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Hey Jude

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“Hey Jude”
“Hey Jude” cover
Single by The Beatles
B-side "Revolution"
Released 26 August 1968
Format 7"
Recorded Trident Studios:
31 July 1968
Genre Rock
Length 7:08
Label Apple Records
Writer(s) Lennon/McCartney
Producer George Martin
The Beatles singles chronology
"Lady Madonna"
"Hey Jude" / "Revolution"
"Get Back"/ "Don't Let Me Down"

Well, when Paul first sang 'Hey Jude' to me... or played me the little tape he'd made of it... I took it very personally. 'Ah, it's me,' I said, 'It's me.' He says, 'No, it's me.' I said, 'Check. We're going through the same bit.' So we all are. Whoever is going through a bit with us is going through it, that's the groove.

—John Lennon, 1968

That's his best song. It started off as a song about my son Julian because Paul was going to see him. Then he turned it into "Hey Jude." I always thought it was about me and Yoko, but he said it was about him and his.

—John Lennon, 1972

I remember I played it to John and Yoko, and I was saying, 'These words won't be on the finished version.' Some of the words were: 'The movement you need is on your shoulder,' and John was saying, 'It's great!' I'm saying, 'It's crazy, it doesn't make any sense at all.' He's saying, 'Sure it does, it's great.'

—Paul McCartney, 1974

He said it was written about Julian. He knew I was splitting with Cyn and leaving Julian then. He was driving to see Julian to say hello. He had been like an uncle. And he came up with 'Hey Jude.' But I always heard it as a song to me. Now I'm sounding like one of those fans reading things into it... Think about it: Yoko had just come into the picture. He is saying. 'Hey, Jude' — 'Hey, John.' Subconsciously, he was saying, 'Go ahead, leave me.' On a conscious level, he didn't want me to go ahead. The angel in him was saying, 'Bless you.' The devil in him didn't like it at all, because he didn't want to lose his partner.

—John Lennon, 1980

I remember on 'Hey Jude' telling George not to play guitar. He wanted to do echo riffs after the vocal phrases, which I didn't think was appropriate. He didn't see it like that, and it was a bit of a number for me to have to 'dare' to tell George Harrison — who's one of the greats — not to play. It was like an insult. But that's how we did a lot of our stuff.

—Paul McCartney, 1985

There is an amusing story about recording it... Ringo walked out to go to the toilet and I hadn't noticed. The toilet was only a few yards from his drum booth, but he'd gone past my back and I still thought he was in his drum booth. I started what was the actual take — and 'Hey Jude' goes on for hours before the drums come in — and while I was doing it I suddenly felt Ringo tiptoeing past my back rather quickly, trying to get to his drums. And just as he got to his drums, boom boom boom, his timing was absolutely impeccable.

—Paul McCartney, 1994

Watch the Beatles performing this song on the David Frost Show on September 8, 1968:

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