John Lennon Wrote The Beatles’ ‘Help!’ While He Was Acting Like a ‘Pig’

The Beatles’ “Help!” charted once in the United States and four times in the United Kingdom. John Lennon explained the origin of the tune.

John Lennon wasn’t satisfied with his life when he wrote The Beatles’ “Help!” He felt his emotions came out in the music. Subsequently, The Beatles’ “Help!” charted four times in his native United Kingdom.

John Lennon wrote The Beatles’ ‘Help!’ when he was ‘smoking marijuana for breakfast’

The book All We Are Saying: The Last Major Interview with John Lennon and Yoko Ono includes an interview from 1980. In the interview, John explained what The Beatles’ lives were like around the time they released “Help!” “We were smoking marijuana for breakfast during that period,” he said. “Nobody could communicate with us because it was all glazed eyes and giggling all the time. In our own world.”

John wasn’t pleased with the way he was behaving. “The whole Beatle thing was just beyond comprehension,” he opined. “I was eating and drinking like a pig and I was fat as a pig, dissatisfied with myself, and subconsciously I was crying for help.” John also said he made “Help!” more lyrically sophisticated than some of The Beatles’ earlier songs in order to impress journalist Maureen Cleave.

The Beatle said it’s hard to understand the emotions of songs written in ‘gobbledygook’

John said his emotions came out in the song “Help!” “I think everything comes out in the songs, even Paul’s songs now, which are apparently about nothing,” he said. “The same way as handwriting analysis shows everything about yourself.

“Or [Bob] Dylan, trying to hide in the subterfuge of clever hippie words, but it was always apparent — if you looked below the surface — what was being said,” he added. “Resentfulness, or love, or hate — it’s apparent in all work. It’s just harder to see when it’s written in gobbledygook.” Dylan and The Beatles definitely wrote “gobbledygook” but “Help!” is as straightforward as it gets. Notably, John said “Help!” was one of a handful of Beatles songs still getting airplay in 1980.

Help!’ charted once in the United States and four times in the United Kingdom

“Help!” topped the Billboard Hot 100 for three of its 13 weeks on the chart. The tune appeared on the soundtrack of the film Help! That record was No. 1 on the Billboard 200 for nine weeks, staying on the chart for 46 weeks altogether.

The Official Charts Company says “Help!” reached No. 1 in the United Kingdom and lasted on the chart for 14 weeks. Upon its first rerelease, it peaked at No. 37 and upon its second rerelease, it hit No. 86. The tune hit the chart for one last time, hitting No. 99.

The album Help! was huge in the U.K. as well. There, the album reached No. 1 and spent 44 weeks on the chart.

“Help!” came from difficult circumstances but it became an enduring hit.

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