Hey Jude

Paul McCartney wrote the song ‘Hey Jude’ originally as ‘Hey Jules’, wanting this song to provide comfort John Lennon’s 5-year-old son Julian during the time that his parents John and Cynthia were getting a divorce.  The change to from Jules to Jude was inspired by the character Jud in the musical Oklahoma, as McCartney was known to love show tunes.  The most influential person in Paul’s life was his father, Jim McCartney, a Liverpool cotton salesman who brought up his two sons, Paul and his brother Mike, after their mother’s tragic early death.  McCartney inherited the love of Broadway show tunes and brass bands from his father and this permeated his music and resulted in Paul’s brainchild that formed Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

Jud Fry is a lonely, quiet, brooding farmhand, who takes care of the ranch Laurey and Aunt Eller live on. Jud does not fit in with the society he lives with, and he is seen by most as an outsider and misunderstood.  He seems to keep to himself, but all the while longs for Laurey, his employer’s niece.  With the box social coming up that evening Laurey, knowing full well that Jud is in love with her, asks him to accompany her to the event simply to spite a handsome suitor she’s flirting with, pretty boy Curly.

The Beatles inner circle was shifting when Paul McCartney wrote this song.  John Lennon had recently taken up with Yoko and McCartney had broken off his engagement with his longtime girlfriend Jane Asher.  Paul remained friends with Cynthia and Julian at this time.  McCartney thought that Julian was headed for a tough time being a child of divorce, so to encourage the boy he wrote the line, “Don’t make it bad, take a sad song and make it better”.  Other people think that this song is about shooting up saying, “The minute you let her under your skin, Then you begin to make it better”.  John actually thought that Paul wrote this song about his relationship with Yoko, saying that he understood why John chose Yoko and he was fine with the Beatles breaking up.  John was a talented musician, but not a particularly nice person.

Cynthia never blamed Yoko for the breakup of the marriage, she said it was due to a British singer called Alma Cogan who was in the nineteen fifties the most highly paid entertainer in the UK.  John Lennon thought that Alma Cogan was his mother Julia reincarnated, as Julia died when John was just seventeen.  Alma Cogan died in 1966 at the age of only thirty-four due to ovarian cancer and John was devastated.  Two weeks later, in a vulnerable state, John met Yoko who, until that time, had been nothing more than an irritating fan.  Yoko was much the same age as Alma had been.  She was the sort of take-charge woman that John needed.

After John’s mother Julia separated from Alf Lennon, she and the infant John moved in with Julia’s new partner, John Albert ‘Bobby’ Dykins, but Julia’s sister Mimi contacted Liverpool’s Social Services twice complaining about Lennon sleeping in the same bed with Julia and Dykins.  Julia was eventually persuaded to hand the care of Lennon over to Mimi and her husband George Smith, who had no children of their own.  They lived at 251 Menlove Avenue in Liverpool, England, named Mendips (after the Mendip Hills).

John and Cynthia met in 1957 while both were students at Liverpool Art College, and began a relationship the following year. In mid-1962 she discovered she was pregnant which was not all that surprising as they never used contraception.  John said they should get married.  Brian Epstein thought The Beatles fans might feel alienated knowing that one of them was married, and so the Lennon’s kept the wedding a secret.  Epstein allowed John and Cynthia to live at his flat where they stayed until the birth of Julian Lennon in April 1963.  Thereafter they effectively moved into Mendips with John’s aunt Mimi, although by that time John was spending much of his time in London with the band.

Aunt Mimi never liked Cynthia and she refused to go to their wedding.  After Julian’s birth, Cynthia often found one of Mimi’s cats (along with cat hairs) in Julian’s cot, which pissed her off.  One morning Mimi told Cynthia that she had had a dream in which Cynthia’s mother had come to the door and she refused to let her in the house.  This was the final straw and Cynthia, left Mendips and moved into a place with Julian and her mother.  Cynthia felt that Yoko had become John’s new Aunt Mimi.  John had many affairs during the course of his marriage to Cynthia, which she tolerated.  Their marriage collapsed when she came home and found Yoko Ono wearing her bathrobe.  John told Cynthia that he had had over 300 extra-marital affairs with women during their six-year marriage.  John was was an awful husband and a terrible father and Cynthia got custody of Julian in the divorce.

Yoko had this strange spell over John and he was so in love with her that he could never bear to be apart from her and this love was so possessive, that John often followed Yoko into the bathroom.  Lennon sang in ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’, Made a lightning trip to Vienna, eating chocolate cake in a bag / The newspapers said, ‘She’s gone to his head, they look just like two gurus in drag’.”  Brian Epstein was the manager of this band and he was openly gay, and he had a crush on Lennon, and rumors floated around that they may even have had a one-night stand.  John and Yoko talked about this, and they basically agreed that everyone must be a bit bisexual.  John once asked Yoko Ono, “Do you know why I like you?  It’s because you look like a bloke in drag.  You’re like a mate.”  There is also a rumor that John had sex with Linda McCartney one day when she was mad at Paul.

John and Yoko both became addicted to heroin and John had an enormous sex drive, which Yoko got tired of after a while. Yoko grew up watching her father enjoy his geisha, so she figured getting a geisha for her husband, could work for them as long as she could be in control of what happened and since May Pang was already working for the Lennon’s as a personal assistant Yoko approached her.  In an attempt to save their marriage, Yoko told May, “John will probably start going out with other people.  May, I know he likes you.”  May sputtered a protest, but Yoko continued, unperturbed saying, “May it’s OK.  I know he likes you.  If he should ask you to go out with him, you should go.”  May was reluctant at first, but eventually she allowed John into her bed.  Once her initial resistance had been overcome, May Pang recognized that there was nothing she wanted more than John Lennon.  She decided that she would take what was offered so freely.  After a couple of weeks of making love every night with mounting pleasure and passion, May was obliged to concede that she owed the this happiness entirely to her lover’s wife.

John left Yoko for 18 months of reckless debauchery calling it his Lost Weekend and he told her that she must take a lover too.   During this lost weekend Paul McCartney showed up with his wife Linda, as John was doing some recordings in Los Angeles and May Pang took the last photo of them together.  John eventually went back to his wife, and Yoko said that the affair was something that was not hurtful to her, as she needed a rest and needed space.  John still complained about sexual deprivation when he was back with Yoko, and he demanded that if she didn’t want to f— him, that she should at least provide suitable substitutes, so Yoko arranged to have her husband taken to a whorehouse.  John resumed his relationship with May Pang, but due to his heroin habit, his sex drive diminished.  Both John and Yoko eventually kicked their drug addictions and then Mark David Chapman shot and killed John Lennon at the entrance to the Dakota apartment building in New York City on December 8, 1980.  Julian was better off that he was left with his mother Cynthia, instead of being involved in this crazy life style that his dad was mixed up in.

Written for Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie Music Challenge #34: “Hey Jude” by the Beatles.

23 thoughts on “Hey Jude

  1. “Oklahoma,” the movie, was the first musical I saw at a movie theater and I loved it. Jud Fry was played by Rod Steiger and the song “Pore Jud is Daid,” sung to Jud by Curly (Gordon MacRae) was my favorite song from that movie musical.

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    1. McCartney knew him as well as anybody, I think that is why he was concerned about Julian. I left some stuff out, as the post got too long, but Lennon had a real bad temper and when he got mad he was known to hit women and children. I always thought of him as standing for peace, but only his music did that.

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    1. He dated the English actress, author, and entrepreneur for 5 years between 1963 and 1968. I think she is 72 now, but I bet she still looks good. Asher met McCartney on April 18, 1963, two weeks after her 17th birthday and a lot of people thought that they would get married.

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  2. I by chance saw an art exhibit by Yoko in 1981 (August) at the beginning of my honeymoon in Hawaii. All sex; I don’t remember if anyone else was depicted besides herself and John.

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    1. Yoko would be a nobody if she never married John. Some people hate her and blame her for breaking up the Beatles, but I don’t have anything against her and I think she was a good inspiration for John, as he made some great songs while he was with her.


  3. I’ve always loved this song. You’ve certainly opened my eyes to John Lennon. It just goes to show that you don’t always know what people are like at home. I’m thankful now for my relatively calm life.

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