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Jealous Guy by John Lennon

Album: ImagineReleased: 1971Charted:
80
65
  • John Lennon confronts the green-eyed monster in this song, where he sings about the fits of jealousy that controlled him. At the time, he was married to Yoko Ono, who believes the jealousy Lennon describes is not sexual, but more an unfounded feeling of inadequacy. "He was jealous about the fact that I had another language in my head, you know, Japanese, that he can't share with me," she told Uncut in 1998. "It was almost on a very conceptual, spiritual level. It wasn't on a level of physical or anything 'cause I just would never give him a reason for that."
  • Lennon wrote this when he was in The Beatles. They recorded it as a demo called "Child of Nature," which he'd written about their trip to India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It didn't make it onto any Beatles albums, so Lennon used it on his Imagine album with the lyrics changed to reflect on his relationship with Yoko, and how possessive he became of her while The Beatles were breaking up.
  • Paul McCartney stated in the February 1985 issue of Playgirl: "He (John) used to say, 'Everyone is on the McCartney bandwagon.' He wrote 'I'm Just a Jealous Guy,' and he said that the song was about me. So I think it was just some kind of jealousy." >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Julia - Cedar Rapids, IA
  • Speaking with Rolling Stone months after Lennon's death, she said that he made her write out a list of all the men she slept with before they met. "He wrote a song, 'Jealous Guy,' that should have told people how jealous he was," she said. "After we started living together, it was John who wanted me there all the time. He made me go into the men's room with him. He was scared that if I stayed out in the studio with a lot of other men, I might run off with one of them."
  • Klaus Voormann played bass on this track. He was an old friend of the Beatles and designed the cover of Revolver. Other musicians were Jim Keltner on drums, Alan White on vibes and John Barham on harmonium. >>
    Suggestion credit:
    Bertrand - Paris, France
  • In 1981 Roxy Music recorded this as a tribute to Lennon, who was murdered on December 8, 1980. Their version went to #1 in the UK. Many other groups have covered it as well, including The Faces and The Black Crowes.
  • Joey Molland and Tom Evans of the band Badfinger both played acoustic guitar on this track. Badfinger were signed to the Beatles-run Apple label and George Harrison recommended to Lennon, "if you need some guitar players on Imagine, use the Badfinger guys."
  • Joey Molland recalled working with Lennon in an interview with Gibson.com, "It was great! He was just a plain-talking, regular guy. No b.s. at all. Now, of course, he was John Lennon, so he had that energy about him; he kind of lit up the room, you know? But he welcomed us, said he was thrilled to have us, and then he said, 'The first song we're going to do is something called 'Jealous Guy.'' It was pretty amazing, sitting there with your headphones on, hearing John Lennon singing this fantastic song. Totally remarkable."
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Comments: 44

John Lennon recorded perhaps his most beautiful piano work on "Jealous Guy"Domenic - Boston
There was a demo of this song before the break up of the Beatles. So, I don't see how it could've possibly been written as an apology to Paul.I believe it's just a reflection to how he really is. As for it possibly being tributed to Paul's sucess after the Beatles, one was take into consideration that in fact Ringo had more success then Paul did after the break up.Billy - Foley, Al
This is my favorite song. It really sums up what he's been feeling. So beautiful.Holly - New York, Ny
You dont have to condone his "drug abuse" if that's what u call it, look past that and look at the man who changed the world and is inspiring millionsPrashant - Kathmandu, Nepal
I am not a fan of The Beatles at all. I actually only enjoy their songs when played by other artists... A lot of my friends think I am nuts :-)

This song was covered by Peter Criss on his second solo album "Let Me Rock You" (1982), after he had left KISS in 1980. Not a very good version in my opinion.
Laurent - Manama, Bahrain
I remember listening to this album when it first came out.Upon hearing it (Jeaslous Guy) the first time, It blew me away! Man I wish I could go back in time when The Beatles ruled the airways!
A once in a lifetime Group they were...
Wayne - New Haven, Ct
I've heard this song 100 times, but today I had to pause. I could very possibly be about Paul, as he was getting all the hits and attention. It makes no sense it being about Yoko, to whom he was unconditionally devoted to. His "jealousy" of Paul's success was the real reason for him breaking up The Beatles.Tobias - Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic
It was written for Macca.
Why dont u believe him?
There arent any reason for him to lie.
Unfortunately, John never admitted it openly, only in private. I cant get it.
Imagine - Moscow, Russia Federation
Sorry, Joanne, but you can't believe John's stories. Seriously. The guy changed his stories about his songs time and time again. At one point, he said this was for Yoko, then another time it was to all the people he'd ever hurt (Cyn, Paul, Yoko, etc.). How he answered a question depended on how he was feeling that moment. You don't know that it was definitely a song for JUST YOKO.Ruth - Indianapolis, In
This song is written for ONLY Yoko Ono, John Lennon was being possessive over her during his Beatle days. He force Yoko to write every guy she was involved with in the past. He even said that this song is for Yoko and no one else, he want to apologize to her for his action.Joannerose - Brampton, On
some people say this is about Yoko, others say it was about Paul, and others say it was about Cynthia. To me (and im probably wrong) i think it's about everyone he had hurt in his life, like emotionally. Cynthia, Yoko, Paul, Stu, Brian Epstein, the list may go on but those are the people I thought of. I remember the first time i heard this i thought it was about cynthia and the bad break up between them because he had been very possesive of her and didn't like many guys being with her whe they were dating. and i thought in the song he was just saying sorry.Amanda - Gretna, Vt
I read somewhere when I was in college that Lennon wrote this song shortly after Brian Epstein's death. He was feeling guilty about constantly rebuffing Brian's advances, and felt that their soured relationship might have caused Epstein's death. This is sort of a tribute, in a sense.Owen - Cromwell, Ct
It is documented that Paul has said this song was intended for him (and he's most likely correct), but without John here to tell us for whom it was really meant (and he tends to change his stories all of the time), we'll never know.Ruth - Indianapolis, In
"With John Lennon, he recorded perhaps his most beautiful piano work on songs like "Jealous Guy" and "Scared." He accompanies Lennon on the classic "Imagine" to give the song its full sound."
Biography Credit: www.spiritus-temporis.com/nicky-hopkins/
Lyubomyr - Ternopil', Ukraine
I heard it was about Cynthia Lennon :pJa'mie - Chicago, Il
"He wrote 'I'm Just a Jealous Guy,' and he said that the song was about me." - Paul McCartneyJulia - Cedar Rapids, Ia
There is a more rocking guitar version of this song in Lennon's box set. I believe Phil Spector played piano and added all the orchestrations to the final cut.Bruce - Palm Beach Gardens, Fl
I heard it was about Stuart Sutcliffe...Don - Dc, Dc
This song was not for Paul. The song "How Do Sleep At Night" was a blistering attack on Paul. "Jealous Guy" was for Yoko.Craig - New Braunfels, Tx
I love the whistling too like in Don't Worry Be Happy by Bobby McFerrin but I don't whistle anymore as it is stated in scriptures and by science whislting breaks through the ether level and attracts Ghosts to you instantaneously =/Rasa Bihari Das - Tamworth, Uk, England
Listening to the song right now, very moving both lyrically and musically, however I must refer to the question John from Shelby proposed, because I have been wondering the very same thing, and can't find any details.

Who is playing that piano part? Boy, it sure is simply amazing, very haunting and beautiful sounding. I'd love to know, if anyone out there has the info, thx.
Brian - Phoenix, Az
i think this song was also made for Paul McCartney, asking him forgivnesMauricio - Monterrey, Mexico
Does it matter when he died? People should remember him for his beautful words, because those will last everyday and his death was only one.Alexander Yerks - Wingdale, Ny
um.. i dont wanna really start this whole debate about the time thing again, but it would be december 8, you count it as where it happened. with the september 11 attacks in america it was already september 12 here in australia but we still call it september 11.
i really like this song, its one of the songs that really introduced me to his music (im
Ashlee - Hobart
If you live in the US, for you John Lennon was murdured on the 8th. If you live in the UK, for you John Lennon was murdured on the 9th. Just think about it in terms of timezones and what your location is when he died. This rule can be applied to any timezone. You can even calculate exact time if you want, just think of it in terms of the exact moment he died and what your location is. End of discussion. I love this song by the way...Steven - West Chester, Pa
AND... yeah... It surprises me how Jealous Guy didn't reach further on the charts... It is D-E-efinitely in the same class as Imagine...Markus - Stockholm, Sweden
Josh: - "I love the whistling in this song. It amazes me how whistling could get to you like this. When i hear the whistling I just stop and am in another world for the 20 seconds."
That's what I feel 2 times 5 seconds when the harmonica is played in Sting's "Fields Of Gold"... It's just so passionate... BTW, has anyone of you heard Lennon's "Love"? Now that's a beautiful melody...
Markus - Stockholm, Sweden
"Jealous Guy" much better than "Imagine", you're right John.Teresa - Mechelen, Belgium
This is by far Lennon's best solo song and quite possibly better than his Beatle work too. Its hard to understand why a song like Imagine, with its simplistic rythme and lazy philosophical thoughts has become the Lennon anthem instaed of this oneJohn - Woburn, Ma
Well, if he died in the United States, he died in the United States. John Lennon chose the US as his home, and he died here at his home. THEREFORE, technically, his death will always rest upon December 8, 1980 around the world. Just because in the UK it was December 9, 1980 doesn't mean it was on the 9th. He was back in time that day; he was on the 8th. Maybe if he were on the 9th he would be here. But, yet he died on the 8th since he was in the US. That would be like saying he died the day after he died. He and Yoko knew the day as the 8th, so let his day rest in peace and John's music live on.

Thanks,
An appreciated fan of the most amazing influence to life and peace.
Emily - Kenova, Wv
He was killed on December 8th not December 9th 1980. He meaning John Lennon.Stefanie - Rock Hill, Sc
Hey ben, it's my birthday, too! And Jim Morrison's and Sammy Davis Jr.'s, whoo-hoo!Fyodor - Denver, Co
Bryan Ferry covered it alsoRicardo - Mexico, Mexico
this song sends shivers up and down my spine. the chords are absolutley amazing...i can't describe the feeling i get.Suzi - Charleston , Sc
I absolutely adore this song. It is my favorite of John Lennon's.Mary - Virginia Beach, Va
I love the whistling in this song. It amazes me how whistling could get to you like this. When i hear the whistling I just stop and am in another world for the 20 seconds.Josh - Toronto, Oh
I would think the date of a murder, or any other significant event, would be tied to its geographic location. For example, I think we all agree, around the globe, that the date that lives in infamy was December 7, 1941. Just because it was December 8 someplace else doesn't change the fact that it was December 7 in Hawaii. The same holds true for the day OUR music died, 12/8/80.Laura - Eatontown, Nj
Peter Criss of Kiss covered it on his 1982 solo album "Let Me Rock You".Matt - Altoona, Pa
He was murdered on December 8th in the UNITED STATES, but it was already December 9th in the UNITED KINGDOM since they are a few hours ahead of us... think before you speak :-pTom - Coolage, Al
i love the melody of this song. proves that the tough looking john was really beautifully soft on the inside.Liliana - Huntley, Il
This is one of my favorite songs on "Imagine". I love it when John whistles a verse. And Ben is right -- John was assassinated on December 8, 1980. I still have the newspaper clippings.Jude - Thomasville, Ga
My favorite song of John Lennon, with a perfect
"Wall of Sound", I close my eyes and I hear Phil Spector, he's just great!!!
Teresa - Mechelen, Belgium
Was it John Lennon or Nicky Hopkins playing piano on this?John - Shelby, Nv
John Lennon was actually murdered on December 8th, 1980 by crazed fan Mark Chapman. I would know since its my birthday.Ben - Chicago, Il
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