Julian Lennon reveals ‘love-hate relationship’ with Beatles classic Hey Jude

Julian Lennon has revealed he had a love-hate relationship with Beatles song Hey Jude as it was a “dark reminder” about his parents’ divorce.

The song was written by Sir Paul McCartney to comfort then five-year-old Julian when his father John and mother Cynthia were separating.

Speaking on the radio show Debatable on SiriusXM Volume, Lennon said: “I wasn’t really aware of what was going on except when I started seeing Yoko (Ono) around, obviously that made a bit of an impact and apparently I struggled with the separation a great deal at five.

Music – John Lennon – Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus
Yoko Ono, Julian Lennon and his father John Lennon at the rehearsal of the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus (PA)

“I would have raging moments of being a screaming child but those moments haven’t stuck with me.

“For me it has always been about moving forward, protecting mum the best that I could and making her proud, keeping an eye on her, arms around her, protecting her all the way up until the end, she was my priority.”

Lennon revealed that watching the Beatles documentary Get Back released last year and “reflecting on the song Hey Jude” inspired his new seventh album titled Jude.

He said: “The album allowed me to explain what Hey Jude meant to me because the fact of the matter is it was a love-hate relationship, I thought I had heard it enough.

“I am thankful to Paul for writing it and putting some hope behind what was to come, but the downside of it was it was a dark reminder of what actually went down at that time, the separation.

John Lennon
Julian and Cynthia Lennon (Dave Thompson/PA)

“After watching the documentary there was such pride seeing dad the way I used to know him as a kid, remembering him and seeing him being a goofy bugger but also being such a great writer, performer and singer.

“It reminded me how much love I actually had for him, it just brought a lot of memories up.”

Lennon added that doing an acoustic version of his father’s “iconic” song Imagine to raise money for the crisis in Ukraine was something he “dreaded” having to do his entire adult life.

“It was the easiest thing and the hardest thing I have ever had to do,” he added.