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Hey Jude, Hey Jules, Hey John...Nah!

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The single Hey Jude of The Beatles was released on August 30, 1968. It was written by Paul McCartney although on credits it appears Lennon / McCartney. It has an unusually long duration of 7 minutes for a pop song in those years, at the time the longest single ever to top the British charts. It was a great success worldwide. It spent nine weeks at number one in the United States, the longest for any Beatles single and actually tied the "all-time" record, at the time, for the longest run at the top of the US charts. The single has sold approximately eight million copies and is frequently included on professional critics' lists of the greatest songs of all time. In 2013, Billboard named it the 10th biggest song of all time.

Paul McCartney wrote to console Julian, the son of John Lennon, the divorce of his parents John Lennon and his first wife Cynthia Powell so the title of the song was originally Hey Jules, but Paul McCartney changed it to Jude because it sounded better. In his childhood, Julian Lennon frequented Paul more than his own father.

After the divorce of Powell Lennon, McCartney went to see her and Julian. "We've been good friends for millions of years and I think it is too much to be considered non grata person and get them out of my life. " Paul said.

"I began with the idea of 'Hey Jules', starting with Julian, do not take it bad, take a sad song and make it better. Hey, about to deal with this terrible situation. I knew I was not going to be easy for him. I always felt sorry for the children in divorces ... I had the idea for the song at that time and decided to go there. I changed it to 'Jude' because I thought it sounded better," commented Paul McCartney for this song.

Cynthia Lennon recalled of McCartney's surprise visit: "I was touched by his obvious concern for our welfare ... On the journey down he composed 'Hey Jude' in the car. I will never forget Paul's gesture of care and concern in coming to see us."

It was really nice from Paul McCartney this gesture but the song is hardly for the understanding level of a 5 year old kid, so the original purpose, if it was actually as McCartney used to say, was very regrettably lost. As an important fact about this, Julian Lennon only knew that the song was written for him almost twenty years later. Many people, including John Lennon and me, thought the song was about John Lennon and his relationship with Yoko or for some girlfriend off Paul!

Author Mark Hertsgaard has commented that "many of the song's lyrics do seem directed more at a grown man on the verge of a powerful new love, especially the lines 'you have found her now go and get her' and 'you're waiting for someone to perform with.'"

McCartney’s version of the story simply does not satisfy an entire contingent of listeners, mostly the fans of conspirational theories. They know a drug song when they hear one, they insist, and this is definitely a song about drugs – specifically, about heroin. And, of course, McCartney was definitely not above slipping in a drug reference or two. He acknowledged, for example, that "Got to Get You into My Life" was about marijuana (the song has a line that goes, "I was alone, I took a ride . . . Another road where maybe I could see another kind of mind there") and "Day Tripper," a song he co-wrote with John Lennon, was about LSD. Moreover, McCartney was fairly candid in admitting his own use of drugs.

But let's look at even more evidence. "Judas" is slang for heroin, and Julian was supposedly used for misdirection once before, in the story behind the song "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" (initials: LSD), which is said to be based on a picture he painted. People point to the lyrics for further proof: "Remember to let her into your heart, / Then you can start to make it better… / The minute you let her under your skin, / Then you begin to make it better."

Not convinced? Yeah, we're not really convinced either. Despite McCartney's fuzzy explanations and willingness to publicly admit and endorse the use of drugs, his description of the song's innocent inspiration somehow still seems the most believable. He was candid about other songs, so why would he lie here? And as for the song's thematic meandering (it confusingly drifts from "cheer-up Julian" to "hey John/Paul, you have a right to move on with your life"), well, McCartney was never the most sophisticated of lyricists. Even Lennon eventually mocked his old partner's creations as "granny music."

Granted, McCartney's description of the song's origins does invite some skepticism. If it was written for Julian (Jules), how did it become "Hey Jude"? Ok… so McCartney says it simply sounded better. And if it was written for a five-year old, what's with all the adult-oriented advice? "Remember to let her into your heart… You were made to go out and get her." At that age, Julian probably thought that girls had cooties.

Even Papa John was confused. In fact, he thought the song was written for him, as a sort of carpe diem recommendation that he pursue the new love of his life, Yoko Ono. McCartney eventually told him he had it wrong, and even suggested that "Hey Jude" was really about McCartney's own life, which led Lennon to believe that the song was about Paul's collapsing relationship with Jane Asher, or perhaps his need to leave the now-tension-filled group.

Or maybe the mysterious Jude was Judith Simons (also known as 'Jude') a pop journalist at the Daily Express? There is a tale that she received a call from The Beatles publicist who told her Paul (McCartney) had written a song about her. But why should Paul McCartney dedicate a song to her? Judith Simmons in her early 20s was drafted on to Die Welt, a new national paper for Germany set up by the British occupying forces in 1946 with the aim of providing a quality newspaper. Among other reports, she covered the trials of the guards and doctors who terrorized the all-female inmates of the nazi concentration camp of Ravensbruck.  She first met The Beatles as a reporter for the Daily Express and was given exclusive access to the band as their manager Brian Epstein came from her home town of Sheffield, and she knew his ­family. The Beatles’ publicist Derek Taylor was also a former Express journalist, and was keen to help her. The celebrity writer was a regular part of the band’s entourage. She describes it as “the time of her life,” and said the band welcomed her with open arms.

Which leads us to the real question—why are people so interested in finding a needle in this musical haystack? And how do you explain the unholy alliance of Beatles fans and Beatles haters in this obsession with uncovering the secret meaning of every song? 

In any case, be it for Jude, Jules or whoever Paul had in the deep in his mind, the song became an anthem, a reference to the Beatles and one more example of songwriting talent and melodic construction of Paul. The song concludes with an unforgettable crescendo, in which an orchestra of more than 30 musicians involved. The Beatles offered the classically trained orchestra players double pay to sing and clap along to the coda. All but one player agreed, recalls Norman Sheffield, co-owner of Trident Studios in London, where "Hey Jude" was recorded. "He was told to go home," Sheffield says. "McCartney said, 'If you don't want to do it, fuck off.'"

The Beatles trusted Michael Lindsay-Hogg to launch the promotional video of Hey Jude. They stood on the idea of playing live in front of controlled public. It was for Hogg The Frost Program with McCartney himself designing the set. In the US, The Beatles bypassed Ed Sullivan and aired it in the The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour

Enjoy reading the lyrics…



Hey Jude, don't make it bad

Take a sad song and make it better

Remember to let her into your heart

Then you can start to make it better1



Hey Jude, don't be afraid

You were made to go out and get her

The minute you let her under your skin

Then you begin to make it better



And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain

Don't carry the world upon your shoulders

For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool

By making his world a little colder

Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah



Hey Jude, don't let me down

You have found her, now go and get her

Remember to let her into your heart

Then you can start to make it better



So let it out and let it in, hey Jude, begin

You're waiting for someone to perform with

And don't you know that it's just you, hey Jude, you'll do

The movement you need is on your shoulder

Nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah nah yeah



Hey Jude, don't make it bad

Take a sad song and make it better

Remember to let her under your skin

Then you'll begin to make it

Better better better better better better, oh



Nah nah nah nah nah nah, nah nah nah, hey Jude…



Now, the ultimate “Hey Jude Trivia”:  How many times they utter the word “Nah”?






Edited by luisam

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