The Beatles Song John Lennon Wrote for His Mother

Much of John Lennon’s music was inspired by his upbringing, and he wrote one song for The Beatles about his mother

John Lennon was the most revealing and introspective member of The Beatles. Many of his songs revealed details of his past or brought to life emotions he kept trapped inside. These types of tracks were even more prominent in his solo career. One song he wrote for The Beatles was for his mother, with whom he had a troubled history.

John Lennon wrote ‘Julia’ for his mother

John Lennon was born to Julia and Alfred Lennon on Oct. 9, 1940. His father abandoned him as an infant, leaving him alone with his mother. After receiving complaints from social services, Julia gave custody of John to her sister, Mimi, but the two still had contact. In 1958, a car struck and killed Julia when John was just 17.

The memory of his mother became a creative inspiration for the young singer. While The Beatles were initially a pop-rock band, they later wrote more experimental and sincere music. Many of these songs debuted on The White Album, which featured many songs written individually by every member. One song is “Julia”, which Lennon said he wrote about his mother.

“Julia was my mother,” Lennon told Playboy in 1980. “But it was sort of a combination of Yoko and my mother blended into one. That was written in India. On the White Album. And all the stuff on the White Album was written in India while we were supposedly giving money to Maharishi, which we never did. We got our mantra, we sat in the mountains eating lousy vegetarian food and writing all those songs. We wrote tons of songs in India.”

The track was John Lennon’s only solo outing for The Beatles

of each member’s talent instead of The Beatles working together as a whole. So, a few songs were performed as solos. The member with the most solo efforts on the record was Paul McCartney, with tracks like “Blackbird” and “Martha My Dear”.

“Julia” was Lennon’s solo outing on The White Album and the only Beatles song he recorded himself. Even “The Ballad of John and Yoko” still featured McCartney. It’s unclear why he did it alone, but it was a personal song for the singer, so he may have just wanted to treat it as a solo effort.

‘Julia’ isn’t the only song he wrote for his mother

John Lennon’s connection to his mother outlived The Beatles and found its way into his solo career. His first lone album, John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band, featured “Mother”, a more heartwrenching and tragic ballad. The track addresses both his parents, with Lennon pleading for them to return and never leave. The final verse repeats, “Mama don’t go, Daddy come home.”

Lennon also decided to add funeral bells at the beginning of “Mother”. In Lennon Remembers, the former Beatle said he had already finished the track before he found inspiration to add the bells.

“I was watching TV as usual in California, and there was this old horror movie on,” Lennon said. “I just heard the bells, which sounded like that to me. But they were probably different ’cause those that I used on the album were actually other bells slowed down. I just thought, ‘That’s how to start ‘Mother’.’ I knew ‘Mother’ was going to be the first track.”

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