Hey Jude

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Day 2 of the first Hey Jude performance. Notice how John is dressed like the Six Flags man.

"Hey Jude" (1868) was a well-known English ballad, stolen and performed by the Beatles. It is the first radio song to exceed six minutes by 70 hours and one of many singles Paul McCartney recorded while dead.

After the divorce of John and Cynthia Lennon, Paul wanted to reconsole their son, Julian, by offering him the song, but began making money from the single instead. In 1996, Julian Lennon bought the recording notes to this song at an auction for £25,000.


For those without comedic tastes, the so-called experts at Wikipedia think they have an article about Hey Jude.
Jude Law, to whom the song fortunately does not refer, but whose name unfortunately refers to the song.

John Lennon stated that the song came about when Paul McCartney sought to write the shortest song in history. He succeeded with the song "Na", the length of which reportedly totaled less than one second, consisting of the sole lyric "Na".[1] However, the work was lost when Yoko Ono recorded over the original tape for one of her "avant garde" pieces and combined it with the popular ballad "Hey Jude".

Paul recorded it the next day and, forgetting how the song was supposed to end, went around in circles. The recording only ended when producer George Martin ran out of tape and refused to keep on stealing it from the Rolling Stones.

Finally, Paul engaged an orchestra, for (as he claimed at the beginning) playing a few lines of the song, whilst in reality, he wanted them to clap their hands and sing "Na na na na naaa".

I’m not going to clap my hands and sing Paul McCartney’s bloody song!

- an angry musician said, in spite of the fact that he was getting double rates for his trouble.[2]

Complete lyrics of the song

Hey Jude
Don't make it bad
Take a sad song
And make it butter
Remember to let it into your heart
Then you can start
To make it butter
For well you know that you're a fool
Who is not cool
And makes his world a little colder

Na na na naaana na na naaa na
The lyrics of the song have been characterized as very clever, well-written and thought-provoking by the critics.
Hey Jude
Don't make it worse
You have found her
Now go and do something
Remember to let her under your skin
Then you begin:
"Oh, fucking hell!"
...To make it better / better / better / better / better / BETTER / BETTER / BETTER… AAAAAAAAA!
So let it out and let it in
Come on! Begin!
You're waiting for someone to do it with
And don't you know that it's just you
Hey Jude, you'll do
The movement you need is inside your body
Na na na na na
na na na na yeah
On second thoughts...
Na, na na na na na na
na na na na, hey Jude
Na, na na na na na na
na na na na, hey Jude
Na, na na na na na na
na na na na, hey Jude

“Excellent, Paul, that'll do fine.”

Na, na na na na na na
na na na na, hey Jude
Jude Jude a Judy Judy Judy Judy, ow

“All right, that's enough.”

Na, na na na na na na na na na na, Hey Jude (Jude Jude Jude Jude Jude)

Hey Beard...Why do you grow?

“I've got blisters on my fingers.”

~ Ringo Starr on going where no drummer has gone before

“Hey, guys, cab's here…”


Na, na na na na na na
na na na na na, Hey Jude
(Hey Jude Hey Jude)
Na, na na na na na na
na na na na, hey Jude
na na na na, Hey Jude

Early drafts

Hey Jewd? How does that one go again??

The Beatles Archives has released several early drafts of the alternate lyrics of "Hey Jude".

Hey, Jude!
Don't fake a bat
Take a sad song
And make some money
For well you know that you're a tool
When wiping drool
And making your chin a little drier
Fixing a hole

At one point, Paul tried a different approach with the original "Hey Jewd".

Hey Jewd
Don't be afraid
You have no foreskin
And it won't be better
Remember to leave your dradle on the table
It'll be a bagel

The first promotional attempt failed, when Paul McCartney painted the title of the song on one of the Apple Boutique's windows. When he saw the fury of the crowd, he replaced it with " Hey Jude"[3] but the window still got destroyed. McCartney later explained that the song was not at all antisemitic and it was a complete coincidence that "Jude" signified "Jew" in German.


Playing "Hey Jude" backwards yields you a potentially Satanic message:

eduJ yeH
aaaaaan an-an-an
aaaaaan an-an-an, aaan, aaaaan, aaaaaaaN

According to Paul McCartney, this is gibberish.


A popular sequel to "Hey Jude" ("E-pro"[4]) was written by Beck. The song makes an honest attempt at tackling Hey Jude's incredible length, but not quite in the same style. Beck also "wanted to capture the beauty of the Nas, but not sound like a total rip-off".


  1. This record was later defeated by John Cage
  2. Martin G., Hornsby J. All you need is ears. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1979; ch. 11
  3. Jude signifies Jew in German
  4. Even the title is similar

See also

   v  d  e
The Beatles
John Lennon | Paul McCartney | Pete Best | George Harrison | Ringo Starr | The Fifth Beatle | Yoko Ono
Thank Thank You (1962) | Without the Beatles (1963) A Hard Gay's Night (1964) | Beatles For Sail (1964) | Hell! (1965) | Revolter (1966) | Revolver (1966) | Sgt. Lt. Pepper's Only Lonely Hearts Club Bandana (1967) | Ringo Needs Some Money (1967) | Tragical Mystery Tour (1967) | The Beatles: Ecological Number Ones (1968) | The White Album (1968) | Yellow Submarine (1969) | Flabby Road (1969) | Let It Be (1970) | The Beatles: Fab 60s Hits (1970)
Related articles
Beatlefication | Beatlemania | The Beatles In India | British Invasion | Liverpool | "Paul is dead" hoax | Paul is undead | McCartneyism | The Revolution: A history | Maxwell Edison | BBC | Beatles About | The Beatles Tribute Band | Mark David Chapman | UnNews:John Lennon denied resurrection for fourth time | The Rutles
Notable songs
"Back in the U.S.S.R." | "Hey Jude" | "I Am the Walrus" | "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" | "Why?:Don't we do it in the road?" |

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