John Lennon wrote ‘confusing’ Beatles song to hint he was quitting the band

The Beatles shocked their countless fans when they split up in 1970 – but it was no surprise to the Fab Four themselves.

They had been bickering and embroiled in legal issues for years, and eventually, things came to a head and John Lennon eventually announced he was quitting the band. Long before the official announcement was made, however, Lennon had already sent a clue to Paul McCartney about his impending exit in music form.

In 1968 Lennon penned the iconic track Glass Onion which included a “crumb” of a hint to what he was about to do to the band. Speaking in an interview in 1980, he recalled the Glass Onion line “The walrus was Paul” was supposed to create some confusion within the fandom who looked intently at the band’s lyrics.

Lennon explained: “I threw the line in — the Walrus was Paul — just to confuse everybody a bit more. And I thought Walrus has now become me, meaning ‘I am the one.'” However, Lennon confessed the line also had a secret meaning for the band, as well.

“It didn’t mean that in this song,” he went on. “It could have been ‘the fox terrier is Paul,’ you know. I mean, it’s just a bit of poetry. It was just thrown in like that.”

Lennon continued by pointing out the line was his way of showing his feelings to McCartney. He said: “The line was put in partly because I was feeling guilty because I was with Yoko and I was leaving Paul.”

Lennon added: “I was trying — I don’t know. It’s a very perverse way of saying to Paul, you know: ‘Here, have this crumb, this illusion, this — this stroke, because I’m leaving.'” Shortly thereafter, in September 1969, Lennon broke the news to the band that he was leaving The Beatles.

McCartney recalled years later: “John walked into the room one day and said: ‘I’m leaving the Beatles.’ And he said: ‘It’s quite thrilling. It’s rather like a divorce.’ And then we were left to pick up the pieces.”

McCartney refused to stop making music, though: “The Beatles were breaking up and this was my band, this was my job, this was my life. I wanted it to continue. I thought we were doing some pretty good stuff — you know, ‘Abbey Road,’ ‘Let It Be,’ not bad.”

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