John Lennon's Son Reveals The 1 Beatles Song That Drives Him 'Up The Wall'

"I’m very thankful – but I’ve also been driven up the wall by it..."

The Beatles feature on plenty of people’s lists of their favourite songs ever – but when it comes to John Lennon’s own son, Julian, there’s one track by the Fab Four he’s sick of hearing.

And believe it or not, it’s many people’s most-beloved Beatles tune, Hey Jude.

“It’s a beautiful sentiment, no question about that, and I’m very thankful – but I’ve also been driven up the wall by it,” he said of the song during an interview with Esquire.

Julian explained that part of the reason he has such strong feelings about Hey Jude is because ”Paul wrote it to console Mum, and also to console me”.

Why was Paul McCartney inspired to write Hey Jude?

John Lennon divorced his first wife Cynthia Powell, who he married when she was pregnant with Julian, in 1968.

In Cynthia’s memoir, John, she alleged that the Imagine singer was violent to her, which led them to break up. Following this, Cynthia (who died in 2015) and John briefly reunited, but split for good again after John met Yoko Ono.

John’s Beatles bandmate Paul McCartney subsequently wrote Hey Jude to soothe Julian during this turbulent time for the family.

The Beatles pictured in the late 1960s
The Beatles pictured in the late 1960s
Bettmann via Getty Images

Julian recalled: “It was ‘Hey Jules’ at first, but that didn’t quite sit well rhythmically,” he explained in the Esquire interview. ”‘Hey Jude’ was a better interpretation.”

“The weird thing with the audience is they think it’s cute sometimes, quoting Hey Jude to me, but I don’t think they realise there’s a lot of pain behind what happened,” Julian continued.

“Every time you quote that, it reminds me of my mother being separated from my father, the love that was lost, the fact that I rarely saw my father again ever.”

“I saw him maybe a couple of times before he died,” he added. “A lot of people don’t quite get how intense, how emotional, and how personal that is. It’s not just a ‘pick yourself up and dust yourself off and be happy’.

“There’s deep emotional pain. I can celebrate it – but also it’s something that’ll always be dark to me.”


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