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Lyric Music

Hey Jude

The Beatles

Album Hey Jude album

Story of Song

Paul McCartney wrote this as “Hey Jules,” it was meant to comfort John Lennon’s 5-year-old son Julian during his parents’ divorce. Since McCartney loves show tunes, he changed it to “Jude” inspired by the character “Jud” in the musical Oklahoma! Julian Lennon confirmed this in Steve Turner’s book “The Stories Behind Every Beatles Song”, Julian said: “Paul told me he’d been thinking about my circumstances, about what I was going through and what I’d have to go through. Paul and I used to hang out quite a bit – more than Dad and I did… There seem to be far more pictures of me and Paul playing at that age than me and Dad. I’ve never really wanted to know the truth of how Dad was and how he was with me. There was some very negative stuff – like when he said that I’d come out of a whisky bottle on a Saturday night. That’s tough to deal with. You think, where’s the love in that? It surprises me whenever I hear the song. It’s strange to think someone has written a song about you. It still touches me.”

Release date

Released on August 26, 1968


John Lennon – Paul McCartney



Chart Rankings

US – 1

UK – 1


This was in the top 5 charts in hit peaked at the top of the charts in 18 countries around the world including the US and the UK where it remained number 1 for 2 weeks. It is the fourth-biggest selling Beatles single and was certified 4 times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) selling eventually 10 million copies in the US alone. It was named the best single of the year in 1968 according to the NME Readers’ Poll. On September 8th 1968, the Beatles performed this hit on the UK television program ‘Frost on Sunday’, hosted by David Frost, and it immediately entered Billboard’s Hot Top 100 chart at number 10, two weeks later it peaked at number 1 for 9 weeks, then for the next two weeks it peaked at number 2. ‘Hey Jude’ spent 19 weeks on the chart including 14 in the Top 10. This hit continued its success to this decade; in 2004 it ranked at number 8 on the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time” by Rolling Stone.

Artist’s age on release date

The Beatles were active for 8 years. Paul McCartney was 26, John Lennon was 28, George Harrison was 25 and Ringo Starr was 28 years of age.

Cover Versions

The kind himself Elvis Presley covered ‘Hey Jude’ – Wilson Pickett – “Weird Al” Yankovic – Katy Perry.

Added by Slate

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