in to the immortal song.

The writing and recording of “Hey Jude” coincided with a period of upheaval in the Beatles. The ballad evolved from “Hey Jules”, a song McCartney wrote to comfort John Lennon’s son Julian, after John left his wife for Yoko Ono. Paul was concerned about Cynthia Lennon and Julian’s state of mind after John walked out and drove over to their family home. He actually wrote the song while driving over, addressed to Julian ( “Jules” in the original draft which was changed to Jude by Paul). However the song is credited to the Lennon- McCartney team as was their norm at the time.

The lyrics try to tell Julian to keep a positive outlook on a sad situation, while also encouraging “Jude” to carry on with life and to find love. After the fourth verse, the song shifts to a coda featuring a “Na-na-na na” refrain that lasts for over four minutes.” Hey Jude” was the first Beatles song to be recorded on eight-track recording equipment. This is a part of their double album that’s also known as the “White Album“, and led to an argument between McCartney and George Harrison over the song’s guitar part. Ringo Starr later left the band only to return shortly before they filmed the promotional clip for the single. The clip was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg and first aired on David Frost’s UK television show. (As seen in the clip)

Contrasting with the multiplicity of problems afflicting the band, this performance captured the song’s theme of optimism and togetherness by featuring the studio audience joining the Beatles as they sang the coda. “Hey Jude” was the longest single to top the British charts up to that time.

It spawned, rather unsurprisingly, many imitations through to the early 1970s.

In 2013, Billboard magazine named it the 11th “biggest” song of all time in terms of chart success.

McCartney has continued to perform “Hey Jude” in concert since Lennon’s death in 1980, leading audiences in singing the coda. Julian Lennon and McCartney have each bid successfully at auction for items of memorabilia related to the song’s creation.

This is a clip where you’ll get the lyrics

Of the later versions, I love this one , where true legends come together to sing an unforgettable song in a unique manner. Absolutely a unique event, done in a charity concert for Monserrat. A music lover would love to spend time stargazing, albeit of a different kind.

Have a wonderful Sunday ahead, folks, stay blessed and loved. Let there be no Hey Jude’s in your lives or in the lives of your dear ones except in the audio form .


By abchandorkar

Consultant Interventional Cardiologist, Pune, India

2 replies on “Bringing Joy amongst sadness”

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