Is Forgiveness the Only Path To Betterment? The Beatles – Hey Jude Lyrics Meaning

Is Forgiveness the Only Path To Betterment? The Beatles – Hey Jude Lyrics Meaning
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The Beatles – Hey Jude Lyrics Meaning

You all must have listened to “Hey Jude” at least once. However, you may not know the meaning behind the lyrics of the song “Hey Jude” by The Beatles. This song has historical importance in the music industry. Today, we’re going to try unraveling the secrets behind the lyrics of “Hey Jude”. Please walk with us through the article.

The original title of the song was “Hey Jules”, referring to the five-year-old son of John Lennon whose real name is “Julian Lennon”. Paul McCartney had written the song to comfort Julian during the divorce of his parents, John Lennon and Cynthia Lennon. However, the song has been marked as “a form of blessing” by Lennon himself for his and his new wife’s, Yoko Ono’s relationship, from Paul McCartney.

Introduction: Hey Jude Lyrics

The new couple was touched by McCartney’s act and Lennon’s previous wife, Cynthia, said she would always remember his “gesture of care and concern in coming to see us”. However, the public reaction to the song didn’t wane. It stayed as The Beatles’ best performing U.S. single. According to Genius Lyrics, “Hey Jude” is considered by many music critics as being one of the best songs of all time. 

Let’s see the handwriting lyrics of Hey Jude by Paul McCartney himself!

Hey Jude Lyrics Meaning

Let’s dissect the meaning behind the lyrics of “Hey Jude” by The Beatles, section-wise.

[Verse 1]

Part I

The Beatles fans may hate me for saying this. However, “Jude” or “Judas” is a slang term for the drug “Heroin”. The minute you let “her” under your skin, then you begin, to make it better. It all seems pretty straight forward to me, but I’ll leave the interpretation up to you guys filled by “love” and “affection” for the band. Just read the lyrics, it’s all pretty clear.

Trust me, I was shocked when I figured it out as well. On a side note, I do not support nor condone the use of any illicit street drugs. But I am a critical thinker with a mind highly geared towards analysis. Regardless, let’s go with a concept where there are no drugs.

Part II

Julian was naturally feeling put out after his parents got separated. We see The Beatles as the guys who would be perfect in any relationship. However, the reality spectrum is nowhere closer to our speculations. John Lennon wasn’t a great father despite being a great musician. After Lennon got separated from Julian’s mother, apparently, Paul McCartney was the only person to check on Julian. Father Lennon was instead giving all of his love to his new wife, Yoko.

After having to experience the separation of his parents, Julian wasn’t letting anyone except Paul into his life. Apparently, Paul used to check on him often and father Lennon used to get jealous of Julian rejecting his father’s new relationship while giving importance to Paul McCartney in his life instead. After gaining Julian’s confidence, Paul McCartney wrote in his lyrics in a way, “letting her into his heart” could refer to Julian giving Yoko a shot.

[Verse 2]

According to multiple fan theories, the second verse is dedicated to father Lennon, Mr. John Lennon, himself. Even though Paul was writing the song primarily for Julian, the second verse is undoubtedly dedicated to John! In this verse, Paul tells John not to feel bad for falling in love with someone else. He tells father Lennon that he should go out to get Yoko and pursue a new life with her.

However, the lines used in this verse can be seen as the conflict inside Lennon’s subconscious mind. His conscious part was telling him to leave everything to pursue Yoko. Regardless, his sub-conscious part was telling him not to leave Julian and his mother. Or maybe, Paul himself is acting like Lennon’s divided fanbase encouraging both of these concepts. The decision is Lennon’s to make, of course.

Sadly, according to Vice, Julian’s relationship with his father never recovered after the separation of his parents. John was accused of igniting domestic violence and getting drunk all the time. Even after John Lennon’s murder, Julian said he doesn’t want to know how he was treated by his father as a child. Apparently, John always came home drunk and Julian remembers spending most of his time with Paul than with his own father. Therefore, Julian says there was no love for him from his father’s end when he was alive. So, technically his father’s death didn’t affect him, at all.

[Bridge 1]

Adding external elements of pain to one’s life might seem insignificant in the beginning. However, it slowly adds up and grows exponentially. In the lyrics of the first bridge of “Hey Jude”, Paul McCartney says, one should refrain from the act hurting him/her and take a time out for oneself. One doesn’t need to carry the weight of this cruel earth all alone. Sharing the burden with someone trustworthy can be really helpful for one’s mental health.

This section was probably dedicated to Julian. Since the then kid was in a miserable place after his parent’s separation, Paul was suggesting Julian open about the traumatic experience he’s been going through. McCartney often used to tell John that only fools play it cool during such situations. Therefore, John Lennon was convinced, till his death, that the lyrics of “Hey Jude” were written for him. However, he was giving the same suggestion to Julian as well.

[Verse 3]

In this verse, Paul tells John, now that John has found someone new to love, he should stay true to her. Paul is trying to ease the ongoing tension between Julian and John. The lack of intimacy had failed John’s previous marriage. Therefore, Paul encourages John to look after maturity in a relationship. He should let his new love completely into his life so that the bond between them would remain strong.

[Bridge 2]

Following the separation, John Lennon wasn’t yet ready to get back to music. Some theories say this separation in John’s personal life caused the separation of the whole band. We may never know how true this fact is, but hey, it’s a good point! In his lyrics, Paul has told John to let out all the hard feelings that have been refraining him from the music! In the end, it’s your life, it’s just you and only you. Don’t feel bad for loving someone else. What a friend Paul was to John! It feels like “Yesterday” was when all these things happened in the world of The Beatles.

Conclusion: Hey Jude Meaning

Maybe, the lyrics of “Hey Jude” is dedicated to both Julian as well as John Lennon. The song is going back and forth to both Julian and John. We might never know the truth! Regardless, let us know what you think is the meaning behind the lyrics of “Hey Jude” by The Beatles in the comment section below. Did you like the points we made? Do you think Julian should forgive John? Let us know down below.

Read the meaning behind the lyrics of “Hey Jude” by The Beatles on Genius in detail.

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