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Hey Jude

by

The Beatles



Songfacts®:  You can leave comments about the song at the bottom of the page.

Paul McCartney wrote this as "Hey Jules," a song meant to comfort John Lennon's 5-year-old son Julian as his parents were getting a divorce. The change to "Jude" was inspired by the character "Jud" in the musical Oklahoma! (McCartney loves show tunes)

In 1987 Julian ran into Paul in New York City when they were staying at the same hotel and he finally heard Paul tell him the story of the song firsthand. He admitted to Paul that growing up, he'd always felt closer to him than to his own father. In Steve Turner's book The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song, Julian said: "Paul told me he'd been thinking about my circumstances, about what I was going through and what I'd have to go through. Paul and I used to hang out quite a bit - more than Dad and I did... There seem to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing at that age than me and Dad. I've never really wanted to know the truth of how Dad was and how he was with me. There was some very negative stuff - like when he said that I'd come out of a whisky bottle on a Saturday night. That's tough to deal with. You think, where's the love in that? It surprises me whenever I hear the song. It's strange to think someone has written a song about you. It still touches me."
This was the Beatles longest single, running 7:11, and at the time was the longest song ever released as a single. It was the first long song to get a lot of airplay, as radio stations still preferred short ones so they could play more of them. When this became a hit, stations learned that listeners would stick around if they liked the song, which paved the way for long songs like "American Pie" and "Layla." Disc jockeys were the real winners here, as they could finally take a reasonable bathroom break.
The Beatles inner circle was shifting when Paul McCartney wrote this song. John Lennon had recently taken up with Yoko and cast off his first wife, Cynthia; McCartney had broken off his engagement with his longtime girlfriend Jane Asher. He was the only Beatle to reach out to Cynthia and Julian at this time.

The drive to the Lennon home in Surrey was one of reflection for McCartney, who thought about Julian and how difficult life could be as a child of divorce. He wrote the line, "Don't make it bad, take a sad song and make it better" thinking about how he could encourage the boy.

Paul was conditioned to think up songs on this trip, as he used to drive to the home for songwriting sessions with John - there were instruments and recording equipment in the attic.
This was the first song released on Apple Records, the record label owned by The Beatles. It was recorded at Trident Studios, London, on July 31 and August 1, 1968 with a 36 piece orchestra. Orchestra members clapped and sang on the fadeout - they earned double their normal rate for their efforts.
Paul McCartney on his songwriting partnership with John Lennon in Observer Music Monthly October 2007: "I have fond flashbacks of John writing - he'd scribble it down real quick, desperate to get back to the guitar. But I knew at that moment that this was going to be a good collaboration. Like when I did 'Hey Jude.' I was going through it for him and Yoko when I was living in London. I had a music room at the top of the house and I was playing 'Hey Jude' when I got to the line 'The movement you need is on your shoulder' and I turned round to John and said: 'I'll fix that if you want.' And he said: 'You won't, you know, that's a great line, that's the best line in it.' Now that's the other side of a great collaborator - don't touch it, man, that's OK."
This song hit #1 in at least 12 countries and by the end of 1968 had sold more than 5 million copies. It eventually sold over 10 million copies in the United States, becoming the fourth-biggest selling Beatles single there. Factoring in the price of records in 1968 vs. 1964, when the top-seller "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was released, "Hey Jude" might be the biggest earner.
When McCartney played this song for John Lennon and Yoko Ono, John interpreted it as being about him; he heard the line "You were made to go out and get her" as Paul imploring him to leave his first wife and go after Yoko ("I always heard it as a song to me," said Lennon). This was one of Lennon's more narcissistic moments, as he failed to grasp that the song was written for his son.
This was going to be the B-side to "Revolution," but it ended up the other way around. It is a testament to this song that it pushed "Revolution" to the other side of the record.
George Harrison wanted to play a guitar riff after the vocal phrases, but Paul wouldn't let him. Things got tense between them around this time as McCartney got very particular about how Harrison played on songs he wrote.
Julian Lennon didn't find out that this song was written for him until he was a teenager. It was around this time that he reconnected with his dad, who he would visit in New York from time to time until his death.
The Beatles shot a music video (called a "promotional film" at the time) for this song, which was directed by Michael Lindsay-Hogg. He had the Beatles mime the song in front of an audience of about 100 people, who sang it with them. This was the closest the Beatles had come to a live performance since they had stopped touring two years earlier.

The clip first aired on the UK program The David Frost Show in 1968, and was quickly picked up by other shows, giving the song a big promotional push.
In terms of songcraft, this is one of the most studied Beatles songs. It starts with a vocal - Paul's voice singing "Hey" - then the piano comes in (an F chord). The song gradually builds, with McCartney alone playing on the first verse, then the sounds of George Harrison's guitar, Ringo's tambourine, and harmony vocals by George and John. The drums enter about 50 seconds in, and the song builds from there, reaching a peak of intensity with McCartney delivering the "better... better... better" line punctuated by a Little Richard-style scream, then the famous singalong resolution.
The "na na na" fadeout takes four minutes. The chorus is repeated 19 times.
"Jude" is the German word for "Jew." The Beatles owned a retail store on Baker Street in London called the Apple Boutique, which they closed around the time this song was released. On the shuttered building, an employee scrawled the words "Revolution" and "Hey Jude" to promote the new Beatles single. Without proper context, this proved offensive to Jewish residents, who read it as hateful graffiti.
Wilson Pickett recorded this shortly after The Beatles did. His version hit #16 UK and #23 US and provided the name for his album. Duane Allman played on it and got a huge career boost when the song became a hit. He spent the next year as a session guitarist for many famous singers and then formed The Allman Brothers, who are considered the greatest Southern Rock band of all time.
Thanks to the communal nature of this song, it is sometimes used to pay tribute to those who have passed. When Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr appeared on the 2014 CBS special The Night That Changed America: A Grammy Salute to the Beatles, Paul dedicated the song John Lennon and George Harrison. Musicians who performed earlier in the show joined on stage for the ending, which closed the telecast.
In America, an album called Hey Jude (originally titled "The Beatles Again") was released in 1970 containing this and several other Beatles songs that were released as singles or B-sides. The album has not appeared as a CD because Apple Records made the decision to copy only the British LP releases onto CD. In the '60s the American record company managed to get extra LPs off the British releases by cutting down the number of tracks, then putting them out with singles and B-sides as additional albums. (thanks, Tommy - Glasgow, Scotland)
As discussed in the DVD Composing the Beatles Songbook, while Paul wrote this song for Julian, in a lot of ways McCartney wrote this song about his brand-new relationship with Linda Eastman.
After the "Oh" in the crescendo, McCartney sings "YEAH!" in a non-falsetto voice. The note he hits is F Natural above male High C, a very difficult note for a male to hit in a non-falsetto voice.
The original 1968 version was recorded in mono, and many listeners find it far superior to the stereo remake from 1970, which is much more heavily produced.
On The Beatles Anthology 3, there is a version of this song with an introduction spoken by John and Paul: "From the heart of the black country: When I was a robber in Boston place You gathered round me with your fine embrace."

"Boston place" (mentioned by Paul) is a small London street where The Beatles' company Apple had just installed an electronics laboratory. In a more familiar scene, Boston Street was that street in which The Beatles ran for the title sequence of their film A Hard Day's Night. John spoke of the "Black Country," which was the name of the old smokestack industrial region in the middle of England.
Richie Havens played this at Woodstock when he opened the festival in 1969.
If you listen at about 2:55, you hear a sound from John Lennon while Paul keeps singing. It sounds like "Ohh!" at first, but it is really him saying "...chord!" You can barely hear it, but if you listen really closely, you can hear him say "Got the wrong CHORD." He says "chord" much louder than the other words. And about two or three counts later, you can hear McCartney say "F**king hell." (thanks, Sydney - McHenry, IL)
The song debuted at #10 in the Hot 100, and in doing so it made history by becoming the first ever single to reach the top 10 in its first week on the chart.
When the Beatles music was made available for download for the first time - on iTunes November 16, 2010 - "Hey Jude" was the most downloaded Beatles song that day.
This was named as the song most often referred to in literature in a list compiled by culture interpretation website Small Demons. Amongst the 55 books the site says it's mentioned in are Stephen King's Wolves of the Calla ("Why do people over here sing Hey Jude? I don't know") and Toni Morrison's Paradise ("Soane had been horrified – and he drove off accompanying Hey Jude on his radio").


Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" was runner-up on the list and Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" came in third place
McCartney played this at the 2005 Live8 concert in London. He started with "The Long and Winding Road" and flowed it into the end of this, which ended the Live8 concert. (thanks, Ethan - Ridgely, MD)
Paul McCartney played this at the 2005 Super Bowl halftime show. He performed the year after Janet Jackson's breast was exposed on stage, causing an uproar. McCartney was deemed a safe and reliable choice for a nudity-free performance.
Sesame Street did a parody of this (and tribute to healthy eating) called "Hey Food."
The Beatles
The Beatles Artistfacts
More The Beatles songs
More songs with boys' names in the title
More songs performed at the Super Bowl
More songs written for kids
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More songs used on Sesame Street
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More songs covered by The Supremes
More songs covered by the Glee cast

Comments (242):

In Australia the last week of December was very lucky for the Beatles...
The last week of December 1963 "I Want To Hold Your Hand" was at #1...
In 1964 it was "I Feel Fine"...
And in 1968 "Hey Jude" was at #1...
Then in 1969 they missed by one week; Elvis' "Suspicious Minds" was #1 during the last week of December that year ("Something" was #1 the week before)...
The Beatles disbanded in 1970 but during the last week of December 1972 "Imagine" by John Lennon was #1...
R.I.P. to John, George, and Elvis.
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
My all time favorite song. For all of the people who say it's too simple, and the "na na na" part is too long, I think these are the song's strengths. The simplicity is part of the song's beauty - it doesn't need anything fancy to convey its comforting message. The four minute repetition is unique, and it impresses me how it never really gets repetitive (at least, it doesn't get repetitive for me). There's a sort of magic to those last four minutes. I think Hey Jude can certainly stand up to earlier artistic breakthroughs like "A Day in the Life" and "Strawberry Fields Forever" because, like those songs, it evokes emotions. The lyrics are powerful, and I think that the line, "The movement you need is on your shoulder", is underrated. It means that whatever Jude needs to do is right there, waiting for him. As for the people who said that anyone who says this is their favorite Beatles song is not a true Beatles fan, that's ridiculous. Even if you don't think this is one of the Beatles' best, everyone is entitled to their own opinion. I have listened to a good portion of their catalog (11 albums down, just a few more to go) and this is my favorite so far.
- John C., Hartford, CT
I always thought Lennon's piano arrangement for Imagine was influenced by this song.
- Jim, West Palm Beach, FL
A friend of mine like to spoof the opening lines by singing, "Hey Jude, I saw you nude/Don't try to fake it; I saw you nakeddddd..."
- esskayess, Dallas, TX
I get tired of some people's constant supposition that all Beatles songs have to have a main drug basis. Granted quite a few after 1966 did have some drug influence, basis. But from all my observations of 46 years of Beatles history. Paul allways cited his empathy and care for Julian Lennon as his only motivation for Hey Jude. I'm 99% sure Paul wasn't a h junkie, much less even ever tried it. I don't think these guys needed an artificial musical thruster to make their monumental writing. But I concede it didn't hurt their writing either. Obviously they had the pure pure natural talent to begin with.
- meocyber, alma, CO
Ok, I'm tired of people making accusations about things they really have no clue about. :L 1. The Beatles did not "only" or even write any songs that had to do with drugs, around 1966. And 2. Hey Jude was not inspired by the 9/11 attacks. :L It is not possible that the song was written about that. The attacks occurred in 2001. That would explain the 11 in 9/11. This song was written in 1968. Unless they went into the future and came back, the writing of this song, inspired by the 9/11 attacks is not possible. At all.
- diana, long beach, NY
In response to Tom from StAndrews, although Isn't It a Pity was written in 1966, it probably wasn't intended to be such a long song. But since it was recorded two years after Hey Jude, and because it's 1 second shorter, the "na na" part at the end was probably recorded as an inside joke.
- eddie, long beach, NY
Hey Jude is the longest song to go to #1 in America (originally 7:11 but the mono version on Past Masters is 7:15). MacArthur Park and Layla never made it to #1 here, and although American Pie is a longer song, the version that went to #1 was only 4:11.
- eddie, long beach, NY
- whoknows, Anytown, AL.... Not sure if you are a troll or just stupid...
- GottaBeMe, Somewhere, NY
'The movement you need is on your shoulder'. Most stupid lyric in rock'n roll history. "Hey Jude" is an easily produced inbetween. A bungled idea.
- Nico, Amstelveen, Netherlands
For those of you who hates the "Na Na Na", please watch this http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_FkMOs03rpg James Taylor and Mavis Staples - Let It Be & Hey Jude. Paul McCartney what a great composer.
- Norman, Jakarta, Indonesia
Seriously thinking 'bout getting a tattoo of "Hey Jude" on my foot...
- Megan, Stevenson, AL
Having been a Beatles fan for the majority of my life and continue to enjoy their and the individual members music, I have one question to ask re Hey Jude and that is where does the na,na,na come from, the reason I ask is that for any real fan they will know George also used the same on Isn't it a pity which was originally written around the time of the White Album which pre dates Hey Jude. Was it given to Paul by George or did George use in the finished version of isn't it a pity as some kind of statement?
- tom, StAndrews, United Kingdom
John "F**ing Hell" towards the end was not because he broke a string as another poster stated. It was because he was in the process of recording the backing vocals and the he put on his headphones on and the volume that was fed to them was really loud so he took them off in anger and blurted out "F**ing Hell". Duing mixing they tried their best to mute it as much as possible, but once you know what it is you can hear it really clearly.
- James, santa monica, CA
This is so beautiful! I love Paul's voice in this! He sounds gorgeous...as usual. <3
- Megan, Stevenson, AL
This song is a milestone and a masterpiece in pop culture and pop music.
- George, Belleville, NJ
am i the only one here besides the fab four that knows hey jude is not about julian , its about how john made julian
- robert, shreveport la, LA
>This is so much like the story line in "Back to the Future 1" in which Marty McFly was teaching his dad "You have found her; now, go and >get her!" fits in very well with Back to the Future 1; why did the writers never think of adding that to one of Marty's lines?- andrew, >birmingham, United States

Andrew, this is NOTHING to do with 'Back To The Future' and the song did not influence the script. Just becuase a film uses a line with is the same as some song you heard, doesn't mean that the writers were thinking of 'Hey Jude' You read a bit too much into this stuff, lol.
- Melissa, London, United Kingdom
I love this song and conforts me when i'm feeling down(besides Getting Better).
- Cristian, San Jose, CA
My favorite song in the world. I love Paul and The Beatles. Every time I hear this I can't help singing along. It always gives me inspiration and I just love it when you watch Paul in concerts and he is singing this song and everyone joins in the Nah Nah Nah Hey Jude part.
- Abbie H., Kalamazoo, MI
It is amazing to me that people think that because Frank Sinatra or Bing Crosby like a particular Beatles song it some how validates its' quality.The Beatles were much better musicians and singers than these old farts could ever dream of being.The Beatles music is enjoyed by every generation since they began. Can we say the same about WWII music?
- brian, boston, MA
Their biggest U.S.A. hit by far; stayed at No. 1 for nine weeks and in the Top 100 for nineteen weeks!!!
- Barry, Sauquoit, NY
@Pete from Kansas City, KS

I love it! We all need to get a life for taking ourselves and this song too seriously!

"This song is about a softball game. Lennon (who sucked at softball) was in the dugout and they were trying to psyche out the opposing team's pitcher whose name was (of course) Jude. He and Ringo got a chant going ("HEY JUDE, HEY JUDE!") that so unnerved the pitcher, that he walked the winning run it. Don't try to read too much into this song. Lennon was a dope smoking hippie that couldn't hit a slowball to save his life."
- James, Wiesbaden, Germany
To K nowhere ,ON I do agree with you about favorite songs.Regarding Lucy I realize Lennon said he got the idea from his sons picture. Weather you believe him or not you can't tell me you don't hear the influence of psychadelics in this song
- brian, boston, MA
@Brian (2 posts down) - I think that if someone were a true fan, they wouldn't be able to name their favourite song. I have a new "favourite" every day, and it all depends on the mood I'm in. Also, from one post down, you need to learn more about Lucy, because that song is NOT about LSD!
- K, nowhere, ON
I also think that those whos' favorite Beatles song is Hey jude are not real Beatles fans. The Beatles have written many songs much much better than this. This song is popular among "Carpenters" fans. Lawrence Welk fans and those who equte smoking pot with shooting heroine.This song is boring safe and very mundane. Ifind it hard to believe that anyone with any real knowledge of the Beatles catalog could consider this there favorite song
- brian, boston, MA
I am a huge Beatles fan but this is my least favorite Beatles song.I am not a music snob that doesn't like something just because it is popular. I think this song is boring.The ending [NA NA NA NA NA NA NA] goes on forever.Let it be is a song also written by paul ,also a lot of piano and a billion times better than Hey jude.As is The Long and winding rode.To those fans that have yet to hear some of the Beatles more "obscure" tunes I say take the time to discover these gems yourself and do not be limited by the overplayed selections of an oldies station. Also this song is not about heroine. It is about Johns' son Julian Lennon. I wonder if people think before they speak.I hate it when someone makes a comment on a subject about wich they know nothing .Just because the Beatles smoked pot [and who in the music industry does not?] doesn't mean that everything they write is about drugs.Obviously we can look at songs like strawberry fields tommorow never knows and lucy in the sky with diamonds as songs influenced by trips on LSD. Sometimes you have to use your head. I think alot of people that call themselves Beatle fans know very little about them.
- brian, boston, MA
Thank you Tommy of Glasgow...The Hey Jude album(the Beatles Again) was the first rock album I purchased when I was in the 7th grade.Wish I still had a copy in pristine condition....
- Rick, Belfast, ME
Bing Crosby did an "odd" version of this in the early 1970s.
- Sara, Silver Spring, MD
This may have been written at the same time as Donovan's "Atlantis" which is another lengthly pop song. One might have influneced the other. It has nothing to do with drugs.
- Sara, Silver Spring, MD
The howl at 2:34 is most definitely Paul.
- K, nowhere, ON
Peter Brown, Beatles Assistant, tells:
"To help publicize the release of 'Hey Jude,' Paul decided to put the closed boutique at Baker and Paddington streets to some good use. Late one night he snuck into the store and whitewashed the windows. Then he wrote HEY JUDE across it in block letters. The following morning, when the neighbourhood shopkeepers arrived to open their stores, they were incensed; never having heard of the song 'Hey Juden' before, they took it as an anti-Semitic slur. A brick was thrown through the store window before the words could be cleaned off and the misunderstanding straightened out." The Love You Make : An Insider's Story of the Beatles
- edna, Madrid, Spain
Does anyone know what the sound in the background at 2:34 on the Love version is? Because it sounds -exactly- like my husky howling, and EVERY single time I hear it, I freak out and go check on the dog. No matter how many times I tell myself it's the recording. Lol. It really doesn't sound like an instrument or a human voice to me!
- Scarlett, Denver, CO
Hey Jude is about the WTC. They were being built about the time when the song came out. My dad is one of the buildings, I am the other. I at least knew the buildings would go up in flames. They were on fire when my dad and my grandfather showed me a rendering of them built in '68. Taking a sad(sack) and making it better, me. My dad was a military man. Letting her into the heart is the dance the two buildings made while they were still up In The Wind. Refrain is where the buildings were the same. And shoulders were the surprize for the weight they would actually be if it were possible for them to be really really us.
- the scrounge, san antonio, OH
Yes Breanna, yes you do. If you want a shorter one, check out the version on Love. It's different in a few ways (and slightly more amazing, but I love the long version too) and only 4 minutes long. It cuts it down to about 2 minutes of na na na na...
- K, nowhere, ON
The song was not at the time THE longest but the SECOND longest, with "Mac Arthur's Park", then still in the charts [fall 1968] at 7:30 being the long. "MacArthur's Park", as done by the late Sir Richard Harris, remains THE longest. The later released Peter Framption's 1976 edit of "Do You Feel like we do?" 7:20 is the middle of these now, pushing "Hey Jude" in fall 1968 at 7:10 to third place, with Derek & Dominoes's full length reissue of the formerly edited 1971 2:43, now 1972 "Layla" [1970 from the famed LP] @7:10 in the meantime tying in and the Temptations's edit "Papa Was a Rolling Stone" at the same time @6:55 close behind!!

Updating the date at 3/21/10, SC.
- Steve, Whittier, CA
Why is this song so long! I mean really do you honestly need a song with what is it 4 minuets of Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Hey Jude?
- Breanna, Henderson, NV
One could read the line "...you're waiting
for someone to perform with." in different ways.

Not a sentiment one would readily offer to a child.

On the live clip at Twik McCartney turns away
after he sings the line, and then the cut
is to Harrison, who seems to wear a facial expression not typically associated with rapport or joy.

Is it possible there is context in the lyric meant for Lennon? Maybe.

But it's conjecture, and I'm not convicted of any "truth" about the song, except that it delights me and moves me every time I have the great fortune to hear it.

Thanks, all, for your thoughtful comments. I enjoy reading the dialogue here.

Cheers.
- Terry, Milwaukee, WI
best song ever
- jack, hull, United Kingdom
I was six when this came out and honestly thought they were singing "Hey Jew", and I didn't even know what it meant, but I would go around singing, "hey Jew" and people would say , "That's not funny, some of my best friends are Jews", since this was the groovy 60's.
- PM in NYC, New York, NY
Many critics consider Lennon to be the serious songwriter and McCartney to be second to him, but this song proves otherwise. Both the lyrics and music are brilliant. I consider this to be the best song McCartney ever composed!
- Christy, Morristown, TN
This song never gets old. This is one of the tunes I could listen to over and over again and never get sick of it. =)
- Luna, San Diego, CA
john yells at 2:56, paul swears at 2:58 :D
- K, nowhere, ON
random fact- the live version from Paul's "Back in the US" tour is really fun; there's something awesome about a stadium full of people screaming "NAAA NA NA NANANANAAAA" with Paul yelling out god knows what.
- chloe, St. Louis, MO
British actor and comedian Hugh Laurie sang this song while on helium in an episode of A Little Bit Of Frye and Laurie.
- Hugh, Liverpool, United Kingdom
Hey Jude is not their best selling single. It's I Want To Hold Your Hand. Look up any list of world top selling singles and it (12 million) comes in ahead of Hey Jude (10 million).

It's often claimed Hey Jude is their best seller, but a quick bit of research shows otherwise. It's an easily checkable Beatles fact. Why people get it wrong I don't know. i think they just quote each other instead of looking up some facts.
- Andrew, Leeds, United Kingdom
Although not as good as the original, Wilson Pickett's version is awesome. Duane Allman's guitar work is some of the best you'll ever hear.
- Scott, Boston, MA
The best part of the song is the na na na part.
- Theresa, Murfreesboro, TN
hey ryan, thanks for the advice. as it happens, right after i posted that i managed to obtain the one album from a friend. so now i have the original one, which makes me very happy. :) on another note, oh PLEASE stop saying this is about heroin, people! do you think paul would actually have the nerve to write a cleverly disguised drug song and then claim it was meant as a comfort to his best friend's son?! if you take apart any song it can come across as being about drugs, you just have to remember that people, especially brilliant writers like paul mccartney, dont think about that when theyre writing it!
- chloe, St. Louis, MO
Having been in the broadcast industry during the late 70's and most of the '80's, I find this Mono/Stereo debate interesting... simply put, if you have a 'superior' stereo system, you will hear numerous items in the stereo mix - far too numerous to mention - that you will never hear in the mono version. As one who enjoys the 'art' of music, there is no such thing as one version being better than the other - they are variances of the same and should be appreciated for the uniqueness each. As for the meaning of the song, I'll rely on the individuals who were involved in its conception to answer that question - all the rest is speculation and not worthy of the song or the artists.
- J.P., Port Hawkesbury, , NS
Hey for Chloe with the Love album problem...its simple the love album has a reduced version of hey jude thats only like 3 and a half minutes, it really blows compared to the actual version and the part of the song your looking for is cut out on that album.. I cant seem to get a hold of the hey jude album itself, but if you go out and buy their album 1...which has all their major hits...you can find it on their with actually a pretty decent line up of songs. But honestly, hey jude is hardly the best beatles song, it does kick alot of ass though and the part with the f***ing hell is just so cool. So there you go...sorry to make you spend more money if your actually go to lol.
- Ryan, Morganville, NJ
Paul proposed to Cynthia twice - when she was first pregnant with Julian and he thought John wouldn't want anything to do with her. And when John divorced her...sometimes I often wonder why she didn't say yes the second time - but she probably understood even then the underlying rivalry between John and Paul - probably before they were even aware of it - and knew it would be the end of the Beatles if she did. Sometimes I guess you just realize that things are sometimes bigger than yourself...and While I absolutely love John to pieces - I feel very deeply for what life was probably like for Cynthia.
- Linc, Beaumont, TX
Victory! I heard the "chord!" part using this widget thing on this page! It was the single greatest moment of my life! Dammit, I love this song.
hey, has anybody else noticed that muttering at the end? its about, i dont know, 30 seconds to a minute before the na nas end.
- chloe, st. louis, MO
aaww....i cant find the 'CHORD!''f***ing hell!' part....am i not listening hard enough, or is it because im listening to the version on "love" and the timing is screwed up? id appreciate some help on this.
- chloe, st. louis, MO
LOL! Ringo was on the toilet during this song! =P
- Jenny, Indianapolis, IN
While this song , like any,can be about different things/people all at the same time.
JOhn and Paul argued who this song was about both claiming it was about themselves AFTER THE "JUDE" REFERENCE

BUT HERE IS MY TAKE ON THE LINE, "THE MOVEMENT YOU NEED IS ON YOUR SHOULDER" (which I always thought was "THE" line)

Its ABOUT JOHN.

The "Movement" refered to both the political groups he was involved with or would be involved with AND REFERING TO ALL HE REALLY NEEDED WAS WHAT WAS BETWEEN HIS ( JOHN'S) EARS.

His OWN BRAIN

DAMN I LOVE THE BEATLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- JCH, Dallas, TX
Greatest song ever.
- M, Lennonland, NY
I remember when I was in High School (I went to a Christian School) and the principal was talking to us about how all rock songs are evil. He said Hey Jude was about drugs. I thought to myself "You've got to be kidding me"

They were so screwed up when it came to music, it made me really hate the school.
- Rodger, Butler, PA
I never really liked this much. We didn't have the expression "jumped the shark" back then, of course, but the feeling I had could be described by that phrase, perhaps because of all the la-las. But I did enjoy some of the lyrics. I immediately assumed they were about heroin -- the references to "her", "under your skin", "let it out and let it in" (which I assumed meant pulling-back). I thought it was likely a case of the famous "double and triple meanings" we had heard so much about the lyrics of the Fab Four, but I was sure one of those meanings was heroin -- making this (almost) totally a heroin song!
- Ekristheh, Halath, United States
I love Hey Jude alot because because my father is very good with music, and taught me how to play that on my guitar! And also I loved how Paul wrote it!
- Alyson, Beaver Dam, WI
This was by any doubt the longest Beatle song to hit the airwaves. back in the late 60's and I wasn't even a teen..I took a liking to this song and eventually brought the single
- Larry, Coral Springs, FL
This song is about a softball game. Lennon (who sucked at softball) was in the dugout and they were trying to psyche out the opposing team's pitcher whose name was (of course) Jude. He and Ringo got a chant going ("HEY JUDE, HEY JUDE!") that so unnerved the pitcher, that he walked the winning run it. Don't try to read too much into this song. Lennon was a dope smoking hippie that couldn't hit a slowball to save his life.
- Pete, Kansas City, KS
This has always been my favorite Beatles song. Very well written and beautiful.
- Amber, San Francisco, CA
I like this song. It's one of the Beatles' best, and the one I named my hamster after. I was listening to it on the way to the pet store, and so now my hamster is Little Jude (I have a friend who always tells me to "say hey to Jude" for her).
- Pippin, Rhye, CA
the heroin thing is spot on, im an addict and recognize every bit. the 1 thing no-one has mentioned because theyve got this julian lennon story mixed up into it (just like john saying lucy in the sky with diamonds was about jules painting, yeah right!) is that the jude in it is DYLAN (jewish). Dylan was big into smack in the 60's, as was lennon (later on!).although as is said in Clinton Heylins book they were both on jun (smack) when they met in 65. (the footage of them in the car).When paul says about the movement you need is on your shoulder. he means nodding out. a common thing for someone on gear.OK thats it nuff said.thats the final comment, dont need no more.anyone not believing beatles or dylan was into smack (as we know the stones were!) need only read The many lives of John Lennon.
- sid, london, United Kingdom
A common joke lyric sung on kindergarten playgrounds ever since this song was released is: "Hey, Jude, I saw you nude/Don't try to fake it/I saw you naked."
- Susan, Toronto, Canada
According to the book UP AND DOWN WITH THE ROLLING STONES, the first "public playing" of this song was in a London club where Paul McCartney gave the club owner a copy of the song and said, "Play this on the stereo." Mick Jagger was in the club, and afterwards came up to McCartney and said, "It's like two different songs attached together."
- Susan, Toronto, Canada
hey did u know that they say "na" 198 times?
- ozzy, fresno, CA
i love this song so much it is my favourite and its by my favoutrite band well paul mccartney is genius so good luck to him in the future From:Jude
- Jude, thunder bay, ON
Hey Jude b/w [url=http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=142]Revolution[/url] is another double-sided statement of band personality from the Beatles, but this time the duality comes in the form of PSAs, John gently chiding revolutionaries for losing sight of The Big Picture, Paul attempting to heal the turmoil-stricken world through the power of music (and the most impassioned shouting ever heard in a pop song). Two cultural monoliths that still retain their emotional power in any setting.
- Bertrand, Paris, France
Can we say the best song ever? I'm kinda mad b/c the song was originally gunna be named hey jules which is my nickname. But hey jude will always be the bestest song ever. A true classic.
- julie, taylor, TX
This song is great. Not just that it has the same name as me, but its just amazing.
- Jude, Toronto, QC
John, Paul, and George all play lead guitar on THE END. The solo rotates between all of them.
- Tim, Edina, MN
Being a huge Beatles fan this is one of their best recording, and I can for get my all time fav. Let it Be
- mixermatt, Bloomington, MN
I listen to this song at least once a day. the beatles did SO good with HEY JUDE and perfectly recorded the song at 7 minutes. i like when John shouts "wrong chord" and Paul says "bloody hell".
- Andrew, Bartlett, TN
Wow, so many comments you guys are making match lengths with the song itself! Anyway, this is so much like the story line in "Back to the Future 1" in which Marty McFly was teaching his dad (back in time) to ask out Lorraine and not to be afraid. "You have found her; now, go and get her!" fits in very well with Back to the Future 1; why did the writers never think of adding that to one of Marty's lines?
- andrew, birmingham, United States
What a song! Very possibly the best song ever and one reason that the Beatles will never be forgotten... Ever!
- Mr. B, Doon Bish, England
I freakin love this song! The end takes forever, but it's the best part! I love that Paul wrote this for Julian, what a pal!
- Meredith, Wauwatosa, WI
thanks bianca.me too, they are my hero. my mom named me paul because of mcca. i'm 20 and im sick not hearing the song everyday. i exclusively play beatles song even in my mp3 all beatles song and their solo works in here. do you know who plays the lead guitar on "THE END" is sounds virtouso guitar player. i almost think they did not play riff its sounds amazing..
- Paul Bert Bilog, los angeles, CA
thanks bianca.me too, they are my hero.
my mom named me paul because of mcca.
i'm 20 and im sick not hearing the song everyday.
i exclusively play beatles song even in my mp3 all beatles song and their solo works in here.
do you know who plays the lead guitar on "THE END"
is sounds virtouso guitar player. i almost think they did not like to riff its sounds amazing.
- Paul Bert Bilog, los angeles, CA
Yes Paul, I am an Avid fan of The Beatles. Ask me anything about them and I will answer it. Stykman, Beatles songs ain't about drugs!
- Bianca Sanchez, Alburquerque, NM
According to Paul, he told John that he would change the "movement you need is on your shoulder" line. John said "You won't!" Paul replied "But nobody will know what it means", to which John replied "*I* know what it means! It's the best line in the song. Leave it in!"
- Ken, Louisville, KY
The Beatles were supposed to sing Hey Jude live with a pre-recorded backing track on The David Frost Show in the UK. But somehow some of Paul's original vocal ended up on the backing track, so there are times when Paul's vocal sounds double-tracked on the video. This was noticble beacuse Paul's vocal was almost never double-tracked on Beatle records.
- Ken, Louisville, KY
i love this song very much. it makes me cry and blows my mind. The beatles are great no band can ever match the beatles critically and commercially the greatest band of all time
- Paul Bert Bilog, los angeles, CA
to John, Woburn, MA, you simply don't undestand music there wouldn't be "the beatles" if bob dylon was not arround changing the course of music forever. You should learn about a topic befor talking about it, no one cares about opinions that arn't justified.
- God, icanttell, England
There is a website which does a Top 500 Oldies contest on Labor Day, with the songs coming from the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's. (See www.oldiesmusic.com) In the first 10 years' worth of polls, "Hey Jude" is by far the most popular song, with five 1st places, two 2nds, one 3rd, one 4th and one 7th (7th?). "American Pie" is a distant second, with one 1st, two 2nds, one 3rd, two 4ths, two 5ths, one 6th and one 8th. "Satisfaction," the only other song with as many as two #1 finishes, is third. The next highest Beatles song is "I Want to Hold Your Hand," at #9, followed by "She Loves You" at #19 and "Yesterday" at #22.
and "Satisfaction," the only other song with as many as two 1st-place finishes, is 3rd.
- Jim, Arcata, CA
Maynard Ferguson covered this on his M.F. Horn 2 album in a full jazz instrumental style.It because a staple in his live songs ending up in full form or his famous M.F. Hit Medley.
- Brandon, Morristown, TN
When I first heard this song, I was completely lost in the melody. No wonder why beatles are so great.
- vaibhav, SHAHJAHANPUR
wow, this is similair to a huge debate topic, bringing up information from almost fourty years ago. listen; perhaps Paul wrote the song for both Jules and John? whats wrong with having it both ways? and knowing Paul, being the brilliant lyricist that he is...he would be able to pull that off. drugs? oh, i'm sure. so i guess Paul was weaving in circles of heroine when he wrote Paperback Writer...Hey Jude is an incredible song, and i love the video that they shot for it. long live the Beatles' music!
- Simon, Chattanooga , TN
john had some great stuff! when he would work hidden things from the studio into their music, so quiet that only they knew what it was...genius stuff, guys.
- Simon, Chattanooga , TN
i think that peolpe are over analyzing this song... if he says its for Julian, why can't it be just that?
- anna, paris, TX
I'm not sure this song COULD be overplayed, for my money. Maybe if I had to hear it once an hour, every waking hour, for 2 or 3 months, that might qualify as overplaying. But that's about what it would take. :)
- Jim, Arcata, CA
John, Why would John be upset if Paul didn't write the song for him? He wanted the divorece he wanted to live with Yoko. Paul wrote it for Julian because he was just little and had to go threw a hard time. I think it's a beutiful song.
- Krissy, Boston, MA
Yeah Paul wrote this for Julian. When Cynthia and John got a divorce. Because he was only little like 5 and Paul was just doing somehting nice for him.
- krissy, Boston, MA
Someone said under the 'Songfacts' that this was the Beatles first performance in 2 years. In fact, they performed 'All you need is love' live before a worldwide television audience in 1967. Hey Jude was THE song of 1968 and that was a very big year for music.
- Doug, Vernon, Canada
It IS funny, isn't it, how people automatically assume that sort of aspect in a Beatles song is necessarily the doing of John Lennon. It took me the better part of a year to convince my mom that it was pretty Paul, not "that g.d. John Lennon," who gave us "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?"

And, of course, there's the famously ignorant statement by the Manson prosecutor that he looked into ways of getting jurisdiction to subpoena John Lennon to the Manson trial to testify about the meaning of the lyrics to "Helter Skelter." Would that have been the funniest moment in American courtroom history, or what? Can't you just see John sitting there on the stand and, in a calm but acidic voice, saying, "How the bloody hell should I know what those lyrics mean? It's Paul McCartney's song."

I realize from my work that prosecutorial arrogance is virtually limitless, but I suspect the learned prosecutor would have wanted to slither away and die somewhere in quiet at about that point....

Jim F., Arcata, CA
- Jim, Arcata, CA
John is not the one who says "f---ing hell." According to Geoff Emerick's book, Here There & Everywhere, John said, "Paul hit a clunker on the piano and said a naughty word." John was the one who insisted they keep the expletive but bury it in the background; he got a kick out of the idea that nobody else would hear it, but "we'll know it's there." I love John! :D
- Bobbi, Newington, CT
I like the fact that top 40 radio stations were forced to play the whole song at a time when top 40 radio was a three minute song format.
- Liam, New York, NY
The point here is that the group (John, Paul, George, and Ringo) all rocked while they were together and the reason why the Beatles were such a powerful force was that it was all teamwork. John with his acid, psychodelic rock, George with his spiritual, Indian music, Ringo with his intuitive fills, and Paul with his love songs was what it was all about.
John even said "the Beatles could play together when things weren't so up tight".
- Tiffany, San Diego, CA
My all time favorite song ever. If you don't get chills down your spine or a bit teary-eyed while listening to this, then you can't be human... Get on You Tube and watch the video and tell me this song is about heroin or any other kind of drug. Remember now, you may take a sad song, but you can't make it better...Think about it!!!
- Alan, Orlando , FL
Definitely the Beatles best, it shows Paul's songwriting skill. It was one of his great showy songs (screaming in the background at the end. But also, it was filled with the Beatles art (piano opening, grand ending). Paul never was the same without John to balance out his diva style.
- Bryan, New York, NY
Dear Andres from Guatemala,

I don't have the stuff needed to listen to a complete song on that site, but I did listen to the first 30 seconds of "Hey Jude" and of "Revolution," the single's b-side. They didn't get far enough into "Hey Jude" for me to find out if the drums and bass come thundering in, but it SOUNDS like the original 1968 mono version. If they sing the refrain 18-3/4 times or 19 times, instead of 18.5 times, it's the original. What I picked up on is that the tambourine doesn't come in nearly as strong after the first verse as it does in the stereo version, so I think you've found it.

As to "Revolution," you only need listen to the first 10 to 15 seconds to know, for sure, which version it is. And THIS recording, for sure, is the original 1968 mono version. Not only is that a much better recording than the later stereo (per)version, it strongly suggests to me that the accompanying recording of "Hey Jude" is the original deal, too.

I'm fairly confident the answer to your question is, "Yes, both songs are in their original mono version."


DEAR KEVIN IN QUEBEC: Are you saying you sang this in the same key as the Beatles, and you hit The Note at the top of the crescendo? If that's true, and if you're post-pubescent (lol), I am greatly impressed. Did you let it go full throat, or was it falsetto?

Color me super-impressed if you did it like Paul.

Jim F., Arcata
- Jim, Arcata, CA
In the bit of the song were people are singing the "na na na" bit you can hear this wierd french guy who ceeps saying "voiture" about three times. In english this means car..........
- johnny, Guilford, England
I have registered in this site just to know something. In This song at exctly 05:41, someone says something. It sounds like a portuguese sentence, and it says "Pega o cavaquinho" which means "Take the cavaquinho".
(Cavaquinho is a kind of 4 cord acoustic guitar, we have in here.)
Please check this part of the song, and say something.
Enough, we wanna know what that means..
- Rafael, Curitiba/PR , Brazil
The first song over 7 minutes to go number 1 and it basically innovates the extended fade out and it's highest selling debut single for a record label the Beatles own record label Apple records.
Sal Bardonia,NY
- sal, bardonia , NY
One popular (and heavily debated) theory on this song is that it is a strong drug reference to heroin. As much as I hate to admit it, I believed that theory for a long time and accepted it to be true because many religious figured persuaded me to believe it. However, after researching the topic a little more, I discovered that Paul wrote the song for Julian Lennon, John Lennon's son, during a time of difficulty as John went through a divorce with his first wife, Cynthia, for love of another woman, Yoko. (I apologize for the run-on!)That was all part of theory #2, that the song was simply to comfort a child and nothingmore; no hidden drug references. Exploring this a bit more, I found theory #3, that the song was truly written by Paul for John as some of the lyrics suggest (you have found her, now go and get her; referring to the fact that he found the woman he loved, being Yoko, and that it was okay to be with her). This intricate theory explains that it is much easier for a grown man to express tenderness towards a child (Julian) than another grown man (John), which is why he claimed that it was indeed for Julian 'Jules' and not John. Whether this song was encouraging heroin, comforting a child, or consoling a friend with love troubles, this is a perennial favorite and always will be.
- Bree, Orlando, FL
After reading everything this site had to offer, I concluded that there are many different interpretations of the meaning of this song so it is impossible for anyone to tell what is really is. Artist purposely leave the interpretation to the listener, which is what Paul tried to do with "Hey, Jude."
- Bree, Orlando, FL
I only started to listen to The Beatles because my stepdad exposed me to them, but they have proved to be fantastic and I listen to the every day. I love this song and I don't think any hidden symbolism could make me change my mind.
- Bree, Orlando, FL
" Hey Jude "( wow )Thats all that I can say. This is the BEST beatles song EVER!!!
Hey Jude should have been 10 minutes long...
- Tyler Jonathan, Toronto, Canada
A riff? Man, that would have ruined this song
- Allen, up, CT
This site is called Song "Facts" (not Song Fantasies) I get a laugh at how some people "read" into songs things that aren't really there. This song has never been about drugs (although you want it to be) so stop with the drugs, McCartney wrote the lyrics and NEVER used heroin. Next you'll be saying "She Loves You" was written about X...Keep dreaming.
- michael, Kearny, NJ
Basil/Montana--you're a stitch. Thanks for the laugh. Please write analyses for all the other Beatles songs on this site so I can start reading them again!
- dirk, Nashville, TN
Interesting tidbit: Ringo's "No No Song," wherein he sings: "A woman that I know just came from Majorca, Spain. She smiled because I did not understand. Then she held out a ten pound bag of cocaine. She said it was the finest in the land." This song, believe it or not, is not about cocaine. If you take the first initials of 'ten pound bag (of) cocaine' you get TPBC or "then (St.) Paul brought Christianity." Ringo's true message is clear. Like Christ warns of a deciever from the desert, everyone assumes it's Satan. Nope. And Ringo knows this. No, this song is so not about drug use or becoming sober. It's a song about the spiritual warfare that affects us all. Later in the song he makes mention of marijuana ... nope ... what he means is "Mother Mary - 'wanna' help us all." Not all hidden drug messages are about drugs.
- Basil, Skylark Sound City, MT
Are you saying that Hey Jude = Hey, Heroin! Take it. "Hey, Jude, don't make it bad" = Heroin makes it good. Just like "My Love" 'does it good.' "Take a sad song and make it better." How? Are you suggesting that Paul is the dark ruler of the night? Are you all suggesting that his "Remember:" is Svengalian hypnotist's tone "to let her into [(her-in > (her (o) in)] your heart (inject it) Then you can start (the addiction) "(It's chemistry) so don't be afraid: You were made to go out and get her(oin). (Thank you Carl Sagan?) The minute (mainline) you let her(oin) under your skin (spike) Then you begin to make it better (nod off.) And any time you feel the pain, (heroin) refrain. (sing it, hell babies?)
Are you all suggesting that the lyric: "Don't carry the world upon your shoulders ... don't you know that its a fool who plays it cool, by making his world a little colder..." is classic pusher logic. Like he was paid off by the United States government to help sell it to support Viet Nam profits etc? "Don't let her(oin) working Satanic capitalist death squads down? "You have found her, now go and get her(oin)." Are you pointing out that Mr. $1.5 billion needn't reveal anymore?
"Remember, to let her(oin) to your heart, then you can start to make it better. So let it out and let it in (SEE Trainspotting?) Hey, Jude, begin. You're waiting for someone to perform with (yeah, like don't expect Lou Reed to knock on your door, just spike it, honey?)
"And don't you know that it's just you, (your alone, but not completely if you count Satan) hey, Jude (self-destruction in the sight of God)
You (Will?) do, the movement you need is on your shoulder (a popular site to stick?)
Is this what the professor is suggesting, because now my world just got a little colder. Man, with that logic, you'd think James Taylor was into it. Ha ha! He was? Wait a minute. Are you also suggesting that Cold Turkey was... Man, this is too much.
- Basil, Skylark Sound City, MT
i sang this song with my band a couple of months ago and i hit the high note "Yeah!" after the crescendo i was so proud :)
- kevin, quebec, Canada
alright nwo i know this was written for john lennons son.. but john lennon originally thought it was written for himself... now i dont know about you but this seems to apply more for an adult dealing with pains of love then a childs parents divorcing.. you have found her, now go and get her..? any thoughts on this.. i know its a good song ingneral for dealing with a painful love situation... but it does seem to apply more to adult then a child.. someone prove me wrong because i dont get why paul would write some of those lines for a child
- brian, chelmsford, MA
Dear Doug, yes Like A Rolling Stone did pre date Hey Jude and was the first long song to get a lot of airplay, put u left out an important fact. Bob Dylan is horrible!!!
- John, Woburn, MA
dear jim, from california: thanks, i want to get that version but i think i might have found a less expensive way. i found a website (www.allofmp3.com), it has a lot of the singles of the beatles (including hey jude/revolution), but i'm not sure if it's actually the single or it just says it's the single so could you please check and see if that is actually the single version. please, go to that site, then go to the beatles section. there you will find a beatles single section and please check if that is actually the single version.
- Andres, Guatemala
Dear Andres Anleu:

Sad to say, the version on the "Blue Album," with the irrationally selected "greatest hits" from 1967-1970 ("Old Brown Shoe"???), has the later-remixed 1970 stereo perversion on it, not the original, monster hit 1968 version.

With that said, I really do suggest you, and many others who have posted here, track down that 22-cd, 44-song collection of their singles, "digitally remastered," but otherwise sounding as they originally did.

The differences between these versions of "Lady Madonna," "Revolution," "Paperback Writer," "Rain" and especially "Hey Jude" are MORE than worth the $130 to $160 it will cost you. And for whatever you consider this to be worth, the collection is beautifully packaged with a black, hard leather case containing all of these cd's, and each individual cd in its own jacket, with a photo from its period of time in Beatles history. A lot of information is enclosed.

But all you have to do is take the "Hey Jude"/"Revolution" single and you'll know it was a steal and your money was well-spent. "Revolution" was annihilated by the stereo mix, leaving it sounding like a tepid attempt at a rock song. The first time you hear the REAL version, whether on a scratchy old 45 or from this boxed set in pristine condition, you'll know it's a song which puts the pedal to the medal from the start, and never lets up. I think it outdoes all other Beatles songs in that regard, except probably "When I get Home," which is a parallel for the 45 version of "Dream On" as the most non-stop throbbing and kickass rocker I've ever heard. I like the original "Dream On" better than "When I Get Home better than "When I Get Home," but not much.

And, of course, you've seen what I have to saw about the stereo ruinaton of "Hey Jude," so... GET THE MONO VERSIONS OF THESE SONGS. If you are blessed enough to get an ultra-mint condition of the 45, do cartwheels and then BUY it and burn several copies. Otherwise, swallow hard, Google your way to that 22-CD, 44-song boxed set with lots of great info inside, as well as those songs as they were meant to be heard, and BUY THEM. You'll hate the cost, but as soon as you hear those songs, you'll know you did right. Then make SURE no half-wit relatives or friends can get at them.

Good luck.

Jim F.
- Jim, Arcata, CA
This song is by far the best song of all-time.This song really hits home with me personally (as im sure it does to other people. Everything, the amazing McCartney vocal, the falling punctual piano notes right before the middle eights ("so let it out..."), George and John's perfect soothing backing harmony.... is amazing.
- John, Woburn, MA
does anybody knows if the version on the album 1967 1970 is the stereo or mono mix? I think it's the stereo version but i'm not sure. thank you
- Andres Anleu, Guatemala, Other
Mccartney can out write Lennon hands down he is a Pure Craftsman and Musician. He took the band forward and in new directions even if was pushy he was responsible for all of thier progression
in Rock Music and he deffinately was the BEST musician out of the bunch. Lennon was always Jealous of Mccartney and admitted it. Me being a Musiciand for about 40 years now I can only say they were great together and fed off each other in a healthy way. Mccartney was upfront with his opinions and Music. Lenon always tried to be COOL but he was really very insecure but as the most talented Beatle in every aspect it was definately hands down Paul. Paul brought us Seargent Peppers and the main changes in music.
always looking for something new the others followed suit and it worked if was up to Lennon they would have broken up in 66 and we wouldnt have had Revolver Sgt Peppers the White Album and Abbey road so thank you Paul for pushing and keeping them together a Little While longer
- FRANK, LAS VEGAS, NV
Anybody listening to this and thinks it's about drugs... You're retarded. NO other words explain it... You are retarded. Rest in peace Billy Preston
- JT, Tullahoma, TN
When in the song does he say "fu**ing hell"? i've listened many times and have yet to hear it.
- judd, somewhere in, NY
My favorite song ever. I like it cause my name is Julian. So I can relate. I LOVE MY NAME!
- Julian, Anaheim, CA
Sam in Provo Utah...Hey Jude is no where near the best rock scream ever, try Won't Get Fooled Again
- Tim, Dalton, MA
Guys, this song is one of the beatles' weakest. I prefer their weirder tracks from the white album and MMT. Lennon was a much better songwriter then mccartney and this song is a rare exception.
- Mischa, Winnipeg
First of all, this is a fabulous song. Undeniable. Who doesn't know this song, honestly? But, to the "john smith 18 @gmail" fellow, I must say the "take it jude" reference is incorrect. Here's why.

Listen to the song about 3:15 ish, just about 20 seconds after john's expletive. paul is clearly stated as saying "make it jude" and does so periodically throughout the song. To me, this appears to be some sort of overdubbing that was done, from an earlier recording or so. Anyway, the point is that paul clearly says "make it jude" multiple times during the chorus...sounding like a background almost. Therefore, it is obvious that he would be saying "make it jude" again at 6:00 because of the overdubbing. Correct me anyone if I am completely wrong, but this is what i hear and beleive to be true in the song.
- Logan, Los Angeles, CA
Still great after 1,000's of plays. In it's own category... how would you decribe this song? Rock? Pop? Folk? Blues? Just uniquely Beatles, like no one else.
- Pete, NY, NY
Has anyone ever noticed that the girl on the TV show, "Instant Star", could have been named after this song? (Well, no I don't watch the show, I have just heard her name mentioned.) Her name is Jude Harrison. Think about it... she does share a last name with George... ok maybe I was the only one to ever notice...
- Sara, Nashville, TN
First of all, let me start by saying I LOVE THIS SONG!!!! And secondly, yes the wrong chord part is true. I have heard it before and i find it hilarious! Anyways,great song.
- Daryn, coquitlam, Canada
Having read a number of comments here from people talking about what their teacher's analysis 'proves' the song is about, I just thought I would add this. A teacher is a person who will trap a butterfly, pin it to a piece of cardboard and examine it closely, delivering profound judgments on the functions of various part s of it. Meanwhile, the butterfly is dead.
- Allan, Vanderhoof, Canada
contrary to other post's here John makes his little comment at about 2:56 in Hey Jude. John says "got the wrong chord" right after Paul sings "let her under your skin. Since john yells out just the "chords" part of it it just sounds like an "oh".Then precisely 3 seconds later at 2:58 john says either "bloody hell" or "f-ing hell". Hope i cleared this all up for you readers
- John, Woburn, MA
does it really matter the "secret meanings" of the song? no. paul's scream during the na-na-na's is soooo cool. most definately the best rock scream ive heard.
- Sam, Provo, UT
I always thought this song was about a guy who suffers some form of heartache, be it a failed relationship or whatever, and as a result he withdraws from the world as a coping mechanism. Lines like you hvae found her now go and get her made me think it was about a guy whose pain makes it hard for him to open up to people. So I'm surprised to read now it's about comforting Julian? Some of the lines don't quite fit that interpretation, at least not in my view...
- Charles A, New York, NY
Jim from Arcata: Thanks. Very cool. Nice to hear from somebody who knows what he's talking about.
- dirk, Nashville, TN
Dear Dirk from Nashville,

The Note is at the crescendo of the point where Part One explodes into Part Two. McCartney sings "better, better, better, better, better, better, ohhh" and then lets loose with a non-falsetto "YEAHHH!" That note is F Natural ABOVE High C.

If other guys have done it on record, without breaking into falsetto, I have certainly never heard it, and I don't think I've heard anyone come close. Moreover, McCartney nailed it on his first try, which is perhaps well, because I doubt he could have hit it on the 5th try or the 13th try.

And The Note is so essential, because without it, it would be awfully hard to accept the song's change from, well, the most beautiful love song I've ever heard into this glorious, lavishly produced anthem of joy and catharsis. They might have had to bring in the real heavy punch of horns and strings at the start of the first refrain, instead of the fourth refrain, and a lot of the second half's magical feeling of growth, followed by diminution, would have been lost.
- Jim, Arcata, CA
Rob:

"Hey Jude" was released in the late Summer of 1968, and was still on the Billboard chart into early 1969. "Bridge Over Troubled Water" was released in early 1970, and, while not a hit of "Hey Jude's" colossal proportions, did a pretty huge job on the charts itself in 1970.

Anyway, what you heard cannot be true.

Jim F., Arcata, CA
- Jim, Arcata, CA
First of all, i'm on drugs.....who here isn't?
Anyway, Paul was quoted as saying about 'Hey Jude'
that he wanted to write a song like 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'. I can't verify this because, as previously mentioned, i'm stoned.
- rob, vancouver, Canada
I've listened to the Beatles since I was very young, and I've never heard the heroin story. Even if it's true, it never influenced me to use heroin. Just to clarify a few things about "Hey Jude"'s album history. The song was released as a single in 1968, it didn't appear on album until Apple Records (the Beatles own label) released a repackaging of B-sides and A-sides that had not appeared on a proper U.S. album release in 1970. The album was initially called "The Beatles Again" and an initial shipment of albums went out that way. However, they changed the marketing plan and switched the back photo to the front and the front photo to the back and re-titled the album Hey Jude. Back in the day, Capitol Records, who released Beatle records in the States, would butcher the Beatle Lp's. They would cut let's say a 14 song lp, to 11, and save the other 3 songs for later to push more product. So if you do your homework you'll see that Revolver, Rubber Soul, Help! and A Hard Day's Night all were different in the U.K. and the U.S. (the U.K. versions far superior in my opinion). In 1987, when CD's became the dominant format, the Beatles would only consent to their catalogue being remastered and released if the original British Compilations/production were used. This is why you can't find the Beatles Again/Hey Jude on CD, but alas you most likely will in the future. Remember, just two years ago the first four Capitol butchered albums were released as a box set. They didn't sell terribly well as they used the God-awful Capitol re-production. Great notes on the mono/stereo controversey, add "Paperback Writer" to that list as well. I found a copy of that and the "Hey Jude" single at a garage sale many years ago, and they are far superior in Mono.
- Ralph, High Point, NC
Love the first section, most people seem to agree it could be shorter, however.
- Linus, Hamilton, ON, Canada
Jim from Arcata, your observations are a stitch. But I'm stumped--what is "The Note" in Hey Jude that you're referring to? Where does it occur? Do you mean the long scream that leads from better-better-better into the na-na-na chorus?
- dirk, Nashville, TN
In the George Martin version I mentioned from circa 1990, the play time is 7:19, and they sing the chorus a full 19 times. On the 1968 monster hit single, the time is 7:11 and they sing the chorus 18-3/4 times. On the blasphemous 1970 stereo version, the play time is either 7:05 or 7:07, and they sing the chorus 18-1/2 times.

Not that I'm obsessed with this song, or anything. But I also know all of McCartney's screams by heart, or at least well enough to lip synch them. Too bad I'm a mediocre bass baritone and McCartney was, at that time, a phenomeal ultra tenor (anyone know the right term? alto?), who could go a HALF OCTAVE above tenors' definitive note (high C).

For my money, as a tenor, he had only Roy Orbison to challenge him then, and Orbison could never have hit The Note. The highest note I can prove Orbison hit without going falsetto was either B or B Flat right below High C, although the High C at the crescendo of "In Dreams" may not be falsetto. I've also had people tell me the high note at the apogee of "Crying" (which I consider his masterpiece) is non-falsetto. I believe the note is C Sharp, 1/2 note above Male High C, but I also believe it's falsetto. Not so with The Note in "Hey Jude."

Jim F., Arcata
- Jim, Arcata, CA
Okay, yes, The Beatles DO have some songs about drugs, but THIS IS NOT ONE OF THEM!!!!! HOW COULD YOU THINK SUCH A THINK ABOUT SUCH A NICE AND WONDERFUL SONG LIKE THIS!!!!!
- Ian, Lethbridge, Canada
Yes everyone!!! Musicians as ingenious as the Beatles had nothing else to get ideas from than the bowels of our society...drugs! You figured the fab four out! <<
- Kevin Murphy, Ridgewood, NJ
And to "whoknows" in "Anytown, AL"--Yes, to answer your question, you are definitely an idiot. This crap about Hey Jude being about heroin addiction was promoted by a certain backward protestant church in the late 1960s. I remember kids in the South being forbidden to listen to the song (like they could avoid it--the song waas playing from every record player and radio station in America). Churches told their members that the song's lyrics were all "secret" references to drugs... that "Jude" was slang for heroin. It was just backwoods ignorance. So thanks for trying to keep the stupidity alive. If you are old enough to have found this website and weighed in with your comments, I assume you're old enough to know that many so-called religious people actually earn their livings traveling the South, speaking to low-brow church congregations about some unrecognized new evil lurking around the corner. Ignorance and hate keep the paychecks coming in. I guess it beats working for a living.
- dirk, Nashville, TN
Jim from Arcata--thanks for your wonderful note. You really hit the nail on the head about Hey Jude and its beautiful message of being at peace with your surroundings. I wish everyone could hear the song as it was recorded. The Beatles were very, very reluctant to embrace stereo recordings--DESPITE the fact that led the recording industry into advanced new recording practices. In fact, they resisted stereo practically till the end. Their attitude was that the audiences of the world were hearing their music from little record players, high school gym loudspeakers, car radios--and NOT high tech studio environments. They wanted audiences to hear the "total" sound all at once--not with instruments and voices divided up into speakers around the room depending on where you happened to be standing. And, as Jim said, DESPITE what they intended, the record companies insisted on remixing their records into stereo after the fact.
- dirk, Nashville, TN
P.P.S. I just found one of these 22-cd, 44-song boxed sets on the Internet for sale. It said the original list price was something like $231, but it's now on sale for $122. That's gotta be just about as good as it's going to get.

Jim F., Arcata, CA
- Jim, Arcata, CA
OK, EVERYONE, LISTEN UP!!!

IF YOU ARE UNDER 40, or perhaps even 45, the chances are you have never really heard "Hey Jude." "Hey Jude"/"Revolution" was the last of many Beatles singles released in monaural ("mono"). Starting with the year 1969 and the single "Get Back"/"Don't Let Me Down", the Beatles released their few remaining singles in stereo.

And then horribly, in the spring of 1970, some idiots got the idea to release a "stereo" version of "Hey Jude" and "Revolution"... and promptly destroyed both songs. And for those of you who were not around in 1968--when "Hey Jude" was on Billboard's Top 40 for NINETEEN weeks (!), and was #1 for NINE WEEKS (!!!)--well, I hate to break this to you, but...

You have never heard the real version of the song. What you have heard is a horrible remix of the song where the bass guitar comes thundering out of both speakers, and the largely drowned-out grand piano comes out of only one, and the harmony vocals are enormously diminished, as is the orchestra.

And "Revolution," which was for sure the hardest, most relentlessly throbbing Beatles rock song since at least "When I Get Home," if not forever, sounds like anything but in stereo.

When that stereo album came out in early 1970--and it was called "Hey Jude" in California at the time--a lot of people felt those responsible for destroying the tracks should be banned for life from any recording studio. I still think so.

I do have some major good news, however, and it doesn't have anything to do with my saving a bunch of money on insurance. In the late 1980's or early 1990's, George Martin issued a 22-cd, 44-song collection of Beatles singles in their ORIGINAL CONDITIONS. Thus, all the singles through Hey Jude/Revolution are in mono, and the few after that are in stereo. "Hey Jude" and "Revolution" are "digitally remastered," which means you do hear bass guitars on them--which you pretty much couldn't on the singles--but they are back-up instruments, as they were meant to be. (Newsflash to the idiots who released the stereo perversions: The left hand of the piano and the orchestra provide bass.)

I am happy to report I have had the pleasure of playing the three versions of "Hey Jude" for many people under 40 who have never heard the real version. First, I play the stereo perversion, and they confirm that's the one they've heard their whole lives. Then, I play my self-made cd-r of the 1968 hit version, and they usually say they LOVE the grand piano and the harmony vocals, but they have to have SOME bass guitar in the song, because they're used to so much of it. (They say the same about "Revolution.")

Then I play George Martin's circa 1990 "compromise version," with the incredible grandeur of the grand piano and harmony vocals restored. AND THEY JUST GO CRAZY. And they look at me, and they say, "So THIS is why this song was such a grand catharsis for everyone with all the horrible things that were happening in 1968. And THIS is why this song was #1 for an eternity."

And I nod knowingly and say, "Yes." Catharsis and a generation's feel-good anthem.

People, I apologize for tantalizing the hell out of you like this, and then being unable to deliver, as I did for several of you with Roy Orbison's "Danny Boy" before it came out on CD commercially (very recently). But I am certain you will understand that as an attorney, there is NO WAY I can give away free copies of the Beatles' biggest hit to anybody. I need my law license, and all.

But I plainly see that a lot of people here feel--as I have for 37 years--that "Hey Jude" is the greatest song in the history of popular music. If you love the song that much, or close to that much, BELIEVE ME, it's worth $150 or whatever it costs you to get the boxed set that has that single in it. ONE listening and you will immediately know what I mean. And you will wonder why you ever listened to the stereo perversion.

Until then, get on E-Bay and buy a mint copy of the 45. God knows enough of them were sold, lol.

Jim F., Arcata, CA.
- Jim, Arcata, CA
I seriosly think this is the greatest song ever made! Not Just because my name is Julian but it truely is an awesome song! It's my favorite!
- Julian, Anaheim, CA
I'd agree. Too many people claim "I know ___ expert who says (Instert title fragment here) is street lingo for (insert drug here)."
- fred, New York, NY
It's about Julian. These drug references are only wishful thinking. Give me any song in existence, and I could probably interpret almost all of them as full-fledged drug songs. And most of that would just be imagination.
- TrueFrailty, Orange Park, FL
I thought this was changed to Hey Jude instead of Hey Jules becasue Jude sounded better. Atleast that's what McCartney said on the anthology.
- Kristen, Aurora, IL
Geez, stop arguing. This song will forever be about Julian, John Lennon's son. Everyone knows that. Stop trying to be smart, you know nothing. Interesting fact: at 1:58 [ish] in this song, John Lennon says 'effing hell'.. hidden messages are fun. :D
- sarah, Pittsburgh, PA
Why does everyone make such a big deal if The Beatles songs were about drugs? Each one was a masterpiece, and being about drugs or not doesn't matter. The stuff on the radio today, the new music is a lot worse as it's all about sex and drugs and such.
- Jon, London, England
On second thought, maybe I liked the nah, nah, nah part................Nah, I didn't
- lee, clearwater, FL
I love songs with "na na na" stuff in them!
- Rick, humboldt, IA
This Not only hit No. 1 in the US and UK, but also in countries like France, Australia, and West Germany
- Mike, Germantown, MD
ryan.... that's why they make vanilla and chocolate ice cream!
- lee, clearwater, FL
theres just too many beatles songs to call one of them the best... but this one certainly is great...
- matt, niagara falls, NY
After the Apple shop on Baker Street closed down (the shop selling shirts and stuff), Paul scraped 'Hey Jude' out of the white wash on the window as advertising for their new release. Paul saw it as a "Great opportunity. Baker STreet, millions of busses going around..." (Anthology, pg 297).

Paul continues, "A guy rang me up and he was furious: 'I'm going to send one of my sons round to beat you up.' I said, 'Hang on, hang on - what's this about?' and he said: 'You've written "Jude" in the shop window.' I had no idea it meant 'Jew', but if you look at footage of Nazi Germany, 'Juden Raus' was written in whitewashed windows with a Star of David. I swear it never occurred to me.

"I said: 'I'm really sorry,' and on and on...'some of my best friends are Jewish, really. It's just a song we've got coming out. If you listen to the osong you'll see it's nothing to do with any of that - it's a complete coincidence.' He was nearly pacified in the end." (Anthology, pg 297)
- thefox31, Edmonton
The nah nah nah crap is the best part Lee
- Ryan, Brentwood, CA
Forget the heroin thing, "Hey Jude" is awsome.
- George, Itaberaba, Brazil
Whoops. I've been assuming that the comments appear at the bottom and not the top, so I just re-typed more or less the same thing. Sorry about that. Just read the one I just wrote and, um, close your eyes while you scroll down to . . . never mind.
- Chris, State College, PA
I love how some people can't excuse themselves for enjoying a song until they uncover a drug reference in it. It's like they're subconsciously thinking "Sure, this is a great song and everyone knows it, but how can I look more sophisticated than the rest of the song-listending community? I know - I can break the scret code that all lyrics are written with!"

Seriously, guys, drugs do not cool-ify everything they touch or un-cool-ify everything they don't. (And vice versa.) They're just there to take or leave. If I told you that "Hey Jude" is *actually* about baseball or something like that, that would make me or the song any more interesting, even if it were true.
- Chris, State College, PA
Why are some people only able to enjoy a song if they can detect a drug reference in it? I personally have nothing against recreational drugs - at least the less harmful ones - so I hate to burst your bubble and say that drugs do not make everything they touch automatically cool or everything they don't touch automatically uncool. They're just . . . there. If I told you "Hey Jude" were *actually* about baseball or something, that wouldn't make either the song or me any more interesting, would it? But it's still a great song no matter what.
- Chris, State College, PA
I have come to the conclusion that this song is indeed about heroin.

I am going to go through the song and point out every reference, but before I do I want to point out the most important reference (incase you skip over the rest of my post)

At 6:03 in the song (On the 7:04 minute version) You can hear "Take it Jude" It is very clear and you don't have to turn it up loud to hear it. It's clear as day. "Take it Jude" which means Take heroin. So lets go through the rest of the song,

Hey Jude, don't make it bad.

Take a sad song and make it better.

Remember to let her into your heart,
("Her" throughout this entire song means heroin. "Let heroin into your heart")

Then you can start to make it better.
(Then the high will start to make it better)

Hey Jude, don't be afraid.

You were made to go out and get her.
(I have thought about this line a lot. "You were made to go out and get her" I think it means that Cynthia (John's Wife, Julians mother) was addicted to heroin. And that Julian was addicted to heroin when he was born, and therefore "made to go out and get her" I have no basis or facts for this, but I haven't found any to prove me wrong either.)

The minute you let her under your skin,
(You take heroin by injecting it under your skin, "The minute you let heroin under your skin)

Then you begin to make it better.

And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain,
(This could be when a heroin user feels the pain of coming off a high)

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.
(These last two lines are describing the warm feeling you get when you take heroin. "For well you know that it's a fool, who doesn't take heroin, and makes his world a little colder")

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,
(Another line clearly referring to heroin. This describes the practice of pulling out the blood with the needle and then pushing it back in mixed with heroin. He is also saying "Hey jude, begin" or Begin to take heroin.)

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.
(Most regular users inject heroin either intravenously (into a vein) or intra-muscularly (into a muscle, usually the shoulder). So... "The movement you need is on your shoulder" The muscle to inject heroin is located on your shoulder.

Hey Jude, don't make it bad.

Take a sad song and make it better.

Remember to let her under your skin,
(Paul is reminding him, once again to let it under your skin)

Then you'll begin to make it better.


Then, once again, at 6:03 you can hear Paul saying "Take it Jude"


After analyzing the song, the theory that it was to comfort julian during a divorce makes sense. But it doesn't sound like Paul is comforting him, it sounds like he is telling him to take heroin.

I'd like to hear your response but I probably won't be checking back into this site. You can yell at me and let me know how much of an idiot i am, or support me at "john.smith18@gmail.com"

naaaa naa naa na na na naaa "Take it jude"
- whoknows, Anytown, AL
YOU HAVE AN INCORRECT FACT!!
THE NAME OF THIS ALBUM THAT THE SONG WAS RELEASED IN THE US WAS NOT CALLED "HEY JUDE". IT WAS CALLED "THE BEATLES AGAIN" I HAVE THE ORIGINAL ON VINYL.
"In America, an album called Hey Jude was released in 1970 containing this and several other Beatles songs that were released as singles or B-sides. The album has not appeared as a CD because Apple Records made the decision to copy only the British LP releases onto CD. In the '60s the American record company managed to get extra LPs off the British releases by cutting down the number of tracks, then putting them out with singles and B-sides as additional albums." (thanks, Tommy - Glasgow, Scotland)
- dan, albany, NY
haha, i sure hope paul wasnt telling julian "hey, kid, take heroin when you feel down!" but thaanks to whomever came up with that theory, it made me laugh really hard :)
anyhow, about the f*ckin hell", he actually says "got the wrong CHOOOORD" earlier (especially the 'chord' can be heard quite well, while paul sings "skin"), then he adds "f*ckin hell"
- Kams, Bszcz, Poland
A lot of people hear things of read things in Beatles'songs that were never there.
The F word from John 2:59 - he broke a string from his guitar during recording.
The meaning of Jude - Somebody bumped into Paul during the sixties - a prisoner from the nazi deathcamps. Told him that Jude meant Jew in german.... Paul took the name from the musical Oklahoma. George Martin once commented on the remark of John Lennon during dinner in the seventies who said he could do a better version of "Lucy in the Sky with diamonds" - reality looks sometimes boring fantasy spices things up ..."
- Harry, rotterdam, Netherlands
"Jude" is not heroin. Theres actually no refrence to drugs at all in this song.
- Jim, Kansas City, KS
does anyone else notice in the video of Hey Jude the girl to the left of the drum set who has a hair-do that reminds me of John Fogerty? I can watch the video without pausing it and saying "Hey, she looks like John Fogerty!"
- Tim, Dalton, MA
This song is, indeed, about Julian, and Paul did come up with "the movement is on your shoulders." he first played the rough draft of the song to John and when he got to that part he said "don't worry i'll change that later' and John said "like hell you will that's the best part of the song" and Paul always thinks of John now whenever he gets to that part. It's all on the Anthology. The drug theories are bogus. They have openly admitted which songs are about drugs such as The Word, Got to Get You Into My Life, Doctor Robert, etc. Enough with the speculation.
- jake, bellevue, WA
does john say f****ng hell because he forgot the chord change? not because he messed up the vocals
- keith, ashington, England
John Lennon played bass guitar on this song
- Mark, Barrow-in-Furness, England
The song is timeless. The genius of Paul McCartney is unprecedented.
- maccaholic67, Norfolk, VA
this was the song that made me love the beatles... this was the one that pushed me to listen others and probably the one i like the most from them.. definetly (dnt know how to spell it) one of my top 5
- ariana, lima, Peru
This is #8 in Rolling Stone's list of 500 greatest songs.
- Ross, Independence, MO
Absolutely nothing aout drugs. And simply one of the greatest songs EVER written. Somehow no one ever records a better version of a Beatles song (with the possible exception of Fiona Apples version of across the Universe.)
- lee newham, London, England
I was named for this song. Paul, words cannot express how grateful I am that you changed it from "Jules". I can authoritatively state that it has nothing to do with heroin or my mom would've named me something else.
- Jude, Thomasville, GA
paul killed the tune at live 8 he did they murdered it
- LEE, WELWYN, England
Nessie "Anyone could have written this": the most brilliant art is that of which we think it came very easy. "My little sister could paint such a picture", some people say about Picasso. Fact is: little sister can't. Not in a million years. Same with songs like 'Hey Jude'. Great art looks or sounds simple.
- Tanya, Rotterdam, Netherlands
My intuition tells me this song was written about John. John's marriage to Cynthia was ending and he was falling in love with Yoko. Paul illustrated this using the metaphor "Take a sad song (broken marriage)and make it better (follow your heart)." Cynthia was John's first marriage, which occurred while he was younger and perhaps not as deeply in love with her, the way John was feeling toward Yoko. Hence the line, "remember to let her into your heart, then you can start to make it better" (finding true love). Perhaps John was struggling with his feelings of responsibility to Cynthia and Julian and his love for Yoko "dont be afraid, you were made to go out and get her." Anyone knows when falling in love, the person gets "under your skin" Remember that Sinatra tune...I've got you under my skin..." As for the next verse, "And anytime you feel the pain, Hey Jude, refrain. Dont carry the world upon your shoulders." Perhaps this was a metaphor for the eyes of the world upon John, judging him for leaving Cynthia & Julian. "...For well you know, that its a fool who plays it cool by making his world a little colder" and this referred to John keeping his true feelings to himself, closing himself off from others. Paul also says, "Hey Jude, don't let me down, you have found her, now go and get her." I also think this is a reference to Paul's need to see his friend find happiness, Paul encouraging John to go after his heart's desire. "Let it out and let it in, Hey Jude, begin" refers to letting the pain out and letting love in. "Your waiting for someone to perform with and don't you know that it's just you, you'll do, the movement you need is on your shoulder." This may be a reference to the idea that John didn't need anyone's approval (someone to perform with) he had to follow his own heart (don't you know that it's just you, you'll do,) as he had all the power to create his own happiness (the movement you need is on your shoulder). I'm no student of music, however I feel this song was Paul's way of validating his friend's joy and pain. Perhaps Paul was reticent to admit he penned a song, that is so tender and loving, for another man. It was easier to say he wrote it about a John's son, since it would be more acceptable to speak so tenderly to a little boy, versus a grown man.
- Cyndi, NYC, NY
Sorry, this was not "the first long song to get a lot of airplay". That distiction would belong to "Like A Rolling Stone", which clocks in at 6:00, and predated "Hey Jude" by 3 years.
- Doug, Lake Mary, FL
best song by them and i named my little boy rest his sole
- LEE, WELWYN, England
Susan, you are right. This is a great song of fatherly advice. Don't carry the whole world on your shoulder. Don't try to solve all of the worlds problems. So many of us in the 70s were trying to promote world peace and many other huge social issues. What this song meant to me is get your own act together. Make a life for yourself and those around you. That's enough. It's just you. You'll do. Get a job and make sure in your daily interactions with people you are as nice as you can be and try to make a difference that way. Microscopic instead of Macroscopic. I still feal strongly about the social issues though. We ended the war. We got the voting age lowered. We accomplished a lot of things and by the way don't forget to take time out for yourself.
- Gary, Moorpark, CA
Yes, there was a Hey Jude album and I found out positively 100 % last night there was. If you go to Beatles-discography.com and click on U.S. albums you can see it in the third row down, the fifth album over. I feel really strange about this. When I was a twenty I bought this album and really liked it. It turned up missing one day and I never could find it. My friends all convinced me there never was such an album. Still from time to time (many years later) I will go to my CD collection and look for the Hey Jude album and then have to tell myself there never was one. I even remembered the cover correctly and the songs. I used to wake up in the night missing it and have to try and convince myself it was somehow all a dream. After last night I am vindicated and I hate my old friends. Yes, there was a Hey Jude album. I was right and they all were wrong. This is a great album with some of the best songs on it. It was produced by Allan Klein at Capital Records when the Beatles were being shuffled around between EMI and Capital before they really took off and became huge. You can say all the bad things you want about Klein, but the song selection here is excellent and most importantly the songs all work well together. They fit. If you want to burn some songs together on your own CD, I would recommend this group in this sequence: Can't buy me love / I should have known better / Paperback writer / Rain / Lady Madonna / Revolution / Hey Jude / Old Brown Shoe / Don't let me down / The Ballad of John and Yoko. This has driven me nuts for a long long time and I am not sure if I am happy about it or sad. A little of both I think. I want my album back.
- Gary, Moorpark, CA
the name of the album that this was originally on was not called "Hey Jude", the name of the album was "The Beatles Again" i have the original LP from 1970, and on the front it says "The Beatles...The Beatles Again"
- dan, albany, NY
Anyone could have written this!!!!!

If only I could have, I'd die happy.
- Charlie, London, England
A fair pop song that doesn't measure up to the Beatles genius. Anyone could have written this. Not so for most of their other work from Revolver onward.
- Nessie, Sapporo, Japan
GREAT SONG SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO AWESOME
- swaman, st louis, MO
Hard to belive there are so many replys to this song, but I too find it to be the best tune they ever did. Maybe it was over commercialized, but the way it starts out and builds up is just something I've always loved in a good song.
- Dee, Indianapolis, IN
the part were john messes up the backing track, i heard, was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the recording. at around this time, john was very paranoid, and felt paul was trying to take over the group.
- mammothdave, london, England
best song ever. the drugs stuff is garbage. i can understand ppl confusing fixing a hole for a heroine song, but hey jude? wat has this world come to?
- Jack, St. Paul, MN
There will truly never be another Beatles or even come close. This song is an absolute classic, as are most Beatles songs. They were pure genius. After 40 years they are still the most listened to group ever.
- Shirley, Ocean, NJ
Lennon thought of the line "the movement you need is on your shoulders" and McCartney loved it, not despised it. He said everytime he sings that part of the song it's like a little tribute to John.
- Cheyanne, Allegan, MI
Jude is so NOT herion .. . this song was consoling julian abot his parent's divorce, although , i think cynathia and john were still together, but john was living with yoko . . . so they weren't really together . . .
marvin, that does make alot of sense how you're describing it, but this wasn't one of the biggest drug times for the Beatles.
I think that although Paul did do drugs, etc., he wouldn't suggest to Julian, hey, if you feel bad, do drugs. Paul was a genius (in my opinion), and suggesting to a hcild, that if you life goes bad, there's always heroin, isn't in his characater. John, on the other hand was alot less of a father to Julian. He truly, i belive, did not care. After he got together with Yoko, Cynthia was history, and i think that if John had't met Yoko, the Beatles would still be together, but retired.
- liz, someplace, CT
Hey Jude is a great song. Ringo's opening drum fill is with the drums on Tomorrow Never Knows for his best performance ever (other mentions are She Said She Said and Rain). Na, na na nanana, nananana, Hey Jude. This also was the start of the breakdown, this was the first song McCartney didn't let anyone add something to it.
- Jo-C, Lima, Peru
Why has the album "Hey Jude" not been made into a CD? Does anyone know? It's a great album with Revolution and Hey Jude on it (as well as many others), but I can't find any reason why it wouldn't be put onto a CD format and sold. ANyone have a reason?
- Steve, New York City, NY
HA..i came here and was gonna say that my friend thought this might be about somebody and a divorce,whereas i thought it was a reference to drugs..guess my buddy knows his stuff,huh?
- Ryan, Albion, NY
A wonderful song. Another Beatle classic. Turly it takes my breth away. 9 weeks at #1 is crazy. Yet the Beatles never really saw how great they were until they broke apart. There still the most listined band in the world. THERE WILL NEVER BE ANOTHER BEATLES.
- Roman Garza, San Clemente, CA
Well, I was looking for an actual meaning behind this song because I have recently came up with my own ideas, and I came across this site. I had heard that Jude was Julian, and as others have said, it was only because Paul didn't want to say "Hey Julian." What I had thought was that it was Paul trying to get Julian(or whomever) through a tough time with a girl that he loved but was afraid to tell, or something like that (you have found her, now go and get her). I like this angle because "Jude" is the Patron Saint of Lost Causes, and that is what this song, to me, seems to be about, a lost cause. But, everyone is free to their own view, to each his own. But, I really don't like this Heroin thing though.
- Jeremy, Ch'Town, Canada
Beatles had many drugs and made many druggy songs, but this isn't one of them.
- Henry, Victoria, Canada
Paul preformed this at the 2005 Super Bowl
- jesse, new york, NY
Paul did try heroin one time, he said someone passed him a smoke and he smoked it, but later found out that it was heroin. This song is definetely not about heroin though, and never will be.
- chris, MIlwaukee, WI
Actualy, it was Hey Jules and then changed to Hey Jude because Hey Jules was a mouthful. McCartney says that in the Anthology dvd set.
- Kristen, Aurora, IL
McCartney's best song.
- Daniel, Leeds, England
John was pissed because Paul got the A side again with Hey Jude. He felt Revolution should of been the A-side because of its political message. Hey Jude was the 2nd of a string of McCartney A-sides; Hello Goodbye, Lady Madonna, Hey Jude, & Get Back.
- Tom, Halifax, Canada
This is definitely one of the best works by The Beatles, in its wonderously simple melody and beautiful lyrics. I listened to this song in 1969, or when it came out and was #1, in a pizza parlor with my first wife (lesbian) and I asked her to marry me while it was going on. I would "rave" with the song. I prefer it as a simple love song or one to Jullian. I NEVER thought of it as a drug song. While I imbibed in those days, I usually did that while listening to Frank Zappa and stuff like that. Just a little living history.
- Anyse, Sacramento, CA
As far as "facts", I know none. I can only say that all I have read here strikes a chord. I have enjoyed this song since first hearing it on my parents record back in the mid-eighties sometime. I don't see why it can't be about heroin and Julian Lennon both. At the time it was written, each could have been meaningful. There is so much feeling in this epic recording-- warmth that could be interpreted as feeling for someone who's well being is carefully considered, or that which has been discovered in a "panacea", as described by Thomas DeQuincey. It may well serve as a window into the influences of the author at the time. And why, if it is a favorite, wouldn't Paul choose to perform it even long after his feelings have changed? After all, it was a part of his life, and why should it be hidden?
- tom, san diego, CA
I,too, have heard at least one interview where Paul explains that he wrote "Hey Jude" for Julian Lennon. And at the risk of sounding naive, I believe him. Paul has spoken openly about his life as a Beatle, about his relationship with John, his feelings about Yoko, his concern for Julian, and yes, even his drug use. He has acknowledged the influence of drugs on his music, and he does not deny the drug references in quite a few other songs. I see no reason why he would lie about this. . .I am not a student studying the Beatles in class -- I LIVED THE BEATLES!!!! I remember when they arrived in America, I watched them on Ed Sullivan, and having grown up in New York, I saw them perform at Shea Stadium in 1965. Would like to say that I "heard" them, but the fans were screaming too loudly to hear anything! I am a psychotherapist, and as such, have interpreted the lyrics to be Paul's way of reaching out to Julian with empathy, support, and advice. . a message mostly for when he was older and falling in love. I believe that Paul feared that Julian's self-esteem would be affected by John's emotional and physical absence, and that his parents' divorce would lead him to fear the vulnerability inherent in intimacy and commitment. I believe that Paul was telling him to trust enough to let a woman into his heart. . . to not be afraid, to let down his defenses, and not remain cold and closed off. Perhaps even that by allowing love into his life, he might ease the lonliness and pain and feelings of rejection that his parents' situation caused him.(then u begin to make it better) Paul also was telling Julian that he couldn't wait forever for approval/love from his father(you're waiting for someone to perform with). . . that he needed to find within himself the belief that he was good enough.. . (hey Jude, you'll do) and that he was lovable and talented all on his own, that he had what it takes to find love, success and happiness (the movement u need is on your shoulders.)Perhaps the whole message was about how he could choose to either let this destroy him, or he could choose to grow from this. . . to overcome the fear and doubt, to find his own strength, and to be his own person. And finally, Paul was telling him that he would be there for him (don't let me down. . ) that he had faith that he would make it.
- Susan, Chicago, IL
Recently Paul mentioned that he was glad he never tried heroin, having seen how it messed other people up. I doubt he would have written a song encouraging its use. Not even a literature major would hear heroin references in this song unless they were high on acid.
- Karl, Ferndale, WA
It was only released as a single with "Revolution" as the B-side. Today you can find it on "Past Masters Volume 2 (as indicated at the top of this page) or on Beatles 1. That's the one with the red cover that has all of their #1 hits.
- Josh, Plainview, NY
http://www.icce.rug.nl/~soundscapes/DATABASES/AWP/hj.html

Read the last section (just hit the end key on your keyboard) on "so what's this song about?" I completely agree with him. Try to take the song withOUT our knowledge of Julian Lennon and you'll realize this is such a heartwarming song.
- Yu, Demarest, PA
i think revolution 9 has the "F" word in it too...somewhere in all of that bunch of experimental muck...0_o
- AAK, BRENTWOOD, CA
and actually this IS the only beatles song with an eff word. At the end it sounds like hes yelling "dont f--k about jude".
- Scott Baldwin, Edmonton, Canada
Can't this be waht the writer says its about?
- Scott Baldwin, Edmonton, Canada
lol kay, it's true, that is actually in there - john lennon does actually say 'oh f***ing hell' in one of the best songs of all time, took me a while to find, it's while they're singing 'Remember to let her under your skin', at 2:59 in my version
- simon, sydney, Australia
Being in radio for so long I have to say while I appreciate the length of Hey Jude, nothing beats In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida when nature calls in a "bad" way.......
- Ted, Loveland, CO
Marvin and Bruce,

Your comments are really insightful, i like 'em.
Yes,it could have very well been written for Julian,but alot of songs have a double meaning, whether it's drug related or not,but i belive this one is talking about heroin.The all-too-obvious "her-in" sounds like heroin,and into you heart; and "under your skin" doesn't take a genius to figure out.
And,"Jude" sounds like "Juice", Opium is the Greek word for Juice, Heroin comes from Opium.
'Nuff Said.
- H, Anytown, United States
I have always had it very clear in my mind that this song is about an artist, Jude, trying to improve a melody, which is lovingly called "her" in the lyrics.
According to the lyrics, the thing is to really feel it, and not get too upset about its not being good enough yet, in short, play it cool!
"Remember/ to let her into your heart/ then you can start/ to make it better" etc etc.
I still can't see it any other way...
- João, São Paulo, Brazil
At around 2:58 in the recording of this song, John Lennon can be heard to come in at the wrong place, and then saying in the background, "F***ing hell!" In the promo video to this, the man standing, dancing and clapping behind Ringo's drumkit, sadly, a week later, died of cancer (he's the son of someone involved with the Beatles, by I forget who). The Chinese choir at my school did a classic version of this, but butchered "Let it Be"
- Mike, London, England
One of the Beatles greatest, most elegant songs boasting a superb, lovely melody that is both touching and inspirational and an unforgettable anthem-like fadeout. The innovative use of instruments beginning with Paul McCartney's piano and ending with the ascending grandeur of the orchestra is especially powerful. As for its lyrics (which if not over-analyzed are both sympathetic and beautiful) one could argue they refer to many different things: it could be to John Lennon or (most probably) his son Julian or a subtle message to Paul himself or, yes, even about drugs. As Paulo from New York points out, songs (especially Beatles' songs) can be interpreted many different ways depending on your point of view. But to jump to the conclusion that this is about heroin is a bit extreme (i.e. far-fetched). During the late '60's many people experimented with all kinds of drugs, the Beatles no exception and some of their songs though not about drugs, were affected by them. But this is hardly grounds to speculate all of their songs involved drugs; that is an unfair, inaccurate stereotype and only degrades the phenomenal and brilliant music they made.
- Annabelle, Alliston, Canada
I guess this song (or any Beatles song, apparently) could be interpreted to be about drugs, but that doesn't mean they were intended to be. Songs are interpreted differently by different people. Whatever floats your boat, I guess.
- Paulo, New York, NY
Dom, I hate to attack you and your professor's credibility, but I'm doubting Pitt or CMU has a 25 year old music professor, meaning this guy did good in school and now teaches music at Carlow or something of the sort. Most younger people make rash opinions, and "Definately Heroin" sounds very rash to me. This could apply to a number of other drugs also. Besides, Paul still plays this live, do you think he would still play a song about heroin 35 years later to thousands of people while they sing right back at him? I've noticed most of his Beatles live songs he sings are not heavily associated with drugs, which goes to show that this is probably not about heroin. Drugs mabye, Julian, mabye. Hell, I bet you he wrote it with one or two meanings in mind, and a multitude of others came to after writing it. To say any lyrics are drug lyrics is hastey and foolish unless the lyrics are "Smoke pot, smoke pot, everybody smoke pot"
- Dan, Pittsburgh, PA
Music professors are overrated; just like all of you, they're entitled to their opinions just like we are. It doesn't make them right; this song is always voted in the top 5 songs of all time. I lived the 60's; it was the best; the best music is from the 60's; all because of the Beatles.
- Shirley, Ocean, NJ
Truthfully one of the greatest of the greatest Paul McCartney works. ::muah:: beautiful work, Paul
- Mia, Elk River, MN
(UPDATE) After reading a few more comments on how a professor would make something up to complicate his students analyzation, is bull. My professor is 25 years old while im 19. He conisders all of his students friends and has no incintive to lie about that.
- Dominic, Pittsburgh, PA
Don, you're obviously renowned when it comes to the Beatles, but I've been studying them for a music course for more than a year now, (And have been listening to them for 10 Years, sorry, I'm a youngin') and I'll have to say this song is indeed about heroin. The "her" references and everything just seems a little too convenient, and, indeed, when I asked my professor his thoughts on this song, he said "Definately heroin".
- Dominic, Pittsburgh, PA
Best song ever!! : ) I love it. It's brilliant.
- Brianne, Nova Scotia, Canada
BING CROSBY covered this, and it's included on the fourth "Golden Throats" compilation of horrible recordings of hits by actors/celebrities. It was done in grand, archaic crooner style, (Heyyyy Juuuuuude. Don't makitbaaaaadd). The worst part is at the end where he replaces the long refrain of "Nana Na Na" with two lines of "Pum - Pum Pum Pumpom pumpom."
- john, seattle, WA
Hands down the best Beatles song ever! They are truly gods of rock n' roll!
- Adrian, Wilmington, DE
classic example of typical Beatles' layer style. The sound gets thicker and thicker. The feeling i get from the "na na na" section is: if you let your fears out and be true to yourself, everything will get better.
- Yu, Demarest, PA
This is without a doubt the best Beatles song (and that's some statement since they were so amazingly brilliant).
It upsets me that people would think this is about drugs. Shut up moaning and just listen to the music. Does it matter that much what the lyrics mean?
Having said that i'm sure Paul wrote this for John. Listen to the words. It wasn't written for a kid about his parents divorce. It was written by a man who doesn't want to lose his best friend but wants whats best for him it's so sad but so beautiful.
End of Essay.
- Catherine, Glasgow, England
This is one of my favorite songs. ^_^. I don't think its about drugs... but even if it is, its a great one!
- Brianne, Nova Scotia, Canada
mein gott in himmel!!! some of you people seem to be absolutely obsessed with finding drug references in everything. it's bloody ridiculous at least half the time and downright idiotic with this song. c'mon people, the Beatles (and John Lennon in particular, were very forthcoming about their use of drugs, AND their references to them in songs. would you please give it a rest or, at the very least, save such comments to songs that are obviously drug-related.
- don, rapid city, SD
In the middle of the final verse before the start of the "Na na na" section, John messes up his backing vocal and he can be heard saying "F*****g hell!" in the middle of the last line.
- Kay, Wakefield, MA
Not officially. That's the unofficial word. Mr. Lewisohn never makes any kind of statement in his book.
- Matthew, Shrewsbury, England
YES, lmao...even though not all of them are...really it's just revolver that seems to hav a lot of drug songs on it(Dr. Robert, Got To Get You Into My Live, Tomorrow Never Knows, others that may or may not be about drugs but are definitely a bit trippy)...they also hav some stuff influenced by drugs but not necessarily about them...extremists on both the anarchist and super-christian side hate the beatles and a lot of those super-christians will attack them on this end...

maybe not anarchist, couldn't think of a better word...
- Marvin, East Brady, PA
I don't want to be Rude, but does Every Beatles song after 1966 have to deal with drugs?
- Stykman, Little River, SC
This might get long-winded but yes i can explain the supposed "heroin reference. It's a stretch but people of course got paranoid about it in the late 60's - 70's when everyone thought the music industry was corrupted by the devil and each song was a drug/satanic/anarchist reference. I'll break down the two versions I've read. The first one is more like the one you're describing, the second is from a bit different perspective.

Hey Jude(jude=heroin), don't make it bad

Take a sad song and make it better (heroin, take away my pain)

Remember to let her into your heart (statement to someone else, saying to let "jude" into the bloodstream)

Then you can start to make it better
Hey Jude, don't let me down
You were made to go out and get her(we're supposed to get the most out of life and drugs will help)

The minute you let her into your skin (inject the heroin "into your skin"

Then you begin to make it better (your high begins)

[This is where the other version starts to make more sense...it's basically the same thing except in this one Paul is singing to Julian, telling him (i believe he was 5 at the time) that, in the future, if he feels pain over his parents being split he can always turn to heroin.]

Hey Jude (directed to Julian), don't make it bad

Take a sad song and make it better (If you feel bad you can always turn to heroin to make you feel better)

Remember, to let her(her=heroin) into your heart(inject into your bloodstream)

Then you will start to make it better(then your high will begin)

Hey Jude, don't let me down
You have found her now go and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better(same as above)

And any time you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain(When things go bad turn to heroin)

Don't carry the world upon your shoulders(There's no sense in being strained if you don't need to be)

For don't you know that it's a fool
Who plays it cool by making his world a little colder(in a heroin high, the user feels warm, so only a fool would not want to warm up his world by REfraining from heroin)

and so on...you get the idea, I don't see how the beautiful "let it out and let it in" verse applies but i guess the rest of the song is enough for some people
- Marvin, East Brady, PA
I took a music course in college back in the early 1970's - the professor stated 'jude' was actually heroine - any credence to such a statement? Thanks RBB
- bruce, stone mountain, GA
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